Car insurance is a requirement in almost every state, and North Dakota is no exception. Although it is one of the least populated states, the North Dakota car insurance laws are designed to protect all drivers who live or travel throughout the Peace Garden State. Understanding some of the most important car insurance laws in North Dakota is helpful as you go to make decisions regarding your auto insurance policy or if you are thinking of switching carriers.
North Dakota experienced 90 fatal crashes, which resulted in 100 deaths, in 2019. Although this number is one of the lowest in the country, it does not lessen the importance of comprehensive car insurance laws to protect all the drivers on the North Dakota roads.
Car insurance laws in North Dakota
There are several car insurance laws in North Dakota worth paying close attention to. Almost every state requires drivers to carry minimum liability insurance. In North Dakota, drivers are required to carry minimum insurance for liability and other categories. This includes:
- Liability insurance, including both bodily injury and property damage liability
- Uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage
- Basic no-fault insurance
Liability insurance in North Dakota
Liability insurance is the coverage purchased to pay for damage to someone else’s car or injuries if you are the at-fault driver in an accident. North Dakota requires drivers to carry a minimum of:
- $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury liability
- $25,000 is required for property damage liability.
However, only purchasing the minimum amount of liability coverage may not provide enough financial protection if you are involved in a serious accident. For example, if the accident involves multiple cars and results in multiple injuries, the $50,000 could easily fall short of the amount needed to cover medical expenses.
Is North Dakota a no-fault state?
North Dakota is one of the 12 states which follow the no-fault laws. This means the drivers involved in an accident, whether at-fault or not, must file a claim with their own insurance company. It also means drivers are required to carry uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage, which protects a driver in the case of a hit-and-run accident.
No-fault insurance, commonly referred to as personal injury protection (PIP) coverage in other states, is also legally required in North Dakota. The minimum a driver must carry for no-fault insurance is $30,000 per person. This provides coverage for economic losses, such as medical payments or lost wages, you may experience from an accident, no matter who is the at-fault driver.
Penalties for driving without insurance in North Dakota
Driving without insurance in North Dakota will result in consequences. Drivers caught driving without liability insurance face fines of at least $150 per incident, but could be as high as $1,000, and are charged with a Class B misdemeanor. A second offense of driving without liability insurance is a fine of at least $300, up to $1,000.
In addition to steep fines, a driver caught without insurance is required to show proof of future financial responsibility for a period of one year, through an SR-22 filing. This proof requires either purchasing liability insurance, a cash deposit in the amount of damages if an accident was involved or a cash bond in the amount of $25,000. This must be filed through a licensed insurance agency.
Additional auto insurance coverage options in North Dakota
While North Dakota insurance laws mandate more insurance coverage versus other states, the minimums may still not be enough for adequate financial protection. Other options for coverage are available for purchase, and may help fill in the gaps from inadequate coverage.
- Collision coverage: This optional coverage is offered by almost all insurance providers and pays for damage to your own vehicle if you are involved in an accident.
- Comprehensive coverage: This optional coverage is also offered by almost every auto insurance company and provides coverage if your vehicle is damaged in a non-accident due to something out of your control. Examples of this include hail damage, theft, vandalism or a falling object.
- Gap insurance: This is designed for those who lease or finance a vehicle and are involved in an accident. If the vehicle is totaled, this optional coverage pays the “gap” between what you owe on the loan and the amount the insurance company determines the vehicle is worth.
- Roadside assistance: This provides assistance in case your vehicle is inoperable, for instance if you need towing, extraction, a tire change or fuel fill up.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best car insurance company in North Dakota?
To find the best car insurance company in North Dakota, consider the factors most important to your driving lifestyle and budget. Bankrate reviewed several options for drivers in North Dakota based on coverage and discount availability, rates, customer service ratings to determine the top choices. Allstate, Auto-Owners, Geico and Progressive were all named as strong contenders on our list.
What is the cheapest car insurance in North Dakota?
Bankrate reviewed numerous auto insurance carriers to find the cheapest car insurance in North Dakota. Nodak, USAA, Farmers, Geico and American Family are the carriers offering the cheapest rates for the state.
What is the best way to save money on car insurance in North Dakota?
You have multiple ways to save available to you for saving on premiums. Shopping around and comparing a number of carriers is the best way to see which one is offering the lowest rates. Taking on higher deductibles and taking advantage of as many discounts as possible are other great ways to save money.
What is the average cost of car insurance in North Dakota?
Insurance costs vary greatly throughout the state and are dependent on the zip code, driving history, credit score and a multitude of other factors to find the exact rate. Bankrate analyzed rates from the Quadrant Information Services and found that the average cost of car insurance in North Dakota was $285 per year for minimum coverage, while full coverage averaged $1,264 per year.