Best cheap car insurance in Charlotte for 2021

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Charlotte has more car accidents than any other city in North Carolina. In 2019, there were 135,052 crashes reported in the city. Drivers in Charlotte are required to carry car insurance to protect their liabilities if they cause an accident.

The average driver pays $1,494 for full coverage car insurance in Charlotte and $554 for minimum coverage car insurance in Charlotte. Bankrate collected data and rates from several top carriers in the state of North Carolina to determine the best car insurance companies in Charlotte. To figure out which companies offer the lowest average premiums, we went a step further. We identified the best cheap car insurance in Charlotte based on average premium, customer satisfaction, coverage options and discounts.

Best cheap car insurance companies in Charlotte

There are many car insurance companies in North Carolina to choose from. The table below includes the best cheap car insurance in Charlotte. These five companies have below-average premiums, comprehensive coverage options, generous discounts and impressive third-party customer satisfaction ratings. The average cost of car insurance in Charlotte by carrier is:

Insurance company J.D. Power score (Southeast region) Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
Geico 857 / 1000 $306 $838
State Farm 835 / 1,000 $486 $1,160
NC Farm Bureau 854 / 1000 $490 $1,250
Erie 871 / 1000 $504 $1,277
Progressive 848 / 1000 $641 $1,765

Geico

Geico is the cheapest car insurance carrier in Charlotte, with an average full coverage premium of $838 annually and an average minimum coverage premium of $306 annually. Geico’s coverage is basic, and there are few options for customization. However, the company offers a wide variety of discounts that many drivers can take advantage of, including savings for military personnel and federal employees.

Charlotte residents on a budget are likely to save considerably with Geico. The mobile app is also robust enough to provide services such as roadside assistance and claims filing whenever you need it.

Learn more: Geico Insurance review

State Farm

State Farm offers cheap car insurance with plenty of value packed in. The State Farm website and app are both user-friendly and allow you to file claims or review your policy anytime. You can also visit one of 47 dedicated local agents for help.

To maximize savings, young drivers and adults may enroll in State Farm’s driver tracking programs, which discount your vehicle insurance premiums when you drive safely. Teens pay more for car insurance coverage than most other age groups, but if you or your teen is insured with State Farm, you could qualify for up to 20% off for safe driving habits.

Learn more: State Farm insurance review

North Carolina Farm Bureau

North Carolina Farm Bureau is a popular insurance company for drivers in Charlotte. Farm Bureau Insurance is known for having exceptional customer service, in addition to affordable policies with good coverage. There is a Farm Bureau office in town, with six agents available.

In order to get car insurance through Farm Bureau, Charlotte drivers must purchase a Farm Bureau membership for $25 per year, but it comes with savings for products, hotels, attractions and more. However, paying $25 for membership could save you far more. Annual rates for minimum car insurance are just $490.

Learn more: Farm Bureau Insurance review

Erie

Erie is an East Coast carrier headquartered in Pennsylvania. Erie Insurance offers cheap policies for drivers in Charlotte, with an average full coverage premium of $1,277 and an average minimum coverage premium of $504. Charlotte residents rank Erie high in customer satisfaction, with a J.D. Power score of 87.
With Erie, drivers can access unique coverages, like new and better car replacement coverage, first accident forgiveness and pet coverage. Erie also has a rate lock guarantee and disappearing deductible program, in addition to traditional discounts. Taking advantage of Erie’s available discounts could come in handy to lower the city’s car insurance rates.

Learn more: Erie Insurance review

Progressive

Progressive is one of the top insurance companies in Charlotte. There are 47 independent agent offices in Charlotte available to help you with coverage. Its average full coverage and minimum coverage premiums are above average, but drivers get access to robust coverage options and generous discounts like the Snapshot safe driver program.

Considering that Charlotte drivers cause the most accidents in the state, the program can help a driver turn a new leaf. Simply download the Snapshot app and enroll in the program to allow the app to track your driving and reward you with discounts for safe driving. Progressive also offers a variety of online tools, like the Name Your Price Tool, which makes it easy for drivers to compare rates and find a policy that fits their budget.

Learn more: Progressive Insurance review

Cheapest car insurance in Charlotte

Car insurance in Charlotte is slightly more expensive than the average rate in North Carolina. Charlotte’s average rates are $1,494 annually for full coverage and $554 annually for minimum coverage. The average driver in North Carolina will spend $1,325 for full coverage insurance and $413 for minimum coverage insurance. However, Charlotte’s rates are less than the national average of $1,674 per year for full coverage and $565 per year for minimum coverage.

The table below includes the cheapest car insurance rates from the most popular carriers in Charlotte based on market share:

Insurance company Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
Geico $306 $838
Nationwide $452 $1,491
State Farm $486 $1,160
Erie $504 $1,277
Allstate $654 $1,989

Every car insurance company has its strengths. For example, Geico and Nationwide offer the cheapest average premiums in Charlotte. On the other hand, Erie, State Farm and Allstate have higher premiums on average, but also several local agents and offices, as well as multiple add-ons.

In terms of customer satisfaction, these companies differ dramatically. Erie and Geico are rated above average in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study for the Southeast region, whereas State Farm, Nationwide and Allstate are all rated below average. All five companies have good financial strength scores, with ratings of A+ or better from AM Best.

Charlotte insurance requirements

In Charlotte, car insurance is legally required. North Carolina law says that every driver with a vehicle that is registered in the state must carry at least 30/60/25 personal liability insurance, which includes the following:

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

Drivers in Charlotte who purchase minimum coverage insurance will likely pay the lowest rate. However, it is recommended that most drivers purchase coverage beyond the minimum amount. Car accidents can be expensive, and there is no guarantee that liability-only coverage in North Carolina will be enough to cover a driver’s full financial responsibility.

Additionally, some drivers are required to carry full coverage insurance. Drivers who have a financed or leased car are typically required by their lender to carry full coverage insurance until their loan is paid off in full.

Car insurance discounts in Charlotte

Drivers in Charlotte can lower their insurance premiums by taking advantage of car insurance discounts. Here are some of the biggest savings opportunities that drivers should consider:

  • Pay in full: Many insurance companies offer a discount for drivers who can afford to pay their annual insurance premium upfront and in full, rather than in monthly installments.
  • Driver training course: Drivers who complete an approved driver training or defensive driving course typically qualify for a lower premium.
  • Claims-free: Good drivers who have no accidents or claims on their record can usually get a cheaper car insurance premium.
  • Smart student: Students who get good grades or maintain a certain GPA are often eligible for smart student insurance discounts.

Of the four discounts with the most impact above, being claims-free and taking a driver training course could save you the most. The two discounts could last longer than your six-month or one-year term. As long as you continue to avoid claims, you could qualify for a reduction. And passing a defensive driving course typically earns you a worthwhile amount off your premium.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company?

There are hundreds of car insurance companies on the market and some of the best providers are State Farm, USAA, Geico, The Hartford, Erie and Amica. However, every company has its upsides and downsides. To get the best car insurance in Charlotte, drivers should shop around and compare providers based on their personal criteria to find the best car insurance in Charlotte.

How much does car insurance in Charlotte cost?

In Charlotte, the average driver pays $1,494 for full coverage car insurance and $554 for minimum coverage car insurance. However, every driver pays a different rate based on factors like their age, credit score, claims history, the type of car they drive, the amount of coverage they need and the chosen deductible.

How much car insurance do I need in Charlotte?

Drivers in Charlotte must carry at least 30/60/25 personal liability insurance. However, many drivers purchase more coverage than what is required. Full coverage car insurance offers more protection, including collision and comprehensive insurance, which covers the vehicle itself.

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.

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

Written by
Elizabeth Rivelli
Insurance Contributor
Elizabeth has two years of experience writing for insurance domains such as Bankrate.com, The Simple Dollar, Coverage.com and NextAdvisor, among others. In addition to auto insurance, Elizabeth regularly writes about home insurance, renters insurance and life insurance. She also covers industry trends and general insurance education.
Edited by
Insurance Editor