Several bills being considered at the state Legislature would change Minnesota's auto insurance laws. Here's a look at a few of them.
SF595: Repeal of no-fault auto insurance. Since 1975, Minnesota has had no-fault insurance, which means your own insurance company will pay your medical bills up to a certain amount if you're involved in a crash, regardless of who is at fault. Drivers are required to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) in this system. This bill, sponsored by Sen. Geoff Michel, R-Edina, would make Minnesota a so-called "tort" state for auto insurance. Under this system, drivers can choose whether to pay for personal injury protection to cover their own medical bills in an accident. In a crash, the insurance company of the person who is at fault would cover the medical bills of all those involved.
SF389/HF: Reduce Auto Medical Fraud Act. This bill, sponsored by Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Brainerd, would place limits on non-emergency care covered by auto insurance. It would also place more restrictions on coverage for soft tissue injuries, such as muscle strains, and restrict health care provider advertising aimed at people injured in car accidents.
SF589/HF894:No-fault auto insurance restrictions. This bill, sponsored by Sen. Linda Scheid, DFL-Brooklyn Park, would make it more difficult for people to sue for "noneconomic detriment" damages, including pain and suffering, if involved in a car crash. Current law allows people to recover such damages if their medical bills exceed $4,000. Under the bill, a person can still seek such damages for things like death, serious permanent impairment and long-term disability.
SF243/HF730:Fairness for Responsible Drivers Act. This bill, also sponsored by Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Brainerd, would increase the fine from $200 to $600 for those caught with driving without insurance. If involved in an accident, an uninsured driver would not be able to sue for damages based on pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment or disfigurement.