Although car insurance is a topic that causes most people’s eyes to glaze over, having a basic understanding of the different types of coverage, the minimum requirements by law, and what you really need to protect yourself liability-wise is indispensable to every driver.

Kicking off a series of tips, Meshbesher & Spence’s Josh Tuchscherer, a personal injury lawyer committed to representing families and individuals in cases involving personal injury and wrongful death, gives a primer on the subject:

Purchasing insurance today

Nowadays, a lot of individuals are purchasing insurance through the internet. Because of this, they don’t have the benefit of a traditional situation where an individual insurance agent or broker is selling them coverage—there’s no one-on-one relationship. And so people are making these important decisions by themselves without that added advice. Consequently, lawyers are seeing a lot of individuals who don’t have adequate insurance to protect them for the losses that they need to be able to cover—in other words they don’t have enough liability coverage.

How much liability coverage does the state of Minnesota require?

“There’s a minimum that’s required by law,” says Tuchscherer. “That’s $30,000 in liability coverage. Liability coverage are those instances where you cause a harm, you run into somebody, you are at fault and so $30,000 is the minimum that’s required by law and it’s obviously the cheapest coverage that you can buy and so many individuals who are shopping for coverage by themselves are getting the least expensive—the $30,000 minimums, but that is not enough.”

Does liability coverage protect the person that has hit or you?

Liability coverage pays (up to your policy limit) for expenses related to injuries and deaths of individuals that you have been found responsible for. So in that way it protects you because the claim is made against you when you hit someone. But the minimum required by laws is not enough.

“We all know the crazy cost of healthcare in today’s dollars: $30,000 doesn’t get you very far and it doesn’t cover you very much for any kind of harms that you cause,” explains Tuchscherer. “You can buy more coverage from any of these carriers and we recommend, strongly recommend, [that in order] to protect yourself, that you do that.”

“Now that’s different than coverage you may have to protect yourself and that’s called personal injury protection or “no fault” coverage and the minimum that’s required in Minnesota is $20,000. That’s also insufficient in most instances.” (Keep posted for future videos in this series offering an in- depth look at no fault coverage.)

If you have any questions about car insurance types and minimums, contact Meshbesher & Spence at 1-888-728-9866.

Learn more about insurance minimums in MN.