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North Dakota Auto Insurance Requirements

Auto insurance is a contractual agreement between an auto owner and a car insurance company. The driver agrees to pay a certain premium in exchange for financial protection against risks associated with owning and operating an automobile. In the state of North Dakota, auto insurance protection is required for all drivers. All drivers in the state must carry at least the minimum state mandated insurance coverage as stipulated by law. There are certain specific areas of coverage required in the state of North Dakota, as well as some optional areas drivers could also include in their policies if they so desired. There are also penalties set forth in the state auto insurance law to deal with non compliance.

Required Auto Coverage in ND

Auto liability insurance is the most basic level of coverage, and the one most commonly required by states. It protects the covered driver against the financial cost of claims resulting from at fault or liability accidents. In North Dakota, drivers must carry bodily injury and property damage liability insurance. Bodily injury liability protects the insured against the costs of claims brought against them for bodily injury caused by the operation of your vehicle. In other words, when you get into an accident and you are deemed at fault in the collision, any other driver or passenger in another car could come after you for the financial cost of dealing with their injuries. Bodily injury liability coverage protects you from that financial burden. The state requires drivers to carry at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability protection [1].

In addition to bodily injury, property damage liability is also required for North Dakota motorists. State law calls for at least $25,000 per accident in property damage protection. This money is dedicated to taking on the costs of dealing with damage caused to others' property in auto accident events for which you were to blame or are found liable. This insurance coverage also pays for damage you might cause to a car you rent for personal use on a short term basis [1].

Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage is also mandatory. This area of auto insurance pays for the cost of bodily injury claims you would have had against an uninsured driver if that driver did have insurance. In other words, it protects you from out of pocket costs dealing with injuries and other medical expenses you incur in accidents with liable uninsured drivers. Vehicular damage is not included in uninsured motorist protection in North Dakota [1].

Underinsured protection is also required, and works in a similar fashion to uninsured. Underinsured protection must equal the amount of uninsured coverage carried by the driver. It pays for excess claims left over when the driver liable for an accident has insufficient liability insurance to cover the entire claim. No fault is also required. Basic no fault covers expenses such as medical expenses and lost wages that you suffer as a result of auto accidents, regardless of who is at fault in the accidents. No fault is also called PIP or personal injury protection, and the minimum acceptable level of PIP for each driver in North Dakota is $30,000 [1].

Penalties for Auto Insurance Non Compliance

In the state of North Dakota, insurance non compliance is punishable by law. The act of driving without auto liability insurance is a misdemeanor in the state, and those who are caught driving without insurance are hit with a mandatory fine of at least $150. On top of that, North Dakota drivers without insurance who get into accidents are hit with a much more substantial penalty. If you are uninsured and get into an accident, your license will be assessed 14 points, resulting in its immediate suspension [1]. Clearly, auto insurance compliance is a major issue for ND drivers, one they need to take very seriously.

Options for Additional Auto Coverage

Beyond the requisite liability, uninsured, underinsured, and no fault insurance for every driver, motorists can also opt for additional coverage. One way they can do so is to carry these areas of coverage in excess of the state minimum levels. Another is to add to their policies with additional portions of protection. Collision and comprehensive are two popular choices. They protect the covered driver's vehicle against property damage from a variety of sources. Collision focuses on accident losses, while comprehensive focuses on non collision type losses. Other optional areas of protection that ND drivers may choose to add to their auto policies include towing, death and dismemberment, and GAP coverage.

The specifics of your policy are up to you. Insurers are generally aware of North Dakota state requirements and will not sell drivers non compliant policies. Choose your policy specifics based on need and budget.

[1] http://www.nd.gov/ndins/consumer/auto-insurance-information/auto-insurance-faqs/ Retrieved 2010-05-01.

 

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