North Dakota is a state full of budding industry in the heart of the Great Plains. In fact, the “Peace Garden State” recently ranked 6th according to the Opportunity Index based on possibilities and advancements in economics, education, health, and community.1

With more than 74,000 small businesses, North Dakota has proved itself as a valuable hub of innovation, technology, and a prominent source of Midwestern entrepreneurial growth.2 If you’re thinking of following the trend, you’ll need a good handle on the small business insurance requirements. In this guide, we’ll explain what types of insurance are legally required in North Dakota, and which types come highly recommended.

What business insurance am I required to get in North Dakota?

North Dakota workers’ compensation insurance

All employers in North Dakota with one or more employees are legally required to have workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance exists to safeguard employees from financial impact related to injuries or illnesses sustained on the job. As a business owner, it also protects you from liability related to employee injuries. Workers’ compensation covers expenses and lost wages caused by the following:

  • Work-related accidents and injuries, such as repetitive stress injury, and resulting disability
  • Illnesses caused by or related to employment

North Dakota auto liability insurance

If you drive a car, truck or van as part of your business operation, you’re required to have auto liability insurance or qualify as a self-insurer. Auto liability insurance can protect you and your business from the financial consequences of the following types of third-party claims resulting from auto accidents involving your vehicle:

Bodily injury – If you get into an accident and the driver or a passenger of the other vehicle is injured, your auto bodily injury liability insurance covers the costs arising out of bodily injury, including medical expenses and death benefits.

Property damage – In the above scenario, it’s extremely likely the other car sustained some damage as well. Your auto policy’s property damage liability coverage insures the cost to repair or replace the other party’s vehicle.

In North Dakota, your auto liability insurance also provides coverage for:

Personal injury protection – Personal injury protection is a type of “no-fault” coverage that can pay some medical and funeral expenses for you and your passengers.

Also, depending on the use of your vehicle, the kind of vehicle or if your vehicle is registered or titled under your business name, you may need a commercial auto insurance policy to secure the appropriate coverage and vehicle registration, and avoid penalties.

What other types of business insurance are recommended for North Dakota?

North Dakota general liability insurance

General liability insurance (also known as CGL—for commercial general liability) is one of the most essential and effective ways to safeguard your business. It protects your business from the financial consequences resulting from liability related to third-party non-employee bodily injury or third party property damage that arises from your business operations. It also provides coverage for personal and advertising injury. Without general liability insurance coverage, you could be in financial trouble in the event of an unfortunate accident involving a customer or other third party.

North Dakota professional liability insurance

If you provide professional services and your advice is alleged to have led to one of your clients suffering a financial loss, professional liability insurance can help. When a former customer or client claims—rightly or wrongly—that a mistake in your work led them to suffer a financial loss, professional liability insurance provides you with investigation and defense of the claim as well as making payments of any settlements or judgments.

Inland marine insurance

Inland marine insurance is designed to protect that vital equipment you use to make your business run smoothly. It protects your business by covering costs associated with accidentally damaged, lost or stolen equipment that is on the go with you. Whether you have an expensive tool collection, pricey construction materials, or other equipment you transport to a job site, having inland marine insurance is a no-brainer. At Thimble, we offer inland marine insurance, or Business Equipment Protection as we call it, with coverage for up to $5,000 worth of business property and equipment.

Commercial property insurance

Commercial property insurance protects your company’s building and the contents inside it from all kinds of risks of physical loss or damage, including theft, vandalism, fires and natural disasters such as floods, storms or earthquakes. Commercial property insurance is often included as part of a Business Owners’ Insurance Policy, or BOP.

Professions covered in North Dakota

No matter what your business is, if you’re in North Dakota, you’ll benefit from being insured. If a non-employee slips and falls due to a workplace hazard or you accidentally damage a client’s property while working in their home, the last thing you need is to pay out-of-pocket for damages. In North Dakota, Thimble’s business insurance covers:

Cost of business insurance in North Dakota

At Thimble, the cost of your small business insurance depends on a variety of factors. The amount of risk involved in your business, the industry you’re in, and the amount of business you do all play a part in determining your policy premium.

Another important factor is your location. A more populated area like Fargo might have higher premiums on average than less populated locations like Minot or Williston.

Finally, Thimble will look at factors such as your crew size, coverage amount and the number of years you’ve been in business before determining how much your premium will be.

Median North Dakota insurance costs

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Top cities for businesses in North Dakota

  • Bismark
  • Dickinson
  • Fargo
  • Grand Forks
  • Jamestown
  • Minot
  • Wahpeton
  • Williston

Bottom line: North Dakota business insurance

From the Badlands to the Red River Valley, North Dakota is a state that runs on small business and entrepreneurship. Situated in the geographic center of the continent and with its rich soil and warm people, North Dakota really is the heart of America. If you want to be one of the 74,000-plus business owners who call the Peace Garden State home, one of the first steps you’ll take is securing the right insurance for your venture.

Even if you’re just starting up, you can find North Dakota business insurance coverage that’s right for you. Through Thimble, you can get a quote for your general liability insurance, professional liability insurance or Business Equipment Protection in less than a minute and if you decide to buy, you’ll be able to access your policy and Certificates of Insurance (COIs) in your inbox instantly.


  1. Opportunity Index. North Dakota.
  2. U.S. Small Business Administration. 2020 Small Business Profile: North Dakota.