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FAQ: What Does No-Fault Mean?

Understanding Minnesota’s No-Fault Car Insurance

What is PIP or No-Fault Car Insurance in Minnesota?

Getting into a car accident can be a traumatic experience, and getting involved with insurance companies can add even more frustration. No-fault car insurance (or PIP, personal injury protection) can take a lot of the weight off a person’s shoulders after a car accident occurs. In many states, no-fault insurance covers medical and out of pocket expenses after an accident, no matter who’s fault it is. 

Minnesota no-fault insurance provides coverage for you, your spouse, your children, any relatives you may have living in your home (if they don’t have their own car insurance policy), and anyone who uses your car with your permissions (as long as they don’t have their own policy).

After your car accident, your PIP will cover your medical bills, potentially lost wages, house cleaning or chores (if you can’t perform these tasks on your own because of the accident), and even funeral expenses if the accident caused the death of a covered individual. 

Is Minnesota No-Fault Insurance Required?

No-fault insurance is required in the state of Minnesota, and there are certain requirements for how much coverage you’re required to have. However, no-fault insurance is great to have when a car accident occurs because you don’t have to go out of your way to add the coverage. 

Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Minnesota

Like any state, Minnesota requires minimums for their insurance policies. This means that when you purchase car insurance, you’re required to obtain the minimum amounts listed below. 

In Minnesota, these are the minimum requirements for car insurance: 

  • $40,000 per person, per accident in no-fault coverage (half for medical costs and half for non-medical costs)
  • $30,000 in liability coverage, per person (this covers bodily injuries that are caused by you or another driver covered under your policy. $60,000 if more than one person is injured)
  • $10,000 liability coverage per accident for property damage
  • $25,000 in uninsured motorist coverage, per person for injuries ($50,000 if more than one person is injured)

If you are responsible for the accident, and the costs exceed the limits stated above, you may be held responsible for the rest of the payment. 

How No-Fault Insurance Works in Minnesota

With no-fault insurance, no matter who causes the accident, you submit the insurance claim to your insurance company. They will then pay you for your damages – like your medical bills and any other things you may need (like reimbursement for house cleaning, food service, or wage loss). 

This insurance claim is much more straightforward, because there’s no argument about whose fault the accident was. You don’t have to worry about the insurance company denying your claim because of a dispute in regards to the car accident. This doesn’t mean that you are guaranteed settlement, but you will receive compensation based on your no-fault claim. A third-party insurance claim or lawsuit can still be made against the at-fault driver for things like pain and suffering” on top of the no-fault claim.  

To receive your compensation, your claim must include proof of expenses. You’re also required to submit an application and complete a medical examination. 

A Few More Things to Know About Minnesota No-Fault Insurance

It’s important to remember that no-fault insurance is paid by your insurance company no matter who was at fault for the accident. Even if it was your fault, your no-fault insurance will still cover things like medical bills and wage loss. It can cover funeral costs if the accident results in death or car maintenance required after the accident. 

The minimum insurance limit is $20,000 for medical and $20,000 for wage loss for each policy, but these policies may be stacked, so you can receive multiple no-fault benefits. 

What Benefits Does No-Fault Insurance Provide?

Medical Expenses

No-fault insurance will cover your medical expenses up to $20,000 per policy. This includes any kind of treatment, like medical, chiropractic, or prescription medication, as well as mileage to and from appointments. 

Non-Medical Expenses

It also covers loss of wages, up to $500 a week as well as $200 a week (starting 7 days after the accident) for services like house cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, meal preparation, childcare, and yard work. The policy also provides up to $5,000 for funeral costs. All together, the limit is $20,000. 

Is Anything Excluded from Minnesota’s No-Fault Insurance?

No-fault insurance does not cover property damage or pain and suffering that may be a result of the accident. You will have to make a separate property damage claim through your insurance company.  If the insurance company refuses to pay, formal arbitration or litigation may be required. Having an attorney to help navigate this process can often significantly improve the amount of damages you are able to recover.

Getting Compensation Beyond No-Fault Limits

If you’re looking to get more compensation beyond what the no-fault policy allows, there are a few options. You may file a personal injury lawsuit if you’d like to receive more compensation past the no-fault policy. You’re eligible to do so if you’re able to prove that the accident was caused by the fault of another driver, or if you meet the following criteria: $4,000 in treatment expenses, an inability to work for 60 days, permanent injury or disfigurement/scarring, or death. You could also be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, future medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, and future pain and suffering. 

Our talented lawyers at Sand Law would be happy to take a look at your personal injury case, so we can help you get the compensation you deserve past the no-fault policy limits. Contact us online or at 651-291-7263.