Getting North Carolina car insurance quotes is not an option, it is a necessity. Every responsible driver needs to get his or her car insured in order to prevent legal complications in times of roadside emergencies. Driving an uninsured vehicle in North Carolina can lead you to bigger expenses and numerous risks.
Therefore, it’s worth your time to learn more about how auto insurance works in North Carolina. Below you’ll find guides to many of the key aspects of how insurance works in the state. Learn about minimum coverage requirements, rates and even driving statistics.
Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements In North Carolina
In North Carolina you are required carry mandatory liability insurance on all vehicles you own. It is known as 30/60/25 coverage. In addition, you are also required to carry Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM).
Your minimums for private passenger vehicles are as follows:
- $30,000 for bodily injury liability coverage for one person.
- $60,000 bodily injury liability coverage for two or more people (or per accident).
- $25,000 property damage liability coverage.
- UM/UIM coverage matching the bodily injury liability coverage you have; so at least $30,000 for bodily injury for one person and $60,000 per accident.
- UM coverage matching the property damage liability coverage you have; so at least $25,000. (UIM does not cover property damage)
Please keep in mind these are minimums requirements only! You are strongly recommended to get a lot more liability insurance coverage than the minimums listed above. Furthermore, you may also wish to purchase additional forms of auto insurance such as Collision, Comprehensive, Medical Payment and/or Towing and Labor Cost coverage.
You can learn about your insurance requirements by reading the North Carolina’s Department of Insurance A Consumer’s Guide to Automobile Insurance and/or getting in contact with the department directly.
North Carolina State Auto Insurance Laws
Since 1957 North Carolina has required all cars registered in the state to have liability insurance (see above for current minimums). The key piece of legislation was The Vehicle Financial Responsibility Act of 1957. It remains in force to this day, although obviously with some updates.
For example section GS 20-311 sets down the penalties of allowing your insurance to lapse. At the current time if you allow your insurance coverage to lapse, you’ll be met with the following fines: $50 for a first offense, $100 for your second and $150 for subsequent lapses. Failure to get proper insurance in time could mean the loss of your license plate for 30 days.
In terms of maintaining insurance coverage you should note that, “Insurance companies have the right to terminate your coverage; however, they must follow the guidelines listed in your policy to do so.” There are 3 ways your auto insurance policy can end. They are cancellation, nonrenewal and automatic termination.
Reasons for an insurance company deciding to cancel your policy (with a minimum of 60 days notice) can include (but may not be limited to) any of the following:
- Not paying your insurance premiums (Only 15 days notice required; not 60).
- You are no longer considered a North Carolina resident.
- Your insurance agent is no longer allowed to sell your insurance company’s policies.
- Your premium finance company cancels the policy according to the finance contract.
- You are found to have lied about your driving history.
- You are found to have lied about the driving record of other drivers who use your car.
If ever in doubt about the legality of whether or not your insurance company is entitled to cancel, not renew or terminate your insurance policy, you are urged to get in contact with the Consumer Services Division of the North Carolina Department of Insurance.
The last but not least thing to know about auto insurance in North Carolina, is that it operates under the at-fault principle. This is by far the most common system of auto insurance found in the United States.
Essentially, a fault based insurance system requires those who are found at-fault in an accident to pay or have their insurance company (assuming they’re insured) pay all associated costs. Insurance adjusters determine who is at-fault, but be aware “North Carolina Contributory Negligence Law bars a driver from collecting damages if determined to be partially at fault.”
North Carolina Car Insurance Companies
There are dozens of insurance companies authorized to sell private passenger car insurance in North Carolina. If there is a specific company you’re interested in, you can use the Department of Insurance’s Company Directory Search page.
You can also have a look at the following companies who are all members of the Insurance Information Institute:
You can learn how good or bad any of the companies listed above are, with the help of The Department of Insurance’s guide to Auto Complaint Ratios. The lower the number the fewer the complaints.
Average North Carolina Auto Insurance Rates
Different sources give different numbers when it comes to average North Carolina car insurance rates. For example the most complete set of numbers come from the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.), which claims North Carolina is the 8th cheapest State in the Union when it comes to car insurance. In 2007, annual average premiums were just $591 compared to nearly $800 across the US.
More recent figures from CarInsurance.com have also found the state to be cheaper than average. Typical annual premium rates for 2011 were $1,218 in NC compared to $1436 in the US as a whole. The different between these numbers and those from the I.I.I. is that they come from a much smaller sample pool of online only quotes.
In any case, North Carolina ranks on the low end when it comes to the price you’ll have to pay for your insurance premiums. Better yet with the North Carolina Safe Driver Incentive Program, your rates can be even lower just by staying a safe driver. Keep reading to learn more about how safe or dangerous North Carolina roads are.
North Carolina Car Accident Statistics
If you drive in North Carolina, you have to be especially careful as the accident rate for the state is above the national average. In 2009 there were 209,695 accidents on state maintained roads that resulted in 69,394 injuries and 1,314 fatalities.
In terms of traffic fatalities there were 1.26 per every 100 million vehicle miles traveled. This is worse than the US average of 1.14 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. The good news is that the number of alcohol related fatalities is lower than the national average; 28% versus 32%.
The fact is that accident rates vary widely across the state. The following 5 counties had the most traffic fatalities in 2009: Wake County, Mecklenburg County, Robeson County, Cumberland County and Guilford County. If you live in or drive in any of these counties please pay extra special attention.
One way to avoid traffic accidents, beyond always being a safe driver, is to check traffic conditions before you set out. Fortunately, The North Carolina Department Of Transportation has a Traveler Information Management System that can alert you to problems before you reach them.
North Carolina Car Insurance Quotes And Other Ways To Save Money
As long as you know how to keep your insurance premiums low, there will be no need to worry about expensive fees and charges. Here are some tips that can help you with your search for a reasonably priced North Carolina car insurance policy. However, always check with your insurance company first to see if they offer these discounts. Not all insurance companies offer all discounts.
Keep Your Car Safe
By simply installing anti-theft devices and air bags to your car, you can lower the cost of your insurance policy. Insurance agencies in the state of North Carolina will consider you as a safer risk to their company, if your car has a low chance of being stolen. Thus, if it is equipped with high-quality safety devices you may get a break on premiums.
Ask For Multiple Car Discounts
North Carolina’s insurance agencies also offer discounts for those who want to get multiple vehicles insured. Contact the company you wish to work with and ask them if they provide discounts for multiple insurance policies. Once you have shown your intent to insure more than one vehicle, they should be more willing to give you affordable insurance policies.
Keep Your Driving Record Clean
Always follow the rules of the road. A clean driving record can be your passport to lower North Carolina car insurance quotes. Show your insurance agent or company that you are a responsible driver, in order for them believe that you are a safe risk to their company. If possible, sign up for road safety classes and show them your certificate from the class you were able to attend.
Also you should be aware of the Safe Driver Incentive Plan, which rewards drivers who maintain a clean driving record with lower premiums.
Tell The Truth About You And Your Car
When you are applying for a North Carolina auto insurance policy online, you will need to fill out forms about your car’s make and model. Always remember that telling them lies about your driving record and your car’s history is equivalent to insurance fraud. Tell the whole truth about your car, in order to prevent yourself from committing this legal offense.
Compare Insurance Rates
Instead of just getting a single North Carolina car insurance quote, try to get as many quotes as you can from different insurance agencies. After doing this, you can compare their insurance rates and determine which among them offers the lowest insurance premiums. If you want a cost-effective and quick way to compare insurance rates, visit websites offering instant North Carolina car insurance quotes (like ours, see below).
With these simple tips, you can easily get a cheap North Carolina car insurance quote that suits your budget and fits your needs.
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