Car Insurance Done the SMARTWAY™

North Dakota may be the fourth least populous and fourth least densely populated state, but the car insurance premiums residents pay can climb relatively high for a state with these characteristics. The snow, freezing rain, and icy conditions late fall through early spring are definitely contributing factors. But rates vary fairly significantly across the state, and people in some areas get notably low premiums.

Regardless which North Dakota county you live in, there are plenty of ways to save on your auto insurance. We cover a variety of discounts and incentives over the course of this page, as well as some other factors that affect your insurance costs.

The most effective way to minimize your monthly payments, though, is to comparison shop among leading carriers for the lowest quote. SmartFinancial’s unbiased, carrier-neutral system makes it fast and easy to do just that, no strings attached and all for free! Just answer a few basic questions and get instant quotes to compare.

Let’s get started!

North Dakota Auto Insurance Rates

As mentioned above, car insurance rates run a fairly wide spectrum in North Dakota. So where do you turn for quality customer service, flexible plans and payment options, and low rates? According to a J.D. Power study released in 2016, the following three carriers topped the list for the region (see the full list).

  1. Shelter
  2. State Farm
  3. The Hartford

Remember, car insurance rates are tailored to your vehicle, location, lifestyle, credit history, driving history, and other personal factors. And each carrier has its own formula for arriving at an offer. That means there are good reasons to collect and compare quotes from a number of leading auto insurance providers before signing onto a policy.

We’ll provide you with quotes to consider in a matter of minutes. Just choose your location below or, if it isn’t on the list, click here instead.

 

Legalities 101

North Dakota has its own minimum coverage requirements (more on that below), and every resident with a registered vehicle must obtain a policy that meets them from a carrier licensed in the state. While nobody’s thrilled to take on monthly costs, auto insurance is an important consumer protection. Without it, the financial consequences of an accident can be devastating.

Accidents are just a fact of life for most people at some point. Regardless how defensive and responsible a driver you may be, circumstances are sometimes beyond your control. Inclement weather and hazardous road conditions, distracted and drunk drivers, speeders, and other dangers are out there. We don’t mean to sound pessimistic; it’s a reality of driving, and car insurance is an important aspect of that reality.

Consider the following traffic safety information for North Dakota.

North Dakota Driving Safety

North Dakota has one of the nation’s highest accident fatality rates relative to its population. More than 60% of people killed in motor vehicle accidents weren’t wearing a seat belt. This serves as a crucial reminder about the importance of buckling up.

On average, there’s a crash in the state once every 35 minutes, one involving a teen driver every 3.1 hours, one involving speeding once every 3.2 hours, and one involving a motorcyclist once every 1.7 days. Someone is injured in an accident in the state every 1.8 hours and someone dies every 2.8 days.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation’s 2015 North Dakota Crash Summary (PDF) has a lot of in-depth information about road safety and crash data.

North Dakota Driving Safety Stats

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15,077
Number of reported traffic accidents in 2015
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131
Number of traffic crash fatalities in 2015
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43
Percentage of fatal accidents involving DUI

Driving Green

As far as incentives for eco-friendly motoring go, North Dakota doesn’t offer a whole lot from the State. But that’s not to say that green-minded citizens of the Peace Garden State can’t save some cash by making more sustainable choices about their vehicle and driving lifestyle. You just have to know where to look.

  • Free Registration for Low-Speed Vehicles

    Small, low-speed vehicles are a more environmentally responsible way to get around for frequent, short trips. You can register them for free in North Dakota if they have a maximum speed of 20 to 25 miles per hour and weight under 3,000 pounds (fully loaded with passengers and cargo). Vehicle registration in the state only costs $20 every two years, but hey, every little bit counts, right?

  • Green Car Insurance Discounts

    Do you strive to keep your mileage down over the course of the year to reduce your carbon footprint? If so, you’re also greatly reducing your risk of having to file an insurance claim, so your carrier may have a discount for you. Also, many auto insurance companies discount the premium for coverage on hybrid, electric, alternative fuel, and economy vehicles.

  • Federal Tax Credits for Electric and Hybrid Vehicles

    North Dakota doesn’t offer tax rebates on green vehicles purchases like a number of other states, but the IRS does. If you buy an all-electric or electric hybrid vehicle, you should be eligible for Federal tax credits of up to $7,500. How much you qualify for depends on the battery capacity of your vehicle. Learn more about this at FuelEconomy.gov.

Car Insurance Laws

Being a Minimalist

Everyone with a registered vehicle in North Dakota is required by law to purchase an insurance policy providing at least $25,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person, $50,000 bodily injury liability coverage per accident, and $25,000 property damage liability coverage per accident.

In addition, North Dakota mandates uninsured motorist coverage of at least $25,000 bodily injury per person and $50,000 bodily injury per accident, as well as underinsured motorist coverage in the same amounts as uninsured coverage. These pay for injuries you suffer in the event of an accident caused by another driver who has no, or too little, coverage to pay for the harm they cause. It doesn’t cover vehicle or property damage.

North Dakota is a no-fault state, so residents must also carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. The minimum limit for the state is $30,000 per person. In no-fault states, you can only pursue financial restitution through your own carrier (as opposed to tort states that allow you to file a claim through an at-fault party’s carrier and file a personal injury lawsuit against them). PIP pays for economic losses incurred, such as medical bills and lost wages.

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$ 25,000
Bodily injury coverage per person

Maximum payment for serious or permanent injury or death to a single person

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$ 50,000
Bodily injury coverage per accident

Coverage for multiple people injured in a single accident

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$ 25,000
Property damage per accident

Maximum payment for all damaged property in an accident caused by you

Maximizing Your Return on Investment

Minimum coverage requirements are just that—minimums. Many drivers opt for higher coverage limits, recognizing that the minimums may very well not be enough should they have the misfortune of a serious accident. Just a little more investment into higher coverage offers more peace of mind and financial protection.

In the next section, we talk a little about optional coverages. They’re another avenue for getting the most out of your auto insurance. They provide payment for a variety of expenses that North Dakota’s minimum liability, uninsured and underinsured motorist, and personal injury protection coverage don’t pay for.

Optional coverage in North Dakota

  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Medical Payments
  • Gap Coverage
  • New Car Replacement
  • Accident Forgiveness
  • Towing and Labor
  • Custom Equipment
  • Loss of Use
  • Travel Expenses
  • Rental Car

Some exclusions will apply.

Often, you’re forced to pick up a few optional coverages like comprehensive and collision. Funny, given that they’re called “optional,” but it’s true. If you have vehicle financing, your lender likely requires certain insurance add-ons.

If you’re interested in optional coverage but concerned about taking on the additional costs, don’t be disheartened. Read our article 12 Things You can Do to Lower Your Auto Insurance Premium for some practical tips on how to offset the costs.

North Dakota car insurance companies

AAA
Allstate
American Family
Auto-Owners
Center Mutual
Chubb
EMC
Farmers Alliance
Farmers
Grinnell
Metlife
Progressive
Safeco
Secura
State Auto
State Farm

*This list is based on consumer ratings of the Central U.S. Region in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Auto Insurance Study. Ratings are based on five customer service areas: policy offerings, price, interaction, claims, billing. USAA is only open to U.S. military personnel and their families and is therefore not included in the rankings.

Car Safety for North Dakota Kids

North Dakota Car Seat Regulations

The Child Passenger Safety Law in North Dakota says that all children 7 and younger must be properly secured in a car or booster seat rated for their size. For infants and toddlers, it should be a rear-facing car seat, used until the child outgrows its height and weight limitations. A forward-facing car seat is appropriate until the child is too big for it (usually around 4 years of age and 40 pounds). After that, a booster seat is the next step.

Children may move to the vehicle’s built-in seat belts at 80 pounds and 57” tall. At this size, they should be able to sit properly in the seat and have the shoulder belt cross their shoulder and chest (not their face or neck) and have the lap belt go over their thighs close to the hip.

All minors must be secured in an appropriate car or booster seat, or with a seat belt, no matter where they’re sitting in the vehicle. Kids are always safer in the back seat in the event of an accident, and they can also be harmed by airbag deployment. You may be fined $25 and have 1 point assessed against your driver’s license if you’re driving with an improperly secured child passenger.

Find more details about regulations and best practices on the North Dakota Child Passenger Safety website.

Leaving Children Unattended in a Vehicle

North Dakota has no law about leaving kids alone in a vehicle. But it’s unsafe, leaving children vulnerable to injuries, targeting by a stranger, and harm—potentially including serious illness and death—due to extreme temperatures inside the car, SUV, van, or truck. Child neglect or abuse laws may be applied if something happens to a child in your care who was left unsupervised in your vehicle.

Car Insurance FAQ

Is my credit score a factor when obtaining car insurance in North Dakota?

It is, yes. If you have a high score, this is good news, as it helps you get a lower quote. But if your score isn’t that great, it works against you. Insurance providers associate a poorer credit history with a greater likelihood of filing a claim.

Does North Dakota offer a good-driver discount?

It’s standard practice for car insurance companies in North Dakota and all over the country to reward clean driving records with discounts. Ask yours what the requirements are, and while you’re at it, you can ask about other common discounts that might apply, such as:

  • Full Pay
  • Multiple Car
  • Multiple Policy
  • Good Student
  • Resident Student
  • Accident Free
  • Vehicle Safety
  • Anti-Lock Brake
  • Anti-Theft Device
  • Home Ownership
  • New Car
  • Passive Restraint
  • Utility Discount

Does North Dakota allow the use of digital insurance cards?

Residents are permitted to show proof of coverage using a digital insurance card issued by their carrier. It’s still a good idea to stash a printed card in your vehicle, just in case your phone’s dead or there’s another problem with your mobile device when you’re pulled over. But it’s nice to know you shouldn’t have to go digging around for it.

What happens if my coverage lapses?

It’s against the law to drive with lapsed auto insurance in North Dakota. Doing so puts you at risk of fines of at least $150. If you’re in any accident without coverage, you’ll also have 14 points assessed against your driver’s license. This triggers an immediate suspension.

What are North Dakota's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) percentage limits under the state's driving under the influence (DUI) laws?

It’s illegal to operate a motor vehicle in North Dakota at the following BAC percentages:

.08%+ at 21 years old or older
.04%+ for commercial vehicle drivers
.02%+ at under 21 years old

While these percentages represent the legal limits for determining intoxication, you don’t have to hit these levels to be arrested and convicted for DUI in North Dakota. All it takes is for a law enforcement officer to judge you to be impaired by drugs or alcohol to the point that it diminishes your ability to safely operate your motor vehicle.

What are the chemical test refusal penalties in North Dakota?

Under North Dakota’s “implied consent” law, anyone operating a motor vehicle is considered to have consented to a drug and alcohol screening if a police officer has reason to suspect them of DUI. Refusing to comply with a chemical test request can result in suspension of your driver’s license for up to 4 years.

What are the consequences of being convicted of a DUI?

The first DUI offense is considered a class B misdemeanor. It’s punishable with such penalties as 2 days of imprisonment, up to $750 in fines, up to 180 days suspension of driving privileges, and addiction evaluation. Some of the upper limits of these potential penalties are reserved for when the BAD is elevated to 0.16 or 0.18%.

Penalties are stiffer for a second offense within a 7-year period, though it’s also a class B misdemeanor. The third offense within a 7-year period becomes a class A misdemeanor, and the consequences become harsher still. Fourth and subsequent offenses within a 15-year period are class C felonies.

Find more specifics for each offense level here on the North Dakota Department of Transportation website.

Does North Dakota offer driver improvement courses to reduce my insurance premium?

Yes it does! Find the list of State-approved Insurance Premium Reduction Courses here on the North Dakota Highway Patrol website.

Is there any way I can reduce the cost of my North Dakota car insurance?

Discounts and incentives, like the many mentioned throughout this page, are excellent ways to get your payments down. Maintaining a clean driving record and strong credit history help a lot, too. Most carriers charge less if you pay for a full term of coverage upfront rather than in monthly installments. Also, higher deductibles are balanced out with lower premiums. The best step toward reducing the cost of your auto insurance, however, is to comparison shop among leading North Dakota carriers to hone in on the lowest quotes for coverage tailored to your needs and preferences.

What is uninsured motorist coverage and is it required in North Dakota?

Uninsured motorist coverage, which is required in the state, pays for your medical care if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver; underinsured motorist coverage does the same if the other driver has some coverage, but not enough to pay for everything. The good news is that North Dakota is in the bottom 5 states for uninsured motorist rates.

6%
Uninsured drivers in North Dakota
12%
Uninsured drivers Nationwide

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