North Dakota has a bit of a list of requirements when it comes to car insurance. You will have to have liability insurance, as well as PIP or personal injury protection, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Many states do not require the latter two on your policy, but North Dakota does.
First for the liability coverage – You will need to have 25/50/25, or $25,000 in bodily injury coverage for the medical or funeral expenses of one person, and $50,000 minimum to cover all people involved in the same accident for the same expenses. You will also have to have $25,000 in property damage coverage to repair or replace what has suffered from your vehicle hitting it. This is not a lot of money when you start adding up the expenses of a car accident. It is estimated the average cost to repair a car that has had minimal damage from a car accident is anywhere from $200 to $1000. If you are involved in a more severe accident the costs can jump to starting at $5,000 and going up. If the car has to be replaced, it will be appraised to see what its value was prior to the incident. Your insurance company will pay that amount up to your maximum coverage to replace the car. What if you have hit a car worth $35,000? There are quite a few of them on the road these days, so that is really not a far-fetched question. This means that the insurance company will pay $25,000 and the remainder is up to you to pay. That is just for the property damage portion of this scenario.
Medical bills can easily go into the tens of thousands of dollars. If the people injured in the accident require more than $50,000 worth of medical attention, (that is if there is more than one person, of only one the cap for your insurance company is $25,000), you can tack that on to the $10,000 you will need to pay for the car replacement.
Obviously, getting more than the minimum is a good idea. Determine how much you can afford for your policy and go with that. You will also have to have the PIP in the amount of $25,000. This covers you and your passengers’ medical expenses. No question asked, regardless of whose fault it was.
The last part uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is for when the other person is at fault but they either have no insurance or not enough insurance to cover all the damages and costs. Your insurance company will pay the difference.
When someone says rural North Dakota, they are not kidding. With over 90% of the state being farmland, North Dakota has the distinction of being the most rural state in the nation. Funny, I would have said it was Iowa, goes to show what I know… With all the farm land one will run into tractors and various other equipment sharing the road with regular passenger vehicles. This can be very frustrating on a two lane road, as these machines do not get much over 15 miles per hour. Frustration is not a good thing while driving though. It leads to making rash decisions and can possibly have you in an accident faster than you can accelerate to pass that slow moving vehicle. So, North Dakota, by requiring all this insurance, assures that everyone involved in an accident is covered and taken care of.