If you’re getting your license in North Carolina for the first time or relocating to the state, you may be wondering what are the requirements for North Carolina car insurance. Having the right coverage to protect yourself and others, while being legally compliant is necessary to ensure peace of mind and confidence on the road.
North Carolina car insurance rates rank as some of the cheapest in the nation. The average cost of car insurance in North Carolina is $445 per year for minimum coverage. Due to the low cost of minimum coverage, many drivers opt for extra coverage options. This still leaves the average price per month for car insurance in North Carolina at $88.
If the cost wasn’t enough incentive, the North Carolina Department of Insurance and the Department of Motor Vehicles require auto insurance in the state. This means drivers must obtain the minimum amount of coverage as required by the state in order to drive.
North Carolina Car Insurance Requirements
North Carolina is an at-fault state. This means that insurance companies are obligated to pay for accidents that the driver is at fault for.
In other words, you cannot file a claim with your insurance company to pay for bodily injury if you were not at fault. That claim must be filed with the insurance company of the at-fault driver.
North Carolina requires proof of insurance at the time of registering a vehicle. You cannot register a car in North Carolina unless you provide proof of insurance. North Carolina auto insurance requirements are as follows:
- Bodily Injury liability: $30,000 per person or $60,000 total for two or more people per accident you’re at fault for
- Property Damage: $25,000 total per accident you’re at fault for
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: $30,000 per person or $60,000 total for two or more people per accident
- Uninsured/Underinsured Property Damage: $25,000 total for property damage per accident you’re at fault for
Liability refers to the amount that car insurance companies will pay in the event of an accident. Property damage refers to property that belongs to someone else that the at-fault driver damaged in the event of an accident. It does not refer to the at-fault driver’s vehicle.
The amounts listed are the minimum requirements, per North Carolina car insurance rules. Drivers can always choose to have a higher financial amount of liability covered, but no less. Let your insurance agent know if you’re interested in higher liability amounts or extra coverage options. These options include comprehensive and collision coverage.
Drivers also cannot allow their car insurance to lapse or expire at any point. If this occurs, the insurance company is obligated by law to notify the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. Once the DMV is notified, drivers have 10 days to provide them with updated proof of insurance.
If drivers do not provide updated proof of insurance, they can revoke the vehicle’s license plates. Drivers will need to pay lapsed coverage fines. The amounts are as follows:
- The first offense is $50
- The second offense is $100
- The third offense is $150
- Civil penalties if more than this within a three-year period
- Obligatory $50 restoration fee with each offense
To best avoid this, drivers should only cancel their insurance after they cancel their registration and surrender their plates. If switching insurance companies, only cancel the former coverage after you receive your new insurance information detailing the effective date.
If you have recently moved to Charlotte, Raleigh, or any other location in North Carolina, you have 30 days to obtain North Carolina car insurance and registration. Insurance policies from out-of-state are not accepted.
What’s Not Required
North Carolina does not require medical payments, collision liability, and comprehensive liability.
Medical payments refer to the ongoing treatment you or those involved in the car accident may require. Examples of these can be but are not limited to, chiropractic care or physical therapy.
Collision liability covers damage that occurs to the driver’s vehicle in the event of an accident. Collision liability may cover body damage or engine repairs after an accident.
Comprehensive liability refers to damage that occurs to your vehicle by other forms of external forces. These can include, but are not limited to, wildlife, inclement weather, and vandalism.
The minimum car insurance requirements in North Carolina do not cover these. However, it is highly recommended to have them. If you’re interested in having these in your insurance plan, you must discuss these options with an insurance agent.
What Impacts Insurance Rates?
When buying a new car insurance policy, insurance companies will look at a number of things that can impact price rates. Factors like driver’s credit score, education, zip code, and driving record. Some drivers can be high-risk for insurance companies. This depends greatly on accident history, DUI records, and points on license.
The type of car that insurance companies will be covering also impacts rates. Newer cars are generally more expensive as parts are new and not as readily available. That doesn’t mean you’d be better off with an old beater car, either. Older cars can be more likely to break and need an insurance claim.
Get Your Car Insurance Quote
Now that you know what North Carolina car insurance requirements you need in order to drive here, contact an Amistad Insurance agent to get your insurance quotes today!
We’re locally based in Raleigh and provide a high-quality industry experience. Best of all, we offer 24 hours phone support for our customers.
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