Average cost of car insurance in North Carolina for 2021

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The average annual cost of car insurance in North Carolina is $413 for minimum coverage and $1,325 for full car insurance. Although North Carolina auto insurance rates are slightly lower than the national average, you may be able to save further on the average car insurance rates in North Carolina if you know which carriers offer the best pricing — and how to get it.

Bankrate’s editorial team gathers the latest rates for North Carolina car insurance and regularly updates the data to provide the most current information about auto insurance in the Tar Heel State. While your premium will vary based on your personal rating factors, these average rates could help you know if your policy is competitively priced.

How much is car insurance in North Carolina?

North Carolina car insurance rates are below the national average of $565 and $1,674, with an average of $413 for minimum coverage and $1,325 for full car insurance per year.

However, your premiums may vary. Although the state you live in can be one of the biggest contributing factors to the cost of vehicle coverage, your premiums are dependent on more than the state you live in. Other factors which affect the cost of car insurance are:

  • Your age: Teen and young drivers pay more due to their lack of driving experience and the statistically high number of accidents they are in.
  • Your ZIP code: Some neighborhoods and cities in North Carolina may be more expensive for car insurance than others, based on factors such as theft and accident rates.
  • Driving record: If you have one or more accidents or moving violations on your record, your car insurance will likely be higher.
  • Credit score: Auto insurance companies generally check your credit score to determine your rates. Drivers with better credit scores usually receive cheaper premiums.
  • Carrier: The company you choose for car insurance in North Carolina could make all the difference in your rate. Carriers provide discounts for a range of driver profiles.

North Carolina car insurance rates by company

An important factor affecting car insurance rates in the Tarheel State is the carrier you choose. Bankrate found that the cheapest car insurance in North Carolina is Geico for minimum and full coverage, followed by State Farm.

Car insurance company Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
Allstate $459 $1,633
AmTrust Financial $419 $1,372
Erie $365 $1,125
Geico $260 $835
MetLife $488 $1,524
Nationwide $368 $1,374
North Carolina Farm Bureau $374 $1,107
Penn National $441 $1,333
Progressive $527 $1,630
State Farm $292 $958

North Carolina car insurance rates by city

The top 20 cities below are the largest based on population. Charlotte has the highest North Carolina insurance rates.

City Average annual premium for full coverage % increase in average annual premium
Charlotte $1,494 13%
Raleigh $1,286 -3%
Greensboro $1,285 -3%
Durham $1,263 -5%
Winston-Salem $1,182 -11%
Fayetteville $1,513 14%
Cary $1,165 -12%
Wilmington $1,277 -4%
High Point $1,271 -4%
Asheville $1,139 -14%
Greenville $1,365 3%
Concord $1,331 0%
Gastonia $1,475 11%
Jacksonville $1,387 5%
Chapel Hill $1,148 -13%
Salisbury $1,340 1%
Mooresville $1,277 -4%
Statesville $1,271 -4%
Burlington $1,237 -7%
Goldsboro $1,328 0%

Cost of living in North Carolina and car insurance

When shopping for the best car insurance rates in North Carolina, it is important to factor in your other expenses so that you are looking at your total living costs. The graph below shows the average annual cost of living in North Carolina, including the average cost of car insurance. Use this graph as a guide to help determine your overall expenses so that you can decide what insurance rates fit in your budget.

North Carolina car insurance rates by age

Car insurance premiums typically drop with age. Teens face the highest vehicle insurance rates, as illustrated below.

Age Average annual premium for full coverage
Age 16* $1,765
Age 17* $1,078
Age 22 $1,554
Age 25 $1,481
Age 30 $1,435
Age 35 $1,426
Age 40 $1,416

*16-year-old and 17-year-old premium represents the difference to add a teen driver to their parents’ policy.

North Carolina car insurance rates by driving record

Safe drivers enjoy the cheapest car insurance. A DUI (driving under the influence) conviction has the most expensive impact on your premiums, although a single speeding ticket or an accident are also significant.

Driving incident Average annual full coverage premium in North Carolina % increase in average annual premium
Speeding ticket $2,054 55%
Accident $1,933 46%
DUI $5,564 320%

How to save on car insurance in North Carolina

To save further on car insurance in the state, take advantage of a few ways to lower your premiums, such as:

  • Student car insurance discounts: If you are a full-time student under 25 or if you insure a full-time student under 25, you might save on car insurance if you maintain a B or better letter-grade average. You might also save if you are away at school without a vehicle.
  • Telematics: Enrolling in a driver-tracking program that monitors your driving habits can help lower your premiums, especially if they’re affected by past tickets or accidents.
  • Bundling coverage: Insuring your home or rental with your car through the same insurance company may bring you reductions across the board.
  • Low mileage: Urban areas in North Carolina often have public transportation networks. Driving less can qualify you for a low mileage discount with many of the top car insurance companies.

North Carolina car insurance requirements

All states have some form of insurance requirement for resident drivers. North Carolina’s state rules require continuous liability insurance of at least:

  • $30,000 bodily injury per person
  • $60,000 bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 property damage to others
  • $30,000 uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $60,000 uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury per accident

Although North Carolina car insurance mandates a minimum amount of liability coverage, drivers who lease or finance their vehicle will likely need full coverage, which adds collision and comprehensive coverage to liability insurance.

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between minimum and full coverage?

Minimum coverage typically only includes liability insurance, which pays for damages and injuries to others if you are at fault in an accident. If your car is damaged or totaled, liability coverage does not include your vehicle. Full coverage adds insurance to also insure your car in accidents or because of theft, fire or weather.

How much is car insurance in North Carolina?

Bankrate found that the average annual cost of car insurance in North Carolina is $413 for minimum coverage and $1,325 for full car insurance.

What is the cheapest car insurance in North Carolina?

The cheapest car insurance in North Carolina depends on a number of factors that are unique to you. Car insurance providers base insurance rates on several factors, such as the make and model of your car, where you live, your age, driver record and credit score.

How do I buy the cheapest car insurance in North Carolina?

To find the cheapest car insurance rates in North Carolina, you may want to get quotes from several providers. This will allow you to compare not only a company’s rates but also its available coverages, discounts, policy features and third-party rankings.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

To determine alternate rates, our base profile has been adjusted for the following scenarios:

  • Driving history: rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket, and single DUI conviction.
  • Age: rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the ages 18-60 (base: 40 years) applied. For teen drivers, rates were determined by adding a 16- or 17-year-old teen to a 40-year-old married couple’s policy. The rates displayed reflect the added cost to the parents’ policy.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Written by
Cynthia Paez Bowman
Personal Finance Contributor
Cynthia Paez Bowman is a finance and business journalist who has been featured in Bankrate, Business Jet Traveler, MSN, CheatSheet.com, Freshome.com and TheSimpleDollar.com. She regularly travels to Africa and the Middle East to consult with women’s NGOs about small business development and works with select startups and women-owned businesses to provide growth and visibility.
Edited by
Insurance Editor