North Dakota is one of the most rural states in the nation, with farmland covering over 90% of it. The Great Plains cover a large portion of the state, but the Badlands and Theodore Roosevelt Park offer rugged rock formations and towering spires. With all the wide open spaces to explore, you may get excited to hit the road. But you should never drive without car insurance.

Luckily, you can get North Dakota car insurance for some of the lowest rates in the country. But that doesn’t mean you should settle for the first policy you find. You need to take the time to decide the right level of coverage for you and your assets, and you need to find a reputable company that offers you the best rates.

The internet allows you to compare car insurance quotes online, and can help. All you have to do is answer some basic questions, and you can compare rates from multiple car insurance companies in your area, with no obligation to buy.

But before you start shopping, you need to understand North Dakota car insurance laws and learn about other policies to consider. So what are the minimum requirements? And how much car insurance do you need?

Minimum Coverage for North Dakota Car Insurance

North Dakota drivers are legally required to maintain the following insurance with the stated minimum limits:

Personal Injury Protection

  • $30,000 in Personal Injury Protection for medical costs and economic losses

Also known as Basic No-fault Insurance, this policy will pay medical expenses, lost wages, funeral expenses, and the cost of necessary care you may need due to your injuries. The policy will cover you and your family, regardless of who is at fault in an accident - even if you’re riding in another car or are hit by a vehicle as a pedestrian.

Due to no-fault laws in the state, this policy doesn’t cover any pain and suffering or other non-economic losses that stem from your injuries. If the accident causes injuries that cost more than $2500 in medical expenses, or if you suffered serious disfigurement or disability lasting at least 60 days, you qualify to step outside the no-fault system and file for a third party insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit.

Liability Insurance

  • $25,000 of Bodily Injury per person
  • $50,000 of Bodily Injury per accident
  • $25,000 of Property Damage Liability per accident

Your bodily injury liability policy will pay for medical expenses, economic loss, and funeral expenses if another party brings a third party insurance claim against you or sues you for personal injury. It will also cover your legal representation and court fees. Your insurance company will assist you throughout the process if you are brought to court. It’s in their best interest to protect you, so take all the help you can get to protect you and your assets.

Your property damage coverage will pay to repair other vehicles or standing structures damaged in an at-fault accident. No-fault laws don’t apply to property damage, so you may be sued regardless of the severity of the damages. The limits on your liability coverage can easily be exceeded, and it’s often only a few dollars more to double them. Consider raising the maximum limits to get a better value on your car insurance.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

  • $25,000 of bodily injury coverage per person
  • $50,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident

This policy will pay for medical expenses and economic loss such as lost wages if you’re in an accident with an uninsured motorist or if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run. The underinsured motorist policy will pay out if the other driver’s bodily injury limits are exceeded in an accident.

The failure to carry insurance coverage is a serious offense with punishment that gets more severe the more times you are caught driving without proof of insurance. It could result in fines between $150-$5000, up to 30 days in jail, and suspension of your driver’s license if you caused an accident. Law enforcement officers may also remove your license plates. You will also be required to file for SR-22 insurance for a year, which will give you a big hike in your rates.

Comprehensive and Collision

Your Liability policy won’t pay for any damages to your own vehicle when you’re responsible for a car crash. It also won’t cover any damages that happen outside of a collision. Adding Comprehensive and Collision to your insurance policy will ensure you can afford to repair or replace your vehicle, no matter what happens. Note that if you’re buying a new car driving a leased vehicle, you will be required to carry these options.

Collision coverage will pay for damages to your vehicle caused in a car accident, or in any collision with a stationary object or structure, no matter who’s at fault. Some policies will provide towing and labor coverage, roadside assistance, and rental reimbursement, though they may come as add-on policies, and you’ll have to pay extra to get the benefits.

Comprehensive coverage will compensate you for damages caused to your car outside of collisions. This can include damage caused by fire, hail, explosions, or tornados. It will also cover you if you’re in a collision with a deer or other animal, or if your car is stolen.

What factors determine your insurance premiums?

Car insurance companies use a combination of factors to set their rates. In order to calculate the risk of insuring you, they may look at your age, sex, address, credit score, driving record, and claims history. They will also base their rates on the kind of vehicle you drive and the amount you drive it.

Because of this, you may see car insurance rates that are vastly different than the average annual rate across North Dakota. Each insurance company has a different target demographic, and no one insurer will offer cheap car insurance to everyone.

The final factor that determines your car insurance rates is the level of coverage you select. Raising your maximum limits, lowering your deductibles, and adding optional policies will all increase your premiums. But it also adds a lot of value to your policy.

Experiment with different levels of coverage from insurance companies that offer you affordable rates, but never buy a policy that isn’t sufficient to keep you covered in the worst-case scenario.

Skipping necessary coverage won’t save you money if you’re in a car accident, but there are plenty of other ways to save.

Also remember that car insurance premiums aren’t set in stone. If you get into a car accident or you need to make a claim, you may see your rates go up. Similarly, if your credit score improves or you purchase your first home, they may go down.

Finding cheap car insurance

Selecting a policy is a lot more complex than finding the one with the lowest rates. You want to find a reputable company with great customer service, so you know that when the time comes, they’ll pay out your benefits without a fight. Always purchase car insurance from an accredited insurance company and take the time to read customer reviews and feedback.

There are many discounts available that you may qualify for. These may include:

  • Defensive Driver discount
  • Multi-car discount (for insuring multiple vehicles)
  • Bundled Discounts (if you purchase other policies like homeowners insurance)
  • Claim-Free discount
  • Paying your policy in full
  • Vehicle Safety Equipment
  • Good Student Discount

Before you buy a new vehicle, take the time to check the price of premiums for insuring it. Some vehicles are very expensive to repair, or have hard-to-find parts, and you may have to pay a lot more to insure them.

Once you know the vehicle you want to insure and you’ve decided how much coverage you need, you’re ready to start comparing your car insurance quotes. But you need to make sure to compare policies with similar coverage, so you have a clear idea of the actual value.

Once you find a policy that can give you a sense of security, you can purchase it online, and print proof of insurance within minutes. But it doesn’t stop there. Finding cheap car insurance means shopping around regularly. Just because a company has the best price for you now, doesn’t mean they will next year. They may change their rating factors, or you may qualify for better discounts at another company as time goes on.

So don’t hesitate—even if you’re already covered, a rate comparison can save you hundreds of dollars per year. Get started today!