Uninsured Motorist Coverage in North Dakota: Do You Need It?

You’re required to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in North Dakota, but how much? Find out here.
Written by Cassandra Hamilton
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
You might not need uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage in North Dakota, but you do need to carry uninsured/underinsured bodily injury coverage. 
It’s possible to find affordable
car insurance
, even with additional coverages on your policy. Still, some drivers don’t go through the effort of finding the best deal for the protection they need, so they go without to keep costs low. Drivers in North Dakota are constantly at risk of getting into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. Because of this, North Dakota requires every driver to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. 
Laws governing this coverage are different from state to state, so
trustworthy insurance comparison app
and licensed broker
has created a crash course on the regulations around uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in North Dakota. We’ll share why it’s a good idea to purchase this additional coverage, as well as how you can save on your
North Dakota car insurance costs
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Do you need uninsured motorist coverage in North Dakota?

You’re required to purchase
uninsured motorist coverage
on top of
liability insurance
in North Dakota. 
Insurance Information Institute
did research on what percentage of drivers in each state are uninsured, and North Dakota ranks in the middle. Roughly 13% of all drivers are uninsured in North Dakota. 
While there are plenty of states with a higher percentage of uninsured drivers, the risk of getting into an accident with an uninsured driver in North Dakota still exists. In fact, you have roughly a one in seven chance of hitting an uninsured driver. When you combine that number with the amount of drivers who purchase the minimum liability coverage, your risk of hitting a driver whose coverage won’t cover your costs increases. 
That’s why North Dakota requires uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This is an additional, affordable policy on top of your minimum required coverage that covers medical expenses after an accident.  
The good news is that UM/UIM is affordable coverage. The average cost of this kind of coverage is an additional $50 to $100 per year, although your individual rates might be different.

How uninsured motorist insurance works in North Dakota

When you purchase car insurance in North Dakota, you’re required to carry at least the following: 
Bodily injury liability will cover medical expenses, while property damage liability pays for repairs to vehicles and other property. You’re also required to carry $30,000 of no-fault coverage, which is also known as
personal injury protection
You can keep your short-term costs low by purchasing the minimum coverage, but expenses after an accident add up fast. Most new cars are worth thousands more than the property damage limit, and you can easily find yourself owing more than your policy covers.
That’s to say nothing of medical expenses. Minor to moderate injuries can easily exceed the $50,000 threshold you carry on your liability policy, especially if there were multiple people injured. Serious injuries cost even more and often exceed the limits set by North Dakota.

What’s available?

So what is available for uninsured motorist coverage in North Dakota?
There are two categories for this type of coverage:
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UM/UIMBI) covers your medical expenses after an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage (UM/UIMPD) takes care of outstanding property damage bills.
You’re only required to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage under North Dakota law, but don’t forget about the property damage coverage just yet. We’ll circle back to that. 
Costs add up fast after an auto accident, which is why it’s a good idea to increase your UM/UIMBI coverage limits. You can protect yourself further by purchasing full coverage insurance over the minimum liability insurance. 

What does it cover?

We’ve established that UM/UIMBI coverage covers medical expenses for you and your passengers, but what does that actually mean? ER bills and emergency surgery costs come to mind, but there’s often medical care given beyond these instances. UM/UIMBI also covers:
  • Future medical expenses as a result of the accident
  • Lost wages
  • Long-term rehabilitative or nursing care
  • Medical devices (like a wheelchair)
  • Retrofitting a home to accommodate a disability caused by the accident
  • Services you’re no longer able to perform, like yard work and cleaning
  • Pain and suffering (in some cases)
The last thing you want to worry about after an auto accident is how you or a loved one are going to cover steep medical costs. It’s what makes UM/UIMBI coverage so important for all residents of North Dakota.

How to make a claim 

The first thing to do after an accident besides calling 911 is to exchange information with the other drivers involved, especially insurance information. You’ll need to file a UM/UIMBI claim if you or a passenger are injured and the responsible party has little insurance or no insurance at all. 
The process for filing a claim is fairly straightforward. First, contact your insurance company and explain the circumstances. You’ll need to hand over any documentation you have, like medical reports, traffic crash reports, and bills you’ve received from your hospital or doctor. Don’t throw any documents away—the more documentation you have, the easier it will be to resolve your case.
You’ll need to rely on health insurance or other means of payment if your costs exceed your UM/UIMBI coverage limits. 
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Why it’s a good idea to buy additional uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance in North Dakota

Of course you don’t want to pay extra on your car insurance since it’s more expensive than the
North Dakota minimum insurance requirements
, but it’s usually a good idea. If you’re involved in an auto accident, you’ll suddenly have much more on your plate than short-term expense worries like the monthly cost of car insurance. Here are some things to think about before purchasing coverage.

North Dakota has low property damage coverage

Because North Dakota only requires $25,000 of property damage coverage on the mandatory liability coverage, you run the risk of losing money after an accident. Let’s say you’ve just purchased a new Toyota Rav4—the starting price of a 2022 model is $28,310. If a driver carrying the liability policy alone hits you and totals your car, you’re only going to see $25,000 if you get the max payout.
You’ve already lost out on more than $3,000, but when you factor in depreciation costs, you’re losing far more. You’ll have to shop for another new car with a smaller budget than what you initially had. That’s another reason it’s a good idea to have uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage.

Hit-and-run accidents leave you vulnerable

No one plans to become the victim of a
hit-and-run accident
, but it could happen to you. Your UM/UIM coverage can help in this instance.
While North Dakota isn’t one of the top 10 states with the highest rates of hit-and-run accidents, they do still happen. If you’re hit and the other driver flees the scene, you can’t file a claim with their insurance company. Your insurance won’t always cover the costs of a hit-and-run accident, either. 
You’ll need specific types of coverage to help you after a North Dakota hit-and-run accident. Your UM/UIM coverage, collision coverage, and personal injury protection will all work together to help cover the costs of your damages and medical bills. 

Up to 2 in 13 North Dakota drivers are uninsured

You have a two in 13 chance of getting into an accident with an uninsured driver in North Dakota, and the chances of getting into an accident with an underinsured driver are even higher. 
Thankfully, North Dakota doesn’t rank nationally for uninsured drivers, but you’re still at risk. You can always file a personal injury lawsuit, but these can quickly get too expensive to manage. The initial consultation is usually free, but you often only get a fraction of your payout due to steep legal expenses. 
You can skip the expensive lawsuit when you purchase additional UM/UIM coverage.

How to save on uninsured motorist coverage in North Dakota

While you could opt for the minimum level of UM/UIM coverage in North Dakota, you could purchase additional peace of mind for as little as an extra $100 per year. Skip the takeout once a month and you’ll have covered the cost in no time.
If you’re not willing to sacrifice your Chinese takeaway, shop for
car insurance
. Jerry’s
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Here’s how it works: download the Jerry app, answer a few basic questions about yourself and your car, and watch as Jerry works its magic. In less than two minutes you’ll be browsing hand-picked quotes that all save you big time on your car insurance coverage, even when you factor in the extra cost of UM/UIM coverage. Jerry even handles the paperwork and helps you cancel your old policy—insurance shopping has never been this easy.
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