What Are Minnesota’s Auto Insurance Minimums?

Many Rochester, MN drivers who buy the legal minimum of insurance don’t put much thought into it. You simply go to Safechoice Insurance Agency, ask them for liability, and assume that they can work it out from there. But what does that liability protection actually cover? Let’s break it down simply:

  • $30,000 in bodily injury per person per accident
  • $60,000 in bodily injury total per accident
  • $40,000 in PIP, Personal Injury Protection
  • $25,000 in uninsured motorist coverage per person per accident
  • $50,000 in uninsured motorist coverage total per accident
  • $25,000 in underinsured motorist coverage per person per accident
  • $50,000 in underinsured motorist coverage total per accident

Roughly half of all US states require uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. It’s sort of ironic that the law states that those of us who buy insurance have to cover for those of us who do not, but so it goes.

The legal minimum is a good starting point, but it’s not really the best idea to settle for that. You would rather not settle for minimum wage, minimum portions, minimum effort, so why settle for the minimum mandatory insurance? The least amount of insurance legally possible will help you to keep from being bankrupted in the event of an accident that was your fault, but you will at least need comprehensive and collision if you want to protect your car, and you may want to consider gap insurance and replacement cost coverage if you’re still paying a new vehicle off.

If you’re still shopping around for auto insurance in Rochester, MN, get in touch with Safechoice Insurance Agency. Call us up or visit the Safechoice Insurance Agency website and we’ll connect you with the coverage you need.

How Much Auto Insurance is Needed with an Outstanding Car Loan?

Insurance concepts are challenging for many consumers driving the highways and suburban roads in the Rochester, MN area. Things become even more confusing when consumers try to understand the insurance requirements for those cars bought on time.

Yet, having a full understanding of this insurance coverage issue is critical if you are to secure the right insurance protection for yourself while having an outstanding car loan.

According to the insurance experts at Safechoice Insurance Agency, it is essential to understand the definition of the loan amount before deciding on the amount of coverage you need. Remember, the loan balance can exceed the total monies borrowed, because closing costs and loan fees are often financed.

The outstanding balance of a loan is typically the bare-bone, basic minimum insurance required by the lienholder, although each lender can set their criteria. It is common, and prudent, for car owners to insure their cars for more than the loan amount – because this allows them to protect their investment in the vehicle – the down payment. 

Consider this quick example-

  • You bought a car and have a loan of $25,000.
  • Your car insurance covers your vehicle for cash value only. 

In the event of an insurance payout in the above scenario, the claim will pay the cash value, which in this example is $22,000. Who would be responsible for the shortfall of $3,000? ($25,000-$22,000=$3,000)

The short answer is – you, the insured, would responsible for the shortfall if you did have gap insurance.  Gap insurance is a type of policy that covers any shortages if the insured amount falls short of the outstanding loan balance.

The insurance professionals at Safechoice Insurance Agency serve the communities in and around Rochester, MN for all their car insurance needs, including gap coverage. Reach out to the insurance experts today!

Is basic auto insurance right for me?

In Minnesota, the No-Fault Automobile Insurance Act requires everyone who is on the roads in the state to have basic auto insurance. This includes personal injury protection, liability insurance and uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage. This protects you and anyone else in your vehicle as well as protecting the people and vehicles that you are involved in an accident with. But in an accident where you are at fault, it does not cover your vehicle. At Safechoice Insurance Agency in Rochester, MN our agents can help you understand if this is the coverage you need or if you need additional coverage. 

While the law requires you have these basic coverage, you have the option of adding additional coverage that can offer more protection. If you have assets you may want to have more liability insurance than just the basic amount. If you have a vehicle that has a reasonable amount of cash value you may also want to provide insurance that can help repair or replace it in the event that it is damaged. 

Collision is additional coverage that provides the money that you need to have your vehicle repaired or replaced in the event of an accident. It usually has a deductible that you determine. If you would not be able to pay for the repair or replacement of your vehicle on your own or it would be a hardship, this can be very important coverage. 

Comprehensive insurance covers damage that results from something other than an accident with another vehicle. It can be weather-related damage such as hail or high winds or it can be vandalism. If your car is stolen, comprehensive insurance is what covers its loss. 

Basic auto insurance may be right for you but if you aren’t sure Safechoice Insurance Agency in Rochester, MN has the knowledgeable staff to help you to make the right decision. Give us a call or stop by our office for a no-obligation quote. 

 

 

Learner’s Permits and Auto Insurance

Kids in Rochester MN grow up fast, and before you know it, your kids will be talking about learning to drive. If you have a child who is getting close to receiving his or her learner’s permit, you may have wondered about their auto insurance coverage. Here is more information about learner’s permit insurance from Safechoice Insurance Agency.

Before They Get the Permit

Many teens cannot wait to get behind the wheel and will be urging their parents to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get their learner’s permit as soon as possible. However, wise parents know that there are some business matters to attend to before their teens can start driving. Parents need to know exactly what the insurance issues are before their kid ever gets behind the wheel of the car. Will your policy costs go up when your kid has a learner’s permit? Can you afford the difference in cost? Your insurance provider is the only one who can answer these questions, so take a few moments to make a quick phone call before you promise your child that you will go get their permit. 

After They Get the Permit

In many cases, the parent’s insurance policy will cover the teen with a learner’s permit, but it’s not safe to assume this. Always ask the question. In some circumstances, if the car belongs to the teen, with the teen’s name on the title, a separate policy may need to be purchased for the teen’s car. In fact, before you buy a car for your teen, it’s best to ask your insurance agent about how best to work through all of the possibilities. 

Find Out for Yourself

Your teen may tell you that his friend didn’t have to have extra insurance, and your sister may assure you that her teens with learner’s permits are covered on her policy. However, you should know that policies and state laws vary widely. Always find out for yourself by calling your agent with your questions. 

To know how your insurance company handles learner’s permits in Rochester, MN, contact Safechoice Insurance Agency today!

Is it Time for Your Teenager to Get Their Own Auto Policy?

One of the most exciting times in a teenager’s life is when they get their driver’s license. This transition to adulthood is also full of a high amount of responsibility. If your teenager is on your family policy, it may be inflating your policy. Teenage drivers are not known for their care and responsibility and their insurance rates reflect that reality. When their driving history contains any mishaps, even those that are minor in nature, the situation can become more serious. Parents in the greater Rochester, MN area have long relied on Safechoice Insurance Agency to help them determine the most efficient way to safeguard their teen drivers.

Multi-Driver or Individual Policies? Which is Right for Your Family

Young drivers are able to remain on their parent’s insurance policy throughout their teenage years, but there may be some instances when it makes more sense for them to get their own policy. If your child uses the family car on an irregular basis and is not driving themselves around on a regular basis, it will likely make sense for them to remain on the family policy. Insurance rates can go up if the teen is using the car for regular driving to and from school or work. 

If there is a history of accidents or even small claims, there can be a sizable impact on the family policy that may make it necessary for the teen to seek their own. A local agent can help you determine which option is right for your family.

Ready to review your family’s multi-driver policy? Contact the team at Safechoice Insurance Agency today to learn more. Our team is dedicated to serving the needs of our friends and neighbors in the greater Rochester, MN community. 

What are the benefits of getting auto insurance?

Buying a car is a very exciting experience and also a big investment. When you are looking for a new car, there are many important factors that will need to be taken into consideration. One factor that you will need to think about is whether or not to get auto insurance. There are several reasons why you need to have auto insurance at all times when you own and drive a car.

Protects Your Asset

Buying a car is always a big purchase and investment. Because of this, you need to make sure that your asset is properly covered and protected. One of the best ways to do this is through a full collision and comprehensive insurance policy. This will provide you with insurance protection for a wide variety of loss-creating situations including theft, vandalism, or any other type of damage to your car. 

Ensures Full Compliance

Another reason why you should get auto insurance for your car is that it will help to ensure that you remain in full compliance with all of your obligations. When you own a car, you will need to have at least minimum levels of liability insurance at all times. Further, if you took out an auto loan to finance the vehicle purchase, you will also need to have collision and comprehensive coverage. Having a full auto insurance policy will help to ensure you are in compliance with these obligations. 

If you are looking for a new auto insurance policy, the first company to call should be Safechoice Insurance Agency. This Rochester, MN area company can help you to figure out what your auto insurance needs are for your situation. Safechoice Insurance Agency can then help you to get into a policy that meets your needs. 

Why The Right Auto Insurance Carrier matters

Some Rochester, MN motorists may not be aware of certain facts when it comes to their auto insurance policy. Many are of the belief that it does not matter which carrier they choose. At Safechoice Insurance Agency, we know that the opposite is true. Let’s take a closer look at the reasons why the right auto insurance carrier is so important.

Customer Service Is Key

Insurance policies are not going to change dramatically over the course of time and that is why customer service is such an important aspect of choosing the right auto insurance carrier. A customer in the Rochester, MN needs to be able to reach their carrier at any time of day. An auto insurance crisis can arise at any moment and choosing the right auto insurance carrier is all about choosing the company that is willing to remain by your side.

Experience

Choosing an auto insurance carrier that is just getting started out may seem noble in the moment but this is a choice that can have grave consequences over the long haul. Is the company going to demonstrate a long term commitment to remaining on the cutting edge? Will they stay up to date when it comes to Minnesota rules and regulations? These are areas that Safechoice Insurance Agency is proud to assist potential clients with.

Transparency 

The right auto insurance carrier is going to have the proper amount of transparency. The law requires auto insurance carriers to operate under a certain level of transparency but that does not mean that every company plays by the rules. Choosing the right carrier is pivotal, as you will need clear and concise answers to all of your questions throughout each and every step of the process. 

Safechoice Insurance Agency is here to assist Rochester, MN residents looking to find the right auto insurance carrier. Be sure to give us a call today to learn more about the policies that we have to offer. 

Can I add a teen driver to my auto insurance?

It is possible to add your teen to your auto insurance. However, many parents in Rochester, MN are not sure how their auto insurance rates can be affected and the right time to add their teenagers to their policies. Here are some of the commonly asked questions regarding the issue of adding your teen to your auto insurance.

When do I add my teen to my auto insurance?

Most insurance companies in Rochester, MN may want to know the names of all licensed drivers in your home. A teenager who is a licensed driver can either carry his or her own insurance or can be added to your auto insurance policy. When your teen graduates to a full-fledged driver’s license, he or she qualifies to carry a car insurance policy.

Will my insurance rates go up after adding my teenager?

Your insurance rates are likely to go up when you add your teenager to your auto insurance. This is mainly because teens are more likely to cause car accidents than experienced drivers. The type of coverage levels you choose for your teenager and vehicle will also have an impact on your auto insurance premiums. However, your son or daughter may qualify for certain discounts for taking a driver’s education course. Safechoice Insurance Agency considers all these factors in ensuring that you get the best discount in the market.

Is it cheaper to get my teen his auto insurance policy?

It is advisable to look for stand-alone plans just for your teen, apart from the available options of adding your teen to your current auto insurance policy. However, your teen may not qualify for other discounts that you qualify for, such as multi-plan, driving experience, or multi-car insurance coverages.

How can my teen get better rates?

Typically, teenagers have higher rates because of their inexperience and their age. However, your teen can save on insurance by completing an approved driver’s education course or by having a higher grade average. In general, insurance rates will start dropping at the age of 25 until the age of 70 years.

Some types of vehicles such as sports cars, trucks, and SUVs may attract higher insurance rates for teens. If you have been thinking of adding your teen to your auto insurance, contact Safechoice Insurance Agency for the best rates. Our auto insurance agents will help you find the cheapest way to add your teen to your auto insurance policy.

Why You Need More than Just Car Insurance on Your RV in Rochester, Maine

When you own an RV, it’s more than just a vehicle. It’s the culmination of years of planning and saving and probably one of your largest assets. Don’t let that dream be crushed due to lack of insurance when you need it the most. Talk to your Safechoice Insurance Agency representative in Rochester, MN to answer questions on specific coverage. In the meantime, keep reading to learn more about RV insurance.

What’s Included in RV Insurance?

Recreational vehicles, or RVs, are required to have the same types of insurance as cars and trucks. However, the liability and personal injury coverage required by law covers other vehicles, but not your own. With an RV, if you borrowed money, your lender will most likely require full coverage for the replacement cost of the vehicle. You may wish to get additional insurance for your personal property and to cover other events.

Your RV insurance premiums are determined by the class of your vehicle, how often you use it, and whether it’s your full-time residence or vacation home. Your Safechoice Insurance Agency team in Rochester, MN can set up an appointment to determine what coverage you need and to provide a quote.

What Does RV Insurance Cover?

RV insurance covers many of the same events as car insurance. It includes comprehensive and liability coverage, as well as collision. Options you may want to consider include:

  • Total loss replacement (most likely required if you have a loan)
  • Full-time coverage (works like homeowner’s insurance if you live in your RV)
  • Campsite and vacation insurance
  • Coverage for emergency expenses
  • Towing and roadside assistance
  • Uninsured motorists’ coverage

 

How to Extend the Life Of Your Vehicle

The longer your vehicle lasts, the better the initial investment you made with purchasing the vehicle. Most vehicles can last a lifetime with proper care. While you may want to consider looking for something else should the engine or transmission completely fall out on you, there are other ways to extend the life of your vehicle. At Safechoice Insurance Agency, we want to keep your Rochester, MN vehicle driving for as long as possible. 

Follow Recommended Maintenance Schedule

Every vehicle comes with a recommended maintenance schedule. It is important for you to follow this. Usually, the schedule kicks in around the 30,000-mile mark or so. Certain areas of the vehicle will break down sooner than others and need to be replaced. By staying on top of this, you’ll be able to prevent more extensive damage. 

Take Care Of Your Engine

While the engine isn’t the only part of the vehicle, it is the most important. Should you run into engine trouble the vehicle becomes extremely dangerous to drive. So, perform regular oil changes, check the fluids on a regular basis, and take the vehicle in for servicing should the check engine light come on. 

Wash Your Car

This is especially true in Minnesota. Road salt in the winter will cause the undercarriage of the vehicle to rust through. Washing the vehicle and springing for the undercarriage wash option will remove the salt from your vehicle. Once a vehicle starts to rust there isn’t any way to correct the problem. So make sure to wash your vehicle at least every other week during the winter. 

With proper care, your Rochester, MN vehicle can run exceptionally well and last a long time. At Safechoice Insurance Agency, it is all about ensuring you receive quality advice and insurance coverage for your personal vehicle.