North Dakota’s typical auto insurance premium sits comfortably below the national average, due in large part to its low traffic density that minimizes the chance of accidents. But rates can still vary significantly depending on where you live, what you drive, and your past driving record. That’s why it’s important to shop around to ensure you’re getting the best possible rate on the most coverage. Check out our reviews of the top six North Dakota auto insurers below, and then use our quote tool to see what each of them can offer you.
How We Found the Best North Dakota Auto Insurance
We chose the best auto insurance providers in North Dakota by following a similar methodology to our national auto insurance review. First, we looked at which were the largest companies in the state by market share. Then, we checked with independent ratings agencies like A.M. Best, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s to ensure that the companies were financially sound enough to pay out their claims when the time comes. After that, we looked at each company’s coverage options, endorsements and discounts to determine which offered the best rates and the most useful protections. We also looked at the latest J.D. Power and Consumer Reports’ customer satisfaction surveys to ensure that the company actually lived up to all its shiny marketing promises. Finally, we tested the companies out for ourselves by speaking to local agents and getting some quotes.
The 6 Best Auto Insurance Companies in North Dakota
Auto-Owners was the runaway favorite in the J.D. Power and Consumer Reports surveys. It scored a 93 from Consumer Reports, and both surveys gave it above-average ratings for its claims handling, including the timeliness and fairness of the payment and the simplicity of the process. In fact, J.D. Power rated it the second-best for claims satisfaction in the nation.
Its secret to keeping its customers happy is forging personal relationships with them through its network of independent agents. Unfortunately, this means you can’t get a quote online. Instead, you’ll have to call one of its agents, give them your information and wait for them to get back to you. In our experience it was a little difficult to get someone on the phone initially, but once we did, they were helpful and efficient.
Another reason Auto-Owners is so popular is its unique endorsements that give you a break in the event of an accident. Diminished-value coverage compensates you if your car’s value decreases following an accident. There’s also a common loss deductible if your home and auto are both damaged in the same accident, provided they’re both insured by Auto-Owners. And if you happen to get into an accident with another Auto-Owners driver, neither one of you will have to pay your collision deductible. You won’t find these coverages with any other insurer listed here, so it’s worth giving Auto-Owners a call.
Travelers is known for offering pretty affordable auto insurance throughout the state. It keeps its costs down with a huge selection of discounts, including several you won’t find with any other company listed here — save for being a homeowner, driving a hybrid or electric vehicle, and consistently paying your premiums on time. Members of Travelers’ affinity groups and drivers who enroll in its IntelliDrive monitored driving program are also eligible for savings.
It’s worth getting a quote from Travelers if you have a lease or loan on your vehicle because it can offer you special protections for this. GAP coverage pays off the balance of your lease or loan, so you’re not stuck paying for a car you no longer own. There’s also new car replacement, which pays to replace your totaled new car with one that is the same make and model, even if the value of your totaled car has depreciated.
Travelers is also one of the only companies on this list to offer ridesharing coverage, so it should be the first stop for Uber and Lyft drivers. Spending all that time on the road increases your chances of getting into an accident, so you’ll also be grateful to know that Travelers offers accident forgiveness, which prevents your rates from going up following your first at-fault accident.
Acuity Insurance should be your first stop if you’re interested in building a custom auto insurance policy with rare protections. It offers the most endorsements of any company on this list, including GAP coverage and vehicle replacement coverage. This works like new car replacement if you have a new car, otherwise older totaled cars are paid 25 percent above the current market value. There’s also an endorsement that ensures that any repairs to your vehicle are done with original manufacturer parts.
Its most unique offering is its Personal Auto Enhancements package. This includes multiple coverages all wrapped up in one. You get $250 toward lock replacement if you need to change the locks on your vehicle. You also get $500 of personal property protection for any personal items you had that were damaged in the accident, and there’s also coverage for airbag discharge, rental cars, and extra travel expenses following an accident.
Being a smaller regional insurer, Acuity didn’t make it into the J.D. Power and Consumer Reports surveys, so it’s difficult to gauge where it stands in relation to the other companies listed here. That being said, it is one of the largest insurers in the state, so it likely treats its customers well. It has an online quote tool, so you can get a sense of whether it’s right for you in a couple of minutes. Otherwise, you can speak to one of the company’s local agents who will be able to advise you on your best course of action.
North Star Mutual
North Star Mutual is your best option if you drive a custom vehicle. In addition to the standard collision and comprehensive coverage that pays to repair your vehicle in the event of an accident, it also offers a customization endorsement. This pays extra to repair or replace any custom work you’ve done to your vehicle, whether that’s a new paint job or a sound system. North Star is the only company on this list to offer this type of coverage, so it’s definitely worth getting a quote if you’re interested.
The insurance is sold by independent agents throughout the state, and unfortunately, this means there’s no way to get a quick quote. Instead, you’ll have to give an agent your information and wait for them to get back to you. The upside is you can get quotes from multiple companies at once to see which offers you the best deal.
North Star Mutual’s rates are usually pretty reasonable, but there aren’t many discounts to help lower your premiums if this isn’t the case. Apart from the standard multi-policy, protective device and defensive driver discounts, your only option to secure a lower premium is to choose a higher deductible.
EMC Insurance doesn’t offer many discounts to help you save on your auto insurance, but there are some unique endorsements that may help you save in the event of a claim. When you bundle home and auto, you automatically get a combined deductible. This applies when both your home and car are damaged in the same accident. There’s also a deductible waiver option that waives your comprehensive deductible completely, so you won’t pay anything out of pocket if you run into a deer or your car is damaged by a storm.
EMC is worth a closer look if you’re interested in rare coverage options like emergency lockout, airbag, or pet injury protection. They seem like minor things, but these costs can add up quickly and they’re not covered by a standard auto insurance policy. If you’re prone to losing your keys or you frequently travel with your pet, these may be options you want to consider.
Like Auto-Owners and North Star Mutual, EMC Insurance is sold through a network of independent agents. This makes it difficult to gauge its customer service, as this will vary depending on which agent you’re dealing with. But in most cases, including ours, there wasn’t any problems.
Another great option to consider for car insurance is USAA. Available only to members of the military and their immediate family members, this auto insurance company is one of the highest rated customer satisfaction scores, with perfect (“excellent”) ratings across the board from Consumer Reports readers. In addition to great customer service, USAA provides the best rating of financial strength from A.M. Best at A++. If you qualify for insurance through USAA, we strongly recommend that you check it out and at compare quotes for your insurance needs in North Dakota.
Guide to North Dakota Auto Insurance
Understanding North Dakota’s minimum liability requirements
Every driver in the country is required to carry some liability coverage, but the amount varies by state. In North Dakota, drivers must have at least:
- $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person
- $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident
- $25,000 property damage coverage per accident
You’ll often see this written as 25/50/25 coverage. North Dakota also requires drivers to have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in the same quantities listed above. Because it is a no-fault state, you must also have $30,000 of personal injury protection. This pays for any medical bills you incur as the result of an accident, regardless of whose fault it is.
It’s always best to purchase more than the state-minimum coverage if you can. Yes, it will raise your premiums, but it could save you quite a bit in the event of an accident. Say that you get into an accident and cause $40,000 worth of property damage. Your insurance will cover the first $25,000, but you’re on your own for the remaining $15,000. No one wants to end up in that situation. That’s why it’s best to purchase as much coverage as you can comfortably afford.
A better way to score a good deal on your auto insurance is by shopping around. Every company has its own algorithm that measures your risk based on your driving record, location, vehicle type, credit history, and more. Each of them weighs these factors slightly differently, which is why they all give you different rates.
North Dakota is one of 12 no-fault auto insurance states
North Dakota employs a no-fault auto insurance system to deal with medical expenses related to car accidents. In most states, the driver who is found to be at fault in the accident must pay for any medical expenses incurred, but in North Dakota, you must turn to your own insurance provider for compensation first. This is why you’re required to purchase at least $30,000 of personal injury protection (PIP).
The no-fault law also limits your ability to sue the other driver except in severe cases. You may only file a claim if you’ve accrued more than $2,500 in medical expenses as a result of the accident or if you have been left seriously disabled or disfigured.
In this case, you will be able to bring a lawsuit against the other driver, but this is not a guarantee that you’ll get any money from them. It’s up to the courts to decide who was really responsible for the crash. If the other driver is found to be at fault, their liability coverage will pay for your bills. But if the court rules in their favor, your PIP is all you’ve got. That’s why it’s best to purchase more than the state minimum whenever possible to ensure you’re adequately covered in the event of a serious accident.
North Dakota’s low population density keeps its auto insurance rates down
North Dakota’s auto insurance rates are much lower than the national average, primarily because it has such a low population density. Fewer cars on the road means a smaller risk of accidents. Insurance companies are less likely to have to pay out claims, so they’re able to transfer that savings onto you in the form of lower premiums.
North Dakota also has one of the lowest rates of uninsured drivers in the nation, coming in at just 6.8%, which is also good news to insurers; They don’t have to worry about being held responsible for damages that their drivers didn’t cause.
Unfortunately, the state’s rural environment has some downsides as well. North Dakota has one of the highest fatal accident rates in the nation, in part because it takes longer to get patients from these rural areas to hospitals that can treat them. If you find yourself involved in a serious accident, your medical bills could pile up quickly. So it’s important to make sure you purchase the most liability coverage and PIP that you can, so you won’t get stuck with out-of-pocket costs in the event of an accident.
North Dakota Auto Insurance FAQ
Is it against the law to drive without insurance in North Dakota?
Yes. You’re required by law to carry the state minimum insurance coverage. Getting caught driving without insurance will result in a class B misdemeanor and a fine of at least $150. If you’re in an accident without insurance, the punishment increases – add 14 points against your driver’s license and expect a complete license suspension in result of those points.
How much is auto insurance in North Dakota?
The price of your premium will depend on your car, accident history, financial profile, credit score, and other personal details, but the average premium in North Dakota is $773, well below the national average right now.