A single, seemingly minor car crash can result in thousands of dollars' worth of medical and repair bills. Few people are prepared to foot such bills on their own, which is one of the many reasons why it pays to maintain valid auto insurance at all times. Like many other states, North Dakota requires drivers to be financially responsible enough to operate motor vehicles. This means that drivers must prove that they can pay for damages or injuries that they cause while driving. This is commonly done by purchasing liability car insurance, but there are a few other options too.
Of course, meeting the legal requirements for driving in the Peace Garden State is just one piece of the puzzle. People need to consider the worst-case scenario before selecting their policies. Insurance policies that barely meet the state's minimum standards may miss the mark, and drivers could end up with hefty bills anyway. Studying up about who drives in North Dakota is a great way to see why it's so important to maintain top-notch coverage at all times. Most drivers who do this research end up buying policies that exceed the state's minimum requirements.
Who Drives in North Dakota?
North Dakota is a large state, but it has a very small population. Indeed, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that the state's estimated population in 2012 was just 699,628. According to the Federal Highway Administration, 490,146 people, or 70 percent of the population, are licensed to drive. Most residents of the state are concentrated in a few areas, and people end up in accidents all the time. As far as gender goes, 249,289 people, or 50.88 percent of all drivers, are men; 240,757 people, or 49.12 percent of all drivers, are women.
It wouldn't be fair at all to base insurance premiums on drivers' genders. There is no proof that one gender is better at driving than the other. However, numerous studies and statistics have shown that age is a major factor. Insurance companies take age into consideration when calculating premiums. In November 2012, there were 29,933 drivers aged 19 and below in the Peace Garden State, and that total represents 6.1 percent of all drivers. The largest group was made up of people between the ages of 25 and 29. It totaled 48,796 people, or 10 percent of all licensed drivers.
Auto Insurance Requirements in North Dakota
Liability auto insurance is the most popular way to establish proof of financial responsibility, which is required to drive legally in the state of North Dakota. However, there are other ways to do so too. People who own 25 or more vehicles can use self-insurance. Those who can't find affordable insurance due to poor driving records and other problems may qualify for the North Dakota Automobile Insurance Plan.
The vast majority of drivers in North Dakota choose to buy liability coverage to drive legally in the state. Theminimum requirements are as follows:
- At least $25,000 in bodily injury coverage for one person
- At least $50,000 in bodily injury coverage for two or more people
- Matching amounts of uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage - $25,000 for one person and $50,000 for two or more people
- At least $25,000 in property damage coverage
- At least $30,000 in no-fault coverage
The state of North Dakota takes its insurance requirements seriously. Driving without valid coverage is classified as a Class B misdemeanor. Drivers face fines of $150 or more for doing so. Second offenses may result in the impounding of a driver's plates until proof of coverage is supplied.
Those who drive without insurance and get into accidents face even more serious penalties. They are assessed 14 points on their driving records, which results in the instant suspension of their driver's licenses. The length of this suspension varies depending on a few different factors. Getting a license reinstated afterwards usually involves paying fairly steep fees. It's cheaper to just maintain valid car insurance, and finding affordable policies is as simple as collecting auto insurance quotes.