This article offers a brief introduction to car insurance laws and regulations in North Dakota. We'll take a look at North Dakota's "no-fault" auto insurance system and the kinds of minimum car insurance coverage required under North Dakota law. If you're looking for more general information on the legal rules related to auto accidents in North Dakota, you'll find it in our companion article Car Accident Laws in North Dakota.
North Dakota is one of a dozen or so states that follow a no-fault system when it comes to financial responsibility for injuries arising from a car accident. In a no-fault state, your own car insurance policy (specifically, your "personal injury protection" or PIP coverage) pays for the injuries of anyone covered under your policy, up to a certain limit, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
"No-Fault" Lawsuit Threshold in North Dakota: In order to step outside of the no-fault system and bring a liability claim or lawsuit against the other driver in North Dakota:
If you have been in an accident in North Dakota, your first step is to contact your own insurance company to begin receiving payment for your medical treatment. If you are seriously injured according to the statutory definition and/or your medical expenses exceed $2,500, then you may be able to pursue compensation from the other driver -- again, that means filing a liability claim against the other driver's insurance policy, or even filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Keep in mind that the no-fault rules only apply to personal injury; if you have suffered property damage as a result of the accident, you'll be able to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver.
For more information on no-fault systems, see our No-Fault Car Insurance topic.
North Dakota requires any operator of a registered motor vehicle to maintain certain amounts of liability insurance on that vehicle. The minimum amounts of liability auto insurance required under North Dakota are:
Keep in mind that while these are the minimum amounts of coverage which North Dakota requires you to purchase, you can and probably should carry a policy with higher limits. If you are held liable for an accident that causes personal injury or property damage and the liability exceeds the other party's PIP and the maximum amount of your policy, then you will be personally responsible to make up the difference.
As mentioned above, North Dakota requires that all automobile insurance policies include both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. The minimum amount of uninsured coverage is $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident, while underinsured motorist coverage must be least match the amount of uninsured protection.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) provides protection if you are injured by a driver who is either uninsured or carries coverage that is insufficient to pay for all of your damages. If you have $30,000 in damages above the PIP limit and the other driver has the state minimum coverage of $25,000, then your UIM will kick in to pick up the remaining $5,000.
For more information on North Dakota's motor vehicle insurance requirements straight from the government, see the North Dakota Insurance Department's web page Auto Insurance for Consumers.