North Carolina Auto Insurance Requirements
North Carolina drivers are required by law to carry minimum amounts of liability insurance on any registered vehicle in the state. The coverage offers financial protection in the event of an accident. The average cost of an auto accident in North Carolina is $89,478 when there are debilitating injuries and about $9,450 without injuries. These expenses are your responsibility to pay out-of-pocket if you aren’t carrying the state-required coverage. Failure to carry the necessary insurance coverage is a crime that can cause suspension of your driving privileges and vehicle registration, increased insurance coverage rate, and fines. These consequences are additional to the costs of the accident that you are expected to pay. Drivers may opt to add higher policy values than the state mandatory minimums if they so choose, giving them added protection in the event of an accident. Additional coverage is also available, including collision coverage.
To maintain legal driving status in North Carolina, drivers must carry liability coverage that includes $30,000 Injury Damage for one injury, with a maximum of $60,000 for all injuries and $25,000 in damage protection. This is known as a 30/60/25 policy. Drivers must also have uninsured motorists coverage on the vehicle to remain legal. Uninsured motorist protection covers the costs of an accident with a driver who isn’t carrying the state required coverage. Liability coverage pays for damages and injuries caused to the other party after an at-fault accident, up to the policy amount. The coverage will not cover any costs of damages or injuries that you incur after the accident.
North Carolina auto insurance companies offer drivers optional insurance coverage they can add to the mandatory state-required policy for added costs. These coverages add greater financial protection should an accident occur, covering the costs of your damages. If you are purchasing a brand new car, these policies may become required to obtain by the dealership before you can drive off the lot.
Optional auto insurance includes:
Collision: Covers damages occurring as result of a collision with another car
Comprehensive: Usually offered in combination with collision coverage, this policy pays for damages that occur as result of things other than a collision. This includes storm damage and vandalism.
Proof of Insurance
Whether you opt to carry only state-required coverage or add optional amounts and/or policies on your vehicle, it is mandatory that proof of insurance is carried in your vehicle at all times. Most drivers keep proof of insurance inside the glove box. Acceptable proof of insurance includes a DL-123 form, a copy of the insurance policy, an insurance card, or an insurance binder.
Before You Purchase Insurance
Many auto insurance companies are out there, but rates considerably vary from one provider to the next. Request free estimates from three to four companies and compare rates to ensure the lowest prices are found for the coverage that you need. Many factors affect the costs of your policy, including your age, type of vehicle being insured, the company that you insure with, and your driving history. When you compare rates with a few different companies, it is easy to find the best rates for your insurance coverage.