North Dakota has mandatory minimum auto insurance requirements for all drivers. Carrying proper coverage is essential to comply with the law and protect yourself financially after an accident.
Below we explain North Dakota’s major auto insurance requirements, penalties for non-compliance, and recommendations for additional coverage:
Overview of North Dakota Minimum Car Insurance Requirements
North Dakota is considered an “at-fault” state, meaning policyholders can only make a claim against their own insurance policy after an accident. The at-fault driver’s liability coverage pays for injuries/damages.
The state requires drivers to carry:
- Bodily Injury Liability: $25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident
- Property Damage Liability: $25,000 per accident
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist: $25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident
- Personal Injury Protection: $30,000 maximum per person
These represent the absolute minimum amounts drivers must carry by law in North Dakota. Many experts recommend higher limits for better protection.
Below we explain more about each mandatory coverage type and its benefits:
Bodily Injury Liability
Bodily injury liability coverage pays for injuries sustained by others that you cause in an at-fault accident.
North Dakota requires:
- $25,000 per injured person
- Up to $50,000 per accident total
This covers medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages to someone you injure. Higher limits are recommended to avoid paying out-of-pocket.
Property Damage Liability
Property damage liability pays for damage you cause to someone else’s property in an at-fault accident. North Dakota requires $25,000 per accident.
This covers damage to another driver’s car, or objects like buildings, fences, utility poles, etc. you may hit. Again, higher limits give you more protection.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage protects you if you’re in an accident caused by a driver with little or no liability insurance. North Dakota requires:
- $25,000 per person
- $50,000 per accident
This covers injuries to you and passengers if the at-fault driver lacks sufficient coverage. Many experts recommend getting the same UM/UIM limits as your liability coverage.
Personal Injury Protection
Personal injury protection (PIP) covers medical expenses for you and passengers injured in an accident, regardless of fault.
North Dakota requires at least $30,000 in PIP per person. This is sometimes called “no-fault” coverage, since your own PIP pays no matter who caused the crash.
Penalties for Not Having North Dakota Minimum Auto Insurance
Driving without proper insurance in North Dakota can lead to severe penalties, including:
Fines up to $1,500 – Law enforcement can issue citations with fines up to $1,500 for a first offense and up to $3,000 for subsequent violations.
Driver’s license suspension – The North Dakota DOT will suspend your license if you’re caught driving uninsured.
Registration suspension – You cannot renew your vehicle registration without proof of insurance. Registrations will be suspended for uninsured vehicles.
Impoundment – Police can impound your car for up to 30 days if you’re driving without valid insurance. You’ll need to pay fees to get the vehicle back.
SR-22 requirement – You’ll have to file an SR-22 form proving you have insurance for 3 years before your license is reinstated.
Don’t put yourself at risk for these consequences. Maintain continuous auto insurance that meets or exceeds North Dakota’s minimums.
Recommended Additional Car Insurance Coverage in North Dakota
While liability, UM/UIM, and PIP are legally required, other types of auto insurance coverage are optional in North Dakota. Consider adding:
Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your own car from causes other than collisions. This includes:
- Weather events
- Falling objects
- Animal collisions
Comprehensive provides protection beyond just accident damage. About 80% of North Dakota drivers carry comprehensive according to NAIC data.
Collision coverage pays for damage to your car when you’re at fault in an accident. It covers repairs after hitting an object like another car, telephone pole, guard rail, etc.
Around 79% of North Dakota drivers have collision coverage. It’s required if you have an auto loan/lease.
Medical Payments (MedPay)
MedPay coverage provides additional medical expense coverage for you and passengers injured in your vehicle. This can help pay copays and other uncovered costs.
Gap insurance pays the difference between what your car is worth and what you still owe on an auto loan if your car is totaled. This prevents owing thousands extra to the lender.
Rental Car Reimbursement
This covers rental car costs while your vehicle is in the shop after an accident.
Plans like AAA cover towing, tire changes, jump starts, lock-out service, and other roadside needs. This can be lifesaving in rural North Dakota.
While not legally required, these types of add-on coverage provide valuable protection. Evaluate your risks and financial situation to determine what extra coverage may be beneficial.
How to Shop for North Dakota Car Insurance
Follow these steps when getting quotes to find the best rates on North Dakota-compliant auto insurance:
Check your coverage – Make sure any quote includes at least the minimum liability, UM/UIM, and PIP required in North Dakota. Declining coverages to save money is illegal.
Consider optional add-ons – Estimate the costs of comprehensive, collision, rental reimbursement, roadside assistance, etc. Weigh the benefits versus any increase in premiums.
Compare quotes – Get at least 5-10 quotes from different insurers. Rates can vary significantly for the same coverage.
Maximize discounts – Take advantage of any discounts you qualify for like safe driver, low mileage, good student, etc. to lower your costs.
Raise deductibles – Using higher deductibles like $500 or $1,000 can reduce premiums, but increases your out-of-pocket costs per claim.
Limit teen driving – Teen drivers raise rates significantly. Consider limiting their use of family cars.
Ask about usage-based options – Programs that base rates partially on driving habits can help lower costs for safe, low-mileage drivers.
Finding the right balance between coverage and cost takes some work. But having adequate North Dakota car insurance is too important not to shop carefully.
Penalties for Lapse in North Dakota Insurance
Letting your auto insurance lapse or canceling your policy mid-term is illegal if you continue driving in North Dakota. Consequences include:
- Suspended license/registration
- Hundreds in reinstatement fees to restore driving privileges
- Mandatory SR-22 requirement for 3 years
- Much higher insurance rates in the future
A gap in insurance essentially resets the clock. You’ll lose any discount for being a continuous customer with your insurer.
Make sure to pay premiums on time and maintain coverage throughout the policy term to avoid a lapse. Switch insurers carefully at renewal time with no break in coverage.
What to Do After an Accident in North Dakota
If you’re in an accident, follow these steps to make sure you comply with North Dakota laws:
Stop immediately – Pull over and turn on hazard lights if it’s safe to stop. Call 911 if anyone needs medical attention.
Remain at the scene – Leaving can lead to criminal charges for hit-and-run. Wait for police to arrive and complete an accident report.
Exchange information – Get the other driver’s name, license plate, insurance details, contact information, and any passenger/witness details.
Document the scene – Take photos of damage, skid marks, location, etc. This aids insurance claims and liability disputes later.
File a claim – Alert your insurer and file a claim as soon as possible. Provide complete details of damages and injuries.
Let the insurer investigate – Cooperate with your insurer’s investigation. Share all details to resolve claims quickly and accurately.
Following North Dakota’s laws and your insurer’s process after an accident makes claims handling smooth. Having proper coverage in place is also essential.
North Dakota Auto Insurance Requirements Summary
Driving in North Dakota legally requires:
- Bodily injury liability coverage – $25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident
- Property damage liability coverage – $25,000 per accident
- Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage – $25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident
- Personal injury protection – $30,000 maximum per person
Breaking these mandatory minimums leads to stiff penalties. Carrying higher than minimum limits provides
North Dakota Business Insurance Requirements & Cost
Can you register a car without insurance in North Dakota?
Can I insure a car not in my name in North Dakota?
What is the penalty for driving without insurance in North Dakota?
Type of penalty
Next offenses within 1 year
$150 to $1,000
$300 to $1,500
Suspended until proof of insurance is shown
Suspended until proof of insurance is shown
Removal of plates
Is PIP required in North Dakota?