Eric Stauffer is a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. His priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

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UPDATED: Jul 21, 2020

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South Dakota State FlagThe law in North Dakota requires that all drivers have insurance to protect themselves and others from the costs of a car accident, such as injuries and damage to property. Since North Dakota is a no-fault state, there is an insurance requirement for no-fault coverage as well as for liability.

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Mandatory Coverage

North Dakota requires drivers to have a variety of coverage that helps to pay to injuries, death benefits, property damage, and more in the event of an accident. Each coverage provides for a particular type of loss. The state law requires every driver to carry liability insurance as well as coverage for uninsured motorists and personal injury protection (no-fault).

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Mandatory limits in North Dakota are:

  • Bodily Injury Liability in the amount of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident for all persons injured, to pay for injury and death in the event of an at-fault accident.
  • Property Damage Liability in the amount of $25,000 to pay for damage done in an at-fault accident to the vehicle or any other personal property belonging to another person.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage in the amount of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident to pay for injuries or death caused by another driver who is uninsured or whose insurance is not sufficient to cover the damage. This coverage must match the chosen liability limits on the policy, so a driver who chooses higher liability limits than the legal minimum must also choose matching uninsured/underinsured motorist limits.
  • Basic No-Fault/Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage in the amount of $30,000 to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and other costs related to an accident regardless of who is at fault.

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Optional Coverage

The first coverage option most drivers consider is an increase in liability limits above the legal minimum. In a serious accident, the legal minimum may not be sufficient to cover all of the related costs, and higher limits can protect drivers from personal financial responsibility. Drivers can also choose increased no-fault coverage.

In addition to higher limits, drivers can add the following options to their policy:

  • Collision Coverage, which will pay for damage to your vehicle in the event of an at-fault accident. This coverage usually includes a deductible.
  • Comprehensive Coverage, which covers losses that are not related to an accident. These things can include theft, vandalism, fire, and weather damage. This coverage also pays for glass-only claims in most cases and also carries a deductible.
  • Rental Reimbursement, which will pay for a rental car during the repair process of a covered claim
  • Towing and Labor, which pays for roadside assistance needs.

Insurance companies in North Dakota offer a range of other coverage options that can be tailored to each driver’s particular needs. Each insurance company differs somewhat in what they offer, so drivers should compare what is available when selecting an insurance company.

No-Fault Insurance in North Dakota

North Dakota uses a no-fault system to apply benefits from insurance after a car accident. Each policy must have a minimum amount of no-fault coverage, also known as PIP, and this coverage applies no matter who is at fault in the accident.

Even in a no-fault state, fault in a car accident will be determined and liability coverage applied as needed. North Dakota does use a modified comparative fault system, in which the two drivers can be found to be at varying percentages of fault for the accident. This comparative fault can affect the way the insurance companies will pay out for damages. A driver who is found more than 50% at fault can’t collect damages from the other driver, however, a driver found to share any amount of the fault will collect less based on the percentage.

In North Dakota, drivers can sue for damages after an accident, but only when it has met a “serious accident” threshold requirement.

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Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

North Dakota drivers are required to present proof of insurance to law enforcement at a traffic stop or at the scene of an accident. Failure to do so is punishable by a fine of at least $150.

North Dakota allows drivers to present their proof of insurance in either paper or electronic format on a mobile device. Drivers who fail to do so will face suspension or revocation of their vehicle’s registration until they are able to provide proof of insurance.

A second offense within an 18-month time period will result in an increased fine with a minimum of $300.

Shopping For Insurance in North Dakota

A 2017 survey of average car insurance rates across the nation done by Insure.com ranked North Dakota at number 26. That places car insurance rates in the state at just below the national average, by about $27 per year.

The North Dakota Department of Insurance provides a cost comparison survey that can help drivers to select the right coverage and find the best price. To help reduce rates, the North Dakota Highway Patrol provides a list of driving courses that qualify for insurance premium reductions.

Assigned Plans in North Dakota

North Dakota offers two assigned coverage plans to help everyone obtain the coverage they need.

The Assigned Claims Plan provides basic no-fault benefits to those who have been injured in a car accident. To qualify for this plan, the injured party must be ineligible for no-fault benefits elsewhere or have not received these benefits because of the insurance company’s financial status.

The North Dakota Automobile Insurance Plan is designed to help high-risk drivers obtain coverage when they have been denied on the open market. These drivers include ones with multiple tickets and accidents or serious violations, which can’t get insurance on their own. The plan assigns each high-risk driver to an insurance company, spreading out the risk among them.

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Teen Drivers in North Dakota

North Dakota follows a graduated licensing program that helps teen drivers to learn the skills they need over time to become safe drivers. Each stage has restrictions that help to keep teens safe on the road.

Learner’s Permit

The first stage is the learner’s permit, which can be obtained at age 14. This permit allows the teen to begin practicing driving skills under supervision by someone who is at least 18 years old who has had their license for a minimum of three years.

To obtain this license, the teen must pass a written knowledge test and have parental permission. This permit will allow the driver to complete the driving practice required to apply for a restricted license.

Restricted License

At 15, a teen driver can apply for a restricted license, as long as they have held a permit for at least 1 year. The driver must complete the following requirements prior to applying:

  • Complete an approved 6-month driver education course
  • Complete 50 hours of driving practice under supervision and varied driving conditions
  • Pass a road test

With this license, the teen can drive unsupervised, but must still follow a few restrictions, with the exception of between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., unless for an approved work, religious, or school purpose.

Full License

At 16 years old, teen drivers graduate to a full, unrestricted license.

All teen drivers are required to meet the same financial responsibility requirements as adults, and a parent or guardian will need to sign a liability document for drivers under 18 to become licensed. Teen drivers can remain on a parent or guardian’s insurance plan even when away at school until they establish a permanent separate residence.

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