Best Car Insurance NC

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Contributor, Benzinga
June 22, 2021

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Transportation by sea, air and ground is as much of North Carolina’s DNA as mountains and coastline. With a history boasting Blackbeard, the Wright Brothers and the second largest highway system in the country, it’s no wonder that transportation plays such a large part in day-to-day life. But, if you’re going to traverse the roads in North Carolina, you’ll need auto insurance at the ready. Learn more about the best car insurance NC with our guide.

Best Cheap North Carolina Car Insurance:

North Carolina Car Insurance Overview

Here are some North Carolina vehicle facts at a glance:

  • 2 vehicles average per household 
  • Minimum insurance requirements of
    • Bodily injury (1 person) $25,000
    • Bodily injury (2 or more people) $60,000
    • Property damage $25,000
    • Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage
  • Average rate for insurance with a clean driving record of $1,960

NC Car Insurance Law Explained

North Carolina is a “fault” state when it comes to auto insurance. The driver who is at fault pays the damages. Additionally, NC requires uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This means that if the driver who is responsible for the accident is not insured, your damages are covered through your insurance.

The state’s liability insurance law is strictly enforced, and insurance companies are required to notify the Division of Motor Vehicles if liability insurance on a vehicle is canceled or coverage lapses for any reason. So, if you want to keep your access to the open roads, you need insurance. Let’s start with a little background.

NC Car Insurance Rates Per Vehicle

Your age, type/cost/age of your vehicle, and repair or replacement costs all factor into insurance rates. Safety and security features also play a role in your rate.

According to 2019 retail sales through August, Kelley Blue Book ranks the following as the 5 most popular vehicles in North Carolina:

  1. Toyota Camry
  2. Honda CR-V
  3. Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  4. Toyota RAV4
  5. Ford F-150

Why are some vehicles with the same features more expensive to insure? The rule of thumb is that expensive vehicles are expensive to repair. Larger vehicles usually withstand minor accidents better than smaller vehicles. 

Have you found the perfect car for you right now and still worry about the insurance cost? You can take steps to  lower your insurance rates. For instance, consider bundling your insurance needs with one provider. You can even ask for a higher deductible. For a primer on finding the best cheap insurance, you can read Benzinga’s article published in August 2019.

Car Insurance Rates by Insurance Credit Score

Your credit score isn’t just for mortgages, loans and credit cards. Insurance agencies also look at your insurance credit score to gauge how likely you are to pay back a loan based on your credit history. This helps determine the cost. The most commonly used credit rating is a FICO score. The higher your score, the lower the risk for the company, the less you’ll pay. The lower your score, the more you’ll pay.

Is your credit score on the low side? Don’t worry. You can boost your credit score. Making payments on time and reducing or eliminating debt are a few things that will help. If your credit score is high, fantastic! Remember, credit scores are fluid and move down as easily as up. So keep paying bills on time and keep your debt low.

Here are some examples of what you can expect to pay based on your FICO score using Benzinga’s research.

Credit ScoreCheapest ProviderRate for State Minimum Coverage
Poor 300–579USAA$2,168
Fair 580–669Direct Auto$1,831
Good 670–739AAA$1,513
Excellent 740+Progressive$1,252

Insurance for Drivers with a Clean Record

Obey traffic laws and stay aware of your surroundings and you’re likely to earn a clean record. Always buckle up and make sure your passengers are properly restrained, too. Keep to posted speed limits and drive for the conditions. Be mindful of traffic signs. Drive sober. When it comes to mobile technology, go hands-free. In general, stay focused on the road and what’s around you. 

  • Minimum coverage: The least amount of coverage required by the state:  
    • Bodily injury (1 person) $25,000
    • Bodily injury (2 or more people) $60,000
    • Property damage $25,000
    • Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage
  • Standard coverage: Bodily injury liability and property damage coverage increase. It also adds:
    • Comprehensive coverage, which is damage to your vehicle as a result of acts such as theft, flood or fire
    • Collision coverage, which covers damage resulting from a collision with another car or object (telephone pole, tree or pothole)
  • Full coverage: A combination of the coverages mentioned above and includes increased coverage amounts for people and vehicle   
Insurance CompanyState Minimum InsuranceStandard CoverageFull Coverage
Direct Auto$1,158$1,642$2,374
American National$873$1,756$1,917

Insurance Rates with Driving Infractions

Even the most diligent of drivers make mistakes and find themselves with an infraction. Some of the most common infractions in North Carolina include:

  • Speeding: Be mindful of speed limits and stick to them.
  • Driving without a valid registration: Don’t forget to renew your registration on or before your birthday.
  • Improper traffic maneuver: Follow the rules. Avoid U-turns that block traffic, follow signs and markings to make sure you turn where and when you are allowed, and use your turn signal.
  • Driving distracted: Make it easy on yourself and go hands-free or wait to call.  

To err is human and insurance companies understand that people make mistakes. Even with a few blemishes you can secure car insurance, but you’ll pay more.  

Insurance CompanyAt-Fault Accident Speed Violation DUI
Electric Auto$2,483$1,742$5,941
Penn National$3,060$1,555$4,591

Best Car Insurance Providers in NC

Here are Benzinga’s preferred North Carolina insurance providers: 

State Farm
Best For
  • Rideshare drivers

1. Best Overall: State Farm

State Farm is the best overall car insurance provider in North Carolina. When it comes to price, customer satisfaction, coverage and availability, State Farm is tough to beat. At about $1,260 per year, State Farm costs about $700 less than the state’s average annual price.

J.D. Power ranks them “better than most” in their Overall Customer Satisfaction Index. Outside of the state minimum requirements, State Farm offers plenty: online quoting, rideshare coverage, new car protection, accident forgiveness, medical payments and rental car reimbursement.

State Farm's many discount opportunities include multi-policy, good student, loyalty, defensive driving, and safety and anti-theft device. 

securely through Hanover's website

2. Cheapest Car Insurance in NC: Hanover

At $984 per year, Hanover is the cheapest car insurance in North Carolina. And with Hanover, cheap doesn’t mean poor quality. Hanover coverage and discount offerings are many. Coverage includes state minimum requirements, roadside assistance, new car replacement, accident forgiveness and use of OEM replacement parts.

Anti-theft device, multi-policy, defensive driving course, good student and safety device discounts offer plenty of opportunities to lower your yearly rate. 

3. Best Coverage for Multiple Cars: Hanover

If you have multiple cars to insure, insurance that comes in budget-friendly is a good thing. A low starting price, good coverage and discount possibilities are a must. Hanover fills that tall order as the cheapest insurance in North Carolina. Hanover comes to the table with solid coverage and many discounts available. 

Best For
  • Active military members

4. Best for Military Personnel: USAA

Military personnel and their families often find themselves in unique situations: long- and short term assignments, frequent moves and stress just to name a few. USAA solely focuses on military personnel (active and retired) and their families and is the best auto insurance in North Carolina for military personnel.

With a yearly cost of around $950, consistently ranking “above the rest” in J.D. Power customer satisfaction studies, and great coverage and discount, USAA is top-notch. USAA provides coverage that is especially important to military personnel such as rideshare coverage, usage-based coverage and temporary and short term coverage.

They also provide multiple discount opportunities including special employment, loyalty, anti-theft device, multi-policy and good student. 

The Open Road is Calling 

There’s nothing quite like the freedom that automobiles give us. But owning a car or truck is a privilege and brings responsibility. Securing the proper insurance that keeps you and loved ones covered is the responsibility in action. Insurance adds peace of mind to your daily travels and spontaneous explorations. 

The right coverage for your needs and budget is available to you. Use the information shared here, talk to family and friends, and contact insurance agents. With a little effort, you’re sure to find the right insurance that suits you best.  

Frequently Asked Questions


Is NC a no fault state?


No, North Carolina is a “fault” state for car insurance.


Do you have to have car insurance in NC?


Yes, North Carolina has state minimum car insurance requirements. It’s a good idea to purchase more than the state minimum of any type of insurance. State minimums are set relatively low to keep insurance affordable, but in the case of an accident, you can deplete your minimums quickly with expensive medical and property damage costs. Once your bills extend past the minimums, you’ll personally be liable for additional costs and damage. Get the coverage that makes sense for you here.


How does my personal credit play a role?


Insurance carriers run an insurance credit score to help determine policy premiums. Your insurance rates will likely be lower if you have an excellent credit score. On the other hand, your insurance rates may be higher if you have a poor credit score. Insurance companies believe credit scores are an indicator of whether you’ll make your insurance payments on time and credit scores combined with other data can be predictive of risk. Check out the best companies for all credit scores now.


What kind of discounts are usually available?


The most common discounts available are multi-policy and auto-pay, but every company is different. Other discounts that are widely available are loyalty, good student and anti-theft device discounts. See our top providers with the best discounts and get a unique quote.