North Dakota, the largest producer of many of the country’s cereal grains, was fortunate in 2010 to have the lowest unemployment rate in the nation at 3.7 percent. While agriculture is the largest industry in the Roughrider State, petroleum and food processing also play an important role in the state’s economy.
In 2011, North Dakotans pay the 11th most expensive auto insurance rates in the country, according to Insure.com.
North Dakota’s mandatory auto insurance laws
All state residents who register a vehicle or who drive in North Dakota are required to carry the following auto insurance coverages in order to meet North Dakota state statutes:
- $25,000 – bodily injury, one person
- $50,000 – bodily injuries, two or more people, per accident
- $25,000 – property damage
If you are found to legally liable in an auto accident, your liability bodily injury auto insurance will protect you against any claim by a person who has sustained injuries in that accident.
In the event of a car crash that you have caused, liability property damage protects you against any claims for damages brought against you by a person in that accident.
You are protected up to the limits of your coverage in both categories of your liability coverage.
Uninsured motorist (UM)
- $25,000 – one person
- $50,000 – for multiple victims, per accident
Underinsured motorist (UIM)
- $25,000 – one person
- $50,000 – multiple victims, per accident
Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage protects you by covering bodily injury expenses up to the limit of your insurance coverage if you are in a car accident caused by a driver without auto insurance coverage or by a driver who has caused an accident and flees the scene.
Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage protects you up to the limit of your insurance coverage by paying the costs of bodily injuries sustained in a car accident caused by a driver whose liability coverage is less than your underinsured coverage.
Basic no-fault – Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
- $30,000 – per person
North Dakota is considered a no-fault state. No-fault coverage is also referred to a Personal Injury Protection. With PIP coverage, motorists are protected in North Dakota for medical costs, loss of wages and “out-of-pocket” expenses as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident, regardless of who is found to be liable for the accident, up to limit of coverage.
Driving without auto insurance in North Dakota
Motorists found driving in North Dakota without the minimum liability coverage will be fined a minimum of $150. Driving uninsured is considered to be a class B misdemeanor. The state will suspend the driver’s license of any North Dakotan involved in a car crash who is discovered to be without the proper auto insurance.
Rental car coverage
When renting a car, North Dakotans with an auto insurance policy carrying the minimum property damage liability insurance are covered against rental car damages by their personal policy provided that they have rented the vehicle for fewer than thirty days.
If you rent vehicles periodically, review your exact coverages with your North Dakota auto insurance agent or company. While your auto insurance policy protects you against damages to your rental car, accidents can easily cost far more than North Dakota’s required minimum.
Optional auto insurance coverages
Collision – If you lease your vehicle or have financed your vehicle through a commercial lender, the leaser or lender will more than likely require that you carry this insurance.
If you are involved in a car crash caused by an uninsured driver, it’s important to note that neither no-fault or PIP coverage will cover physical damages to your automobile. Discuss carrying optional collision auto insurance coverage with your agent or insurance company, as collision coverage will protect you in the case of an uninsured driver hitting you and causing damage to your car. The lender or leaser will be named as a payee so that they are able to protect its financial interest in the vehicle.
Comprehensive – This coverage pays for damages to your vehicle caused by collision with something other than a collision with another vehicle. This could include theft, vandalism, fire, falling objects, animals, hail, etc.
Medical payments – Medical payments coverage protects you in an accident regardless of who is at fault for medical expenses resulting from injuries. Speak with your North Dakota auto insurance agent about the time period of this coverage, as time frames can vary from company to company.
Other optional coverages
Discuss your needs with your agent or company. Additional coverages available for purchase in order to fully protect you and members of your household include: towing coverage, death and dismemberment and GAP coverage.
GAP coverage protect motorists by providing payment to your lender or leaser for the monetary difference between what is owed on your loan or lease and the actual payment you would receive if your automobile was deemed a total loss or is stolen.
Average Annual Cost of Insurance
The 2011 average annual premium for North Dakota auto insurance is $1,794, according to Insure.com. The national average is $1,561.
North Dakota Insurance Department
Tel 800-247-0560, toll-free consumer line