Car Insurance Requirements in North Carolina (2024)

All North Carolina drivers must carry at least liability car insurance and uninsured motorist coverage.

Nick Dauk
Written byNick Dauk
Nick Dauk
Nick Dauk
  • 6+ years writing about insurance, travel, and personal finances

  • Contributor to brands like Credible

In addition to insurance, Nick specializes in writing about business, entrepreneurship, personal finance, and travel. He’s been featured in myriad web publications, including Fox Business.

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Courtney Mikulski
Courtney MikulskiSenior Editor, Auto
  • 3+ years producing insurance and personal finance content

  • Main architect of the Insurify Quality Score

Courtney’s deep personal finance knowledge extends beyond insurance to credit cards, consumer lending, and banking. She thrives on creating actionable content.

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Updated March 1, 2024 at 11:00 AM PST

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Car insurance requirements vary based on the state you live in, so it’s important to understand your state’s minimum coverages. In North Carolina, drivers have to purchase 30/60/25 minimum insurance for bodily injury liability and property damage liability. Plus, drivers must also carry uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance.[1] North Carolina’s liability limits are similar to many other states’ liability requirements, but only a handful of states require uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

Here’s what you need to know about North Carolina car insurance requirements and how to compare rates to find the cheapest coverage.

North Carolina car insurance requirements

If you want to drive legally in North Carolina, you must have the following coverages:[1]

  • $30,000 per person for bodily injury liability

  • $60,000 per accident for bodily injury liability

  • $25,000 per accident for property damage

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage equal to your liability coverage

Bodily injury liability

Bodily injury liability insurance covers someone else’s injuries and medical expenses from accidents you cause. But it doesn’t cover your own injuries and medical expenses. It also helps pay for legal costs if someone sues you.

In North Carolina, you need policy limits of at least $30,000 per person and $60,000 for all persons in an accident.

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Property damage liability

Property damage liability coverage pays for repairing or replacing someone else’s car or other property when you cause an accident. North Carolina law requires at least $25,000 for property damage liability.

Keep in mind that $25,000 is the absolute minimum requirement. If you do more than $25,000 in property damage, your insurance won’t cover the excess — you’re financially responsible for the rest.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage protects you in case another driver doesn’t have any insurance or enough insurance to pay for your medical expenses or damages.

North Carolina requires uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage policy limits at the same amount as bodily injury and property damage coverage. So if you have $30,000 for bodily injury coverage and $25,000 for property damage coverage, you’ll have those same limits for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.[2]

Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Every State

Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Every State

North Carolina Safe Driver Incentive Plan

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/150x150/43d0635527/states_north-carolina.svg

    SDIP

    The North Carolina Safe Driver Incentive Plan (SDIP) provides drivers with a financial incentive to practice safe driving. Moving violations, at-fault accidents, and other convictions correlate to points on your license that result in car insurance rate increases. For example, two SDIP points equals a 55% rate increase.[3]

    The more points you accrue with the state, the more you risk losing your license. North Carolina may suspend your license if you get 12 points within three years.[4]

Do you need more than state-minimum coverage in North Carolina?

North Carolina requires drivers to always have liability insurance. But you may feel that you need more auto insurance than that. The state’s minimum coverage is just that — a minimum — and insurance professionals generally encourage you to buy more.

Liability insurance only covers other parties’ damages and injuries after an accident you cause. It doesn’t pay for your own damages or injuries, which is why you may need more coverage. You can purchase full-coverage insurance, which usually includes liability, collision, and comprehensive coverages. Because this adds more protection, full-coverage insurance usually costs more.

Keep in Mind

If you drive a less valuable car, you might choose liability insurance. On the other hand, if you own an expensive car, especially one that you financed, full coverage may be the better choice.

The cost of liability-only car insurance in North Carolina

The average cost of liability-only insurance in North Carolina is $56 per month. If you have liability insurance and cause a car accident, that means your policy will pay for the other parties’ damages and injuries. The cheapest liability-only car insurance company in North Carolina is Midvale Home & Auto, but the table below includes other affordable auto insurers.

The below rates are estimated rates current as of: Friday, March 1 at 11:00 AM PST
Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
Midvale Home & Auto36
Erie40
Nationwide40
GEICO46
Liberty Mutual46
State Auto48
Safeco49
Travelers51
Direct Auto52
Dairyland52
Allstate55
Progressive56
State Farm66
National General67
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

The cost of full-coverage car insurance in North Carolina

The average cost of full-coverage car insurance in North Carolina is $110 per month. Full-coverage insurance usually includes liability coverage, plus collision and comprehensive, which pay for vehicle damages from various situations, even if you’re at fault. It can also include medical payments (MedPay), which covers your injuries from an accident, regardless of fault.

Here are some of the cheapest full-coverage car insurance companies in North Carolina.

The below rates are estimated rates current as of: Friday, March 1 at 11:00 AM PST
Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
Erie59
Nationwide65
GEICO68
Midvale Home & Auto70
Travelers74
Allstate81
Progressive83
State Auto93
Safeco94
Direct Auto95
State Farm97
Liberty Mutual115
National General127
Dairyland322
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Penalties for driving without proof of insurance in North Carolina

Generally, if you drive without insurance in North Carolina, you likely won’t face jail time, but you will pay fines:[1]

  • First offense: $50 fine and a $50 vehicle registration restoration fee at renewal

  • Second offense in three years: $100 fine and a $50 vehicle registration restoration fee at renewal

  • Third and subsequent offenses: $150 fine and a $50 vehicle registration restoration fee at renewal

Get Auto Coverage in North Carolina

State-minimum coverage starts at $36 per month

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Optional car insurance coverages to consider

Beyond liability-only or even full coverage, if you really want a lot of insurance protection, you may consider purchasing optional car insurance coverage, such as:

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/4c9753bdbe/medical-payments.svg

    Medical payments (MedPay) coverage

    Medical payments coverage (MedPay) covers you for medical expenses for you and your passengers in the event of an accident, regardless of fault.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/100x100/9997698e9e/emergency-roadside-service.svg

    Roadside assistance coverage

    Roadside assistance coverage helps pay for costs when your car breaks down during travel. It can include towing and labor, battery jump-starts, and tire changes.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/100x100/24f1697280/car-key.svg

    Rental reimbursement coverage

    Rental reimbursement coverage pays for the cost of a rental car if your car is in the shop for repairs, up to the policy limit.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/abffe6238f/financial-protection.svg

    Gap coverage

    Gap insurance covers the difference between your auto loan and insurance settlement in the event of a total loss.

North Carolina car insurance requirements FAQs

Here’s Insurify’s guide on how to switch your car insurance in a few simple steps. You can also check out the answers to common questions about car insurance in North Carolina below.

  • Does North Carolina require car insurance?

    Yes. To drive legally in North Carolina, you must have 30/60/25 coverage. This translates to $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident for bodily injury liability, $25,000 per accident for property damage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage equal to your liability coverage.[1]

  • Do you need car insurance to register a car in North Carolina?

    Yes. North Carolina requires continuous liability insurance, so before you register a car, you need coverage from an insurer licensed to do business in the state.[5]

  • Does insurance follow the car or the driver in North Carolina?

    As it does in many states, insurance follows the car in North Carolina. This means if someone borrows your car with your permission, your insurance policy covers them for any damages or injuries they cause while driving it.

  • Can you insure a car in North Carolina with an out-of-state license?

    Yes. But if you established permanent residency in the state, you have 60 days to get a North Carolina driver’s license. In the meantime, you should contact your auto insurer to switch your car insurance liability coverage to meet North Carolina’s minimum requirements.

  • When did car insurance become mandatory in North Carolina?

    Car insurance first became mandatory in North Carolina in 1957 under the Vehicle Financial Responsibility Act.[6]

Sources

  1. North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. "Insurance Requirements." Accessed December 5, 2023
  2. North Carolina General Assembly. "§ 20-279.21. "Motor vehicle liability policy" defined.." Accessed December 5, 2023
  3. North Carolina Department of Insurance. "Safe Driver Incentive Plan." Accessed December 5, 2023
  4. North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. "Driver License Points." Accessed December 5, 2023
  5. North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. "Title Requirements." Accessed December 5, 2023
  6. North Carolina General Assembly. "§ 20-309. Financial responsibility prerequisite to registration; must be maintained throughout registration period.." Accessed December 5, 2023
Nick Dauk
Nick Dauk

Nick Dauk is a freelance writer specializing in business, entrepreneurship, personal finance, and travel. His work has been featured in Fox Business, BBC, The Edge, Business Insider, and Bisnow. Nick is a first-generation college graduate, having majored in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Central Florida. His eclectic coursework, combined with previous managerial roles in the retail and broadcast television industries, have helped him develop an interdisciplinary approach to writing.

For nearly a decade, Nick has created content for mom-and-pop businesses and global corporations. As a travel writer, his global adventures have also been featured on Inside Hook, Houston Chronicle, Culture Trip, and Matador. When he's not traveling, Nick can be found in Orlando spending time with his wife and toddler.

Courtney Mikulski
Edited byCourtney MikulskiSenior Editor, Auto
Courtney Mikulski
Courtney MikulskiSenior Editor, Auto
  • 3+ years producing insurance and personal finance content

  • Main architect of the Insurify Quality Score

Courtney’s deep personal finance knowledge extends beyond insurance to credit cards, consumer lending, and banking. She thrives on creating actionable content.

Featured in

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