In 2019, there were 318,363 car crashes in North Carolina.
This includes 1,479 fatalities and 125,405 injuries.
While nobody wants to think this could happen to them, it’s important to prepare for the worst. Plus, auto insurance in North Carolina is required by law.
There are varying levels of coverage, and not all are mandatory. But, there are also types of coverage that auto lenders require even if not legally mandated.
Keep reading to find out how you can keep your coverage up to the standards of law–and to best protect yourself and your family.
What Are the Requirements for Auto Insurance in North Carolina?
Car insurance is required in every state in the US, except for New Hampshire. All other states mandate some form of auto insurance, though the required amount varies.
Coverage levels can range from basic to comprehensive and can depend on where you live. Other factors come into play, including your type of vehicle and your driving record.
In North Carolina, you must have car insurance to operate a vehicle. There are no exceptions to this rule, and out-of-state policies are not accepted. There are various, steep penalties for drivers caught without insurance.
Read below to learn the different types of coverage required by North Carolina law, and to determine what type of coverage is best for you.
Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
This coverage refers to the costs associated with the other party in an accident. The other person’s physical injuries, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and income loss are covered by this.
Bodily injury liability for one person refers to the amount your insurance will pay out. This money associated with injury you caused to someone else during a vehicle accident. It does not cover yourself, or anyone else in your vehicle during the crash.
The minimum for one person is $30,000 under state law. Bodily injury liability for more than one person requires a minimum of $60,000.
Property Damage Liability Coverage
This type of insurance covers the costs stemming from damage to someone else’s property, after an accident in which you were at fault. This insurance supports damaged vehicles but also covers other property damaged. This could include houses, fences, lamp posts, etc.
North Carolina requires this coverage, at a minimum of $25,000. The coverage limit is $60,000 total, per accident.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
In an accident, even if the other driver is 100 percent at fault, you can still lose out financially. If they do not have auto insurance, they likely cannot cover the costs of your damage and injuries.
Uninsured motorist coverage protects yourself and your family against accidents involving such drivers. This coverage is required in North Carolina so that in these situations you are protected.
Other Types of Auto Insurance
While not required by law, there are other optional types of insurance strongly recommended. They can provide immensely useful services during an emergency that is already stressful enough.
Collision insurance covers the cost of damage to your car, regardless of who was at fault in the accident.
North Carolina does not carry a legal requirement for this type of coverage. However, if you finance the purchase of a vehicle, it will be required by the lender. They do this in order to protect their investment while they still hold the title.
Once the car is paid off, you are no longer legally obligated to hold this type of insurance though it is highly recommended.
Comprehensive coverage is another example of insurance that is not required by state law but is required by the lender for the length of the loan. Again, this serves to protect their interest (your vehicle) while they still technically own it.
This protection covers damage caused outside of a collision. It may include fire, hail, flood, theft, or other damages resulting from no human action.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
PIP serves to cover any medical costs associated with a car accident, for yourself, and any passengers in your vehicle during the crash.
This protection may also cover lost wages if injuries sustained in the accident prevent you from working.
What Are the Consequences of Driving Without Car Insurance in North Carolina?
It is illegal to drive in North Carolina without a valid form of auto insurance. If an individual is caught breaking this law, there are various consequences.
On the first offense, the driver will face a $50 fine. On the second offense, a $100 fine. On the third offense (or any after that), $150 fine.
If your insurance coverage ends or lapses, you must stay on top of it and remedy the situation right away if you plan to continue driving.
Your insurance company is legally required to send notice to the North Carolina DMV in the event of lapsed/canceled insurance. If you do not resume coverage or begin a new policy, the DMV may revoke your car’s license plates.
When you go back to reinstate it, there is a lapse penalty fee that can range between $50 to $150. This is on top of the $50 fee to reinstate your registration.
Don’t Go Another Day Without Coverage
There are many risks to operating a vehicle without auto insurance in North Carolina. The steep fines and risk of losing your car’s registration are simply not worth it.
Under NC state law, everyone is entitled to an automobile insurance policy. There are many plans available, to fit any budget and desired level of coverage.
Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, and our dedicated agents can help you stay compliant with the law, without breaking the bank. Contact us today to review your options, and find the right coverage for you.