Cheap car insurance rates have been on the rise nationwide, and this has also held true for the state of North Carolina. Drivers in the Tar Heel State will see their insurance rise by 1.6% in Q4 this year. Though, the North Carolina Rate Bureau requested an even larger increase. So what are the cheapest car insurance companies in North Carolina?

In any case, North Carolina car insurance rates vary widely based on the insurer, city/county, age, driving history, type of vehicle, and even credit score. 

cheap car Insurance Companies for North Carolina
Learn more about cheap car insurance companies in North Carolina in this review. Image by Dr. Michael A. Milton from Pixabay

Cheap Car Insurance Companies for North Carolina

To get a clearer idea of how auto insurance works and how to find the best car insurance companies in North Carolina, let’s first take a look at how North Carolina laws regulate drivers, their insurance, and their vehicles. Here’s a guide to cheap car insurance companies for North Carolina.

Car Insurance Rate Laws for North Carolina

According to the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, drivers must abide by the following regulations:

  • Every licensed vehicle in North Carolina is required to maintain continuous liability insurance from an in-state insurance provider.
  • Out-of-state auto insurance policies are not accepted in North Carolina.
  • Every North Carolina driver must have uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance, as well as coverage for bodily injury and property damage.
  • The required minimum for bodily injury insurance is $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident.
  • The required minimum for property damage is $25,000.
  • If an auto insurance policy is canceled or there is a lapse in coverage, the North Carolina DMV will send notice to the owner of the vehicle. The registered owner must respond within 10 days or face civil penalties and fees.

How Car Insurance Rates Are Determined in North Carolina

As of the latest data, good drivers in North Carolina pay an average of $713 annually for auto insurance, or about $59 per month. Rates vary by the insurance provider, location, insurance type, and the level of coverage. However, these rates are also highly dependent on drivers.

When an insurance provider is calculating your rates, they will look at the following factors:

  • Location – Generally, if you live, commute, or work in an urban area (like Charlotte, Durham, or Raleigh), your rates will be higher, as accidents are more prevalent in densely-populated regions. However, other location-based factors are important, too, like adverse weather conditions and reports of vandalism.
  • Age – Statistically, younger drivers get in more accidents. This means that the younger you are, the more you will need to pay in insurance premiums. The average age in North Carolina is 37, which is on par with the national average.
  • Gender – Men are more likely than women to get in accidents, so your gender could impact your auto rates as well.
  • Marital Status – Typically, married couples take fewer risks than their single counterparts, and this holds true for driving. Married couples get in fewer accidents, and therefore pose a smaller risk for insurance providers.
  • Driving Experience – While this metric is similar to age, it is still slightly different. Usually, the older you are, the longer you have been driving, but that is not always true. Nonetheless, people who have held a driver’s license for longer are more experienced, and therefore pay lower premiums.
  • Driving Record – A driver’s record is one of the most important factors that insurance providers consider. If you have a history of frequent speeding tickets, DUIs, or other infractions, you will have to pay more. North Carolina’s rate of traffic incidents is significantly higher than the national average.
  • Claims Record – It is also important to consider how many claims you have made to insurance providers in the past (if any). At-fault claims will cause your premiums to rise, while not-at-fault collisions will generally have no impact on your rates.
  • Credit History – Your credit is a good indicator of how financially responsible you are, but the research also shows that people with low credit tend to file more claims, making them a greater risk for insurance providers.
  • Previous Insurance Coverage – If you have maintained auto insurance without any gaps, your new insurance provider will see this as a good sign. However, if you went for several years, months, or even days without any insurance, you will be seen as high-risk.
  • Vehicle Type – Certain cars are driven differently, which means that certain cars are more prone to accidents. Some cars are also more prone to theft or vandalism.
  • Use of Vehicle – When you exclusively use your vehicle for personal use, you are less likely to get in an accident. However, if you take long business trips or frequently drive for your work, you increase your chances of a collision. 
  • Annual Mileage – How much you drive directly impacts your chances of getting in an accident. No matter how you use your vehicle (personal or business use), if you put a lot of mileage on your car, you are more likely to file a claim with your insurance provider.
  • Number of Policies – Finally, the type of insurance you want/need will help determine your rates. The more policies you have (liability, comprehensive, uninsured motorist, etc.), the more you will need to pay.

Best and Cheapest Car Insurance Companies for North Carolina

When looking at rates across the entire state, there are 4 major insurance companies that consistently provide low rates for good drivers. Additionally, there are several other companies that provide low rates in certain cities and counties but do not consistently provide low rates statewide.

In any case, let’s take a look at some of the lowest auto insurance rates and best car insurance companies available in the state of North Carolina:

ProviderAnnual RateMonthly Rate
Auto-Owners$528$44
Penn National$736$61
Erie$758$63
State Farm$802$66

 

It is important to note that the table above shows the average rates for the minimum coverage required by the state of North Carolina. For standard, comprehensive, or “full coverage,” the rates are significantly higher:

 

ProviderAnnual RateMonthly Rate
Auto-Owners$794$66
Penn National$1,108$92
Erie$1,141$95
State Farm$1203$100

 

These are approximate rates based on statewide polling for 40-year-old men and women with good driving records. Naturally, individual rates will vary. Additionally, insurers like the North Carolina Farm Bureau, Allied, and Titan provide low rates for certain areas and applicants.

So, in order to get a better picture of auto insurance rates around the state, let’s look at how rates vary by city.

Best North Carolina Car Insurance Rates by City

Aside from your driving history, your location is one of the most important factors when calculating the cost of your auto insurance. Population, crime rates, weather conditions, and the cost of living can all affect the amount you pay each year.

Individuals who live and work in rural areas typically have the lowest rates. However, the majority of North Carolina residents live in urban or suburban areas, where rates tend to increase. 

The table below shows the average yearly auto insurance rates for 50 of the most populated cities in North Carolina. These are approximate rates based on statewide polling for 40-year-old men and women with good driving records. Additionally, this data is taken from all of the best car insurance companies in North Carolina.

Here is what the data shows so you can learn more about cheap car Insurance companies for North Carolina:

 

CityAverage Yearly Rate
Asheville $736
Mebane$770
Winston Salem$771
Black Mountain$775
King$776
Spruce Pine$778
Concord$779
Lexington$780
Kannapolis$783
Salisbury$783
Andrews$783
Bryson City$784
Cashiers$786
Franklin$786
Greensboro$788
Highlands$788
Murphy$789
Robbinsville$790
Sylva$791
Waynesville$794
Hendersonville$796
Mocksville$799
Thomasville$799
Hillsborough$800
Marion$801
Boone$801
Burlington$801
Forest City$802
Rutherfordton$803
Tryon$804
West Jefferson$804
Albemarle$805
Asheboro$806
Denton$808
Lenoir$808
Locust$808
Morganton$809
Statesville$809
Troy$810
Denver$813
Shelby$814
Eden$814
Hickory$815
Reidsville$816
Siler City$818
Southern Pines$819
Elkin$822
Raleigh$827
Durham$854
Charlotte$864

 

Now, let’s take a closer look at the top-5 largest cities in North Carolina and compare their respective auto insurance rates:

Charlotte

In Charlotte, the average annual premium is $864 for minimum liability insurance and $1,304 for full auto coverage. However, as with most large cities, these prices can vary by district or neighborhood. For example, residents of Myers Park or Eastover are likely to pay higher prices than those living in Eastway.

Regardless of the district, road maintenance is an issue throughout the entire city. Nearly 40% of major roads in Charlotte are rated as either “poor” or “mediocre.” These hazardous conditions can put extra wear-and-tear on vehicles, which in turn drives up the cost of insurance.

Raleigh

In Raleigh, the average annual premium is $827 for minimum liability insurance and $1,242 for full auto coverage. While Raleigh drivers do not spend as much time in traffic as commuters in Charlotte, they still deal with more traffic congestion than most other cities in the state.

That said, the weather is relatively mild year-round. The road conditions are above average in Raleigh, both of which help keep insurance costs down.

Durham

In Durham, the average annual premium is $854 for minimum liability insurance and $1,291 for full auto coverage. Drivers who live and work in the downtown area will probably pay a higher insurance premium than those in East Durham.

Congestion is not a huge issue in the city, but much like the rest of North Carolina, Durham has a high rate of collisions and moving violations. Rates increase in areas where the risk of a collision is higher. 

Greensboro

In Greensboro, the average annual premium is $788 for minimum liability insurance and $1,180 for full auto coverage. Unfortunately, Greensboro is one of the worst places in the country to be a driver. It ranks 19th out of all U.S. cities for collisions, DUIs, and other moving violations.

So, even though Greensboro has a relatively small population and low cost of living, insurance premiums are pretty high citywide.

Winston Salem

In Winston Salem, the average annual premium is $771 for minimum liability insurance and $1,154 for full auto coverage. There is not much price variation between neighborhoods, though the cost of living in certain areas may have some effect on premiums.

Winston Salem has high-quality roads, which helps cut down on vehicle wear-and-tear. However, Winston Salem gets more rainfall per year than the national average, and slippery roads can lead to accidents and higher insurance costs.

Summary of Cheap Car Insurance Companies in North Carolina

As you can see, there are a lot of variables that affect the cost of auto insurance in North Carolina. Additionally, the figures provided above are averages based on adults with good driving records, so the exact rates you pay may differ. Nonetheless, we hope that this information helps you when you’re ready to obtain a new policy or upgrade your current one with one of the best car insurance companies in North Carolina.

If you’d like to learn more about acquiring auto insurance in your state, consult some of our other car insurance guides and resources. If you’re looking for more information about North Carolina auto insurance, consult the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles today!  

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Matthew Jones