In 2020, nearly 250,000 traffic crashes occurred in North Carolina. Of those, more than 100,000 people were injured. When you’re involved in an auto accident, paying to fix or replace your vehicle or to deal with injuries is expensive. That’s what makes auto insurance so important.

A certain level of insurance coverage may be required by law, but it’s important to understand that you need a lot more protection from the things that can (and will) go wrong out on the road.

Here’s what you need to know.

What is Auto Insurance?

Auto insurance protects you, your passengers, and other drivers against the financial loss that can occur after an accident, theft, or other covered event. An insurance policy can provide coverage – based on the policies you purchase – for property, liability, and medical expenses.

In North Carolina, you’re required to purchase liability insurance which protects the other driver if you’re at fault in an accident – and helps you if they decide to sue you. But various other forms of policies exist to help protect you and your family, no matter who’s at fault.

What Does Auto Insurance Cover in North Carolina?

Every auto insurance policy is slightly different but if you purchase full coverage, you can expect protection in a variety of situations:

  • Damage or injury caused by another driver
  • Damage from animals or inanimate objects
  • Damage from water events
  • Natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes, or earthquakes
  • Falling objects
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Broken windshields
  • Towing after a breakdown
  • Keys locked in your vehicle
  • Running out of gas

The amount of coverage and the exact perils are dictated by the policy you purchase.

Types of North Carolina Auto Insurance Coverage

The most basic auto insurance policy will cover personal liability if you’re at fault in an accident. Beyond that, there are other types of coverage that will help pay for damage and injuries even when you’re not at fault – or if no other driver is involved.

Here are some of the most common forms of auto insurance coverage in North Carolina:

Bodily Injury Liability: This covers injuries to the other driver and their passengers when you’re at fault for an accident.

Property Damage Liability: Property damage caused to the other person’s vehicle or other property will be covered when you’re at fault for the accident.

Medical Payments: The cost of medical treatment for you (or another covered driver) and your passengers will be covered.

Collision: You or other named drivers are insured from loss during a collision with another vehicle or object, regardless of who’s at fault.

Comprehensive: Your vehicle is protected from damage and loss resulting from incidents other than a collision, regardless of who’s at fault.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: If the other driver is at fault for the accident but has no or little liability insurance, your injuries and damage will be covered.

Other forms of coverage you can select include:

  • Roadside assistance to help with breakdowns on the side of the road.
  • Gap insurance to help pay the difference between what you owe for a vehicle and what you receive as compensation after a total loss.
  • Commercial auto insurance to cover part-time work that requires you to drive your vehicle (like ride-share apps).

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Explanation of North Carolina Auto Insurance Limits

In North Carolina, all drivers are required to purchase a minimum amount of liability coverage:

  • $30,000 bodily injury per person
  • $60,000 bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 property damage per accident

The reality, though, is that this won’t be nearly enough if you’re at fault for a multi-car accident or an accident involving serious injury or injury to more than one person.

It’s always better to purchase as much liability coverage as you can afford. Otherwise, you may have to pay out of pocket once your policy limit is reached.

Even if you consider yourself a safe driver with few or no accidents in your past, choose a higher policy limit and plenty of coverage. If you continue your safe driving record, you may see your premiums decrease with discounts. But it only takes one mistake on the road to financially ruin you when you don’t have enough insurance coverage.

Frequently Asked Questions

What car insurance do I need in North Carolina?

In the state of North Carolina, you’re required to purchase liability coverage for your auto insurance. North Carolina is an at-fault state so whoever is found to be responsible for an accident is required to pay for the injuries and damage to the other driver. To avoid paying out of pocket, it’s important to purchase plenty of liability coverage.

Beyond that, you still need insurance that protects you even when you’re not at fault for an accident. This includes uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, medical payments, and more.

For “full coverage,” you need to purchase both comprehensive and collision coverage. If you finance the purchase of your vehicle, this may be required by the bank.

Even if it’s not required, it’s a good idea. Between 2020 and 2022, $44 million in damage has occurred due to accidents involving wildlife – and deer don’t exactly have liability insurance to pay for your sore neck or busted hood.

What is the average cost of car insurance in North Carolina?

The average cost of auto insurance in North Carolina is $865 – nearly 40 percent lower than the national average. A lot of variables factor into the price of auto insurance:

  • Age and type of vehicle you drive
  • Whether you have young drivers (teenagers) on your policy
  • How many miles you drive per year
  • Previous claims history
  • Policy limits and coverage amount
  • Deductibles
  • Available discounts: bundling policies, being a safe driver, automobile safety features, and more

It’s important to purchase as much auto insurance as you can reasonably afford. Choose a deductible you can afford to pay, as well.

To make sure you’re getting the best rate for your North Carolina auto insurance, talk to an independent insurance agent who can provide estimates from multiple carriers.

How Charlotte Insurance Can Help

Since 1992 Charlotte Insurance has been helping drivers in North Carolina. We are proud of the superior customer support and top-quality insurance strategies we provide to our customers. We go beyond the standard insurance offering and help you find North Carolina auto insurance you can truly rely on!

At Charlotte Insurance we want to give you as many options as possible. We’re able to help you custom build a policy that meets all of your North Carolina car insurance needs.

Contact us today for a free quote for an auto insurance policy!