The Risks of Driving Without Insurance in Minnesota

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Driving without an auto insurance policy is illegal in the North Star State and may result in severe penalties. Drivers who break the mandatory insurance law may face legal penalties like fines, license and registration suspension, or even jail time. However, the legal ramifications are just the beginning of the consequences of this crime. 

Let’s check out the legal and financial consequences for Minnesotans who lack sufficient coverage and how you can ensure your auto insurance policy in Minnesota meets the state laws.

The Risks of Driving Without Insurance in Minnesota

In Minnesota, auto insurance is required by law for all residents with vehicles registered in the state. Those who fail to comply with the mandatory auto insurance law may face legal penalties, financial consequences, and a significant increase in their auto insurance premiums for years to come.

Car insurance laws in the North Star State require drivers to have at least $30,000 in bodily injury liability per person, $60,000 in bodily injury liability per accident, $10,000 in property damage liability per accident (30/60/10 liability coverage), $25,000 in uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UMBI/UIMBI) per person, $50,000 in UMBI/UIMBI per accident (25/50 UMBI/UIMBI), and $40,000 in personal injury protection (PIP)

Those who lease or finance their vehicles may be legally obligated to have collision and comprehensive coverages on a full coverage policy.

Policies that meet these minimum requirements are considered legally sufficient and can help protect drivers, to some degree, on the road. However, a minimum coverage policy may not be the best choice for every driver, especially those who value a wide range of coverage. 

Since Minnesota is one of the cheapest states in the country for auto insurance, with the average full coverage policy in the state costing about $1,550 annually, drivers may opt to boost their policy from minimum coverage to full coverage. 

Uninsured drivers are on the hook for their victims’ medical expenses beyond what their policies may cover. If the uninsured driver can’t pay for those expenses, the victim may sue the uninsured driver, which may then cost the uninsured driver even more money in legal fees and damages. 

The likelihood of injured victims suing uninsured drivers is high, too, since minimum coverage policies may not always cover the policyholder’s accident expenses. 

Minnesota Minimum Insurance Requirements

Since the North Star State is a no-fault state, drivers must carry a no-fault coverage in the form of PIP. Policyholders can invoke this coverage to cover the medical expenses they incur in an accident, regardless of who caused it. 

However, drivers can only use $20,000 of their required $40,000 in PIP to cover their immediate medical expenses, as the other $20,000 is allocated for long-term medical costs, like loss of wages or at-home medical care. 

Those who’ve ever been to an American hospital know that $20,000 may not get you very far. So, once a policyholder with a minimum coverage policy exceeds their PIP limit, they would rely on the at-fault driver’s liability coverage or their UMBI/UIMBI if the at-fault driver is uninsured. While policyholders carry a decent amount of coverage for their medical expenses, uninsured drivers are on the hook for any expenses the policyholder may not be able to cover. 

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What’s the Minnesota Driving Without Insurance Penalty?

Driving with no insurance in Minnesota is illegal and can result in penalties such as fines, license and registration suspension, and jail time since the crime is considered a misdemeanor. Penalties generally depend on the severity and frequency of the crime, but some first offenders may still face jail time, depending on the specific circumstances of the incident. 

Depending on one’s history, legal penalties may start at fines ranging from $200 to $1,000 and increase from there if the incident is severe or occurs frequently. Drivers who get behind the wheel without a sufficient policy may risk suspending their license and registration for up to a year, even after a first offense, if the offense is serious. First offenders may also face community service in place of the above penalties, but repeat offenders could risk up to 90 days of jail time. 

Typically, if a driver has a clean driving record and unfortunately lets their insurance policy lapse, their penalty will likely be less severe than that of someone considered a high-risk driver in the state. Insurance companies frequently deem drivers with a poor driving record or insurance history high-risk, posing an above-average risk of filing a claim. 

So, drivers who’ve previously gone without a policy will often be considered high-risk by their potential insurers, exposing them to another penalty of driving without insurance in Minnesota: high insurance premiums.

Those caught without a sufficient policy will generally have to file an SR-22 before reinstating their license or registration, should the documents be suspended following the incident. An SR-22 is a form an insurer files on behalf of a high-risk driver, signifying the driver has an active and adequate auto insurance policy. While the document itself isn’t costly, drivers with such a form on their record will be deemed high-risk.

Insurers award their lowest premiums to drivers who have never made claims or aren’t likely to do so. Companies charge high-risk drivers above-average premiums to compensate for the risk of filing a claim. 

So, on top of the legal penalties uninsured drivers may face in the North Star State, they may also have to kiss goodbye to the possibility of binding the cheapest policy in the state. The chances of the state’s top insurers binding policies with high-risk drivers are slim but not zero. Many insurers will only offer high-risk drivers premiums at least double the state average. 

What’s the Fine for Driving Without Insurance in Minnesota?

Drivers may owe anywhere from $200 to $3,000 in fines, depending on the specifics of the accident. Fines can vary depending on the severity and frequency of the offense, as do other penalties. 

But fines are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the monetary consequences of driving without a sufficient policy in the North Star State.

How To Find Auto Insurance Quotes in Minnesota

In Minnesota, driving without insurance is illegal. Whether a minimum coverage policy with below-average base rates or a full coverage policy with several optional coverages added on makes more sense for you, all drivers must have a policy that meets the state’s minimum coverage requirements. 

The best way to find a policy that suits your needs is to get and compare quotes online. By getting and comparing quotes online, you can build a policy to your circumstances and select the policy that best suits your needs and budget.

Luckily, we’re quoting experts here at Clovered. We even have a free quoting tool you can use to access your unique quotes in minutes. If you’d rather chat with a pro about your quotes, you can contact one of our licensed agents at 833-255-4117 or

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The editorial content on Clovered’s website is meant to be informational material and should not be considered legal advice.

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