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Cheapest car insurance in North Carolina in 2022

Skyline of Charlotte, North Carolina against the orange sky of a setting sun.
Walter Bibikow/Getty Images
Skyline of Charlotte, North Carolina against the orange sky of a setting sun.
Walter Bibikow/Getty Images
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Drivers in North Carolina pay an average of $835 per year for full coverage car insurance. For minimum coverage car insurance, the average cost is $260 per year. Both premiums are far lower than the national average annual cost of car insurance, which is $1,674 for full coverage and $565 for minimum coverage.

Minimum coverage car insurance may be cheaper than full coverage, but that’s not the only solution for cheap car insurance. It’s possible to have higher policy limits and more coverage options for increased financial protection without breaking the bank. If you are searching for the cheapest car insurance in North Carolina, Bankrate’s research may help you decide which car insurance company is right for you.

The cheapest car insurance companies in North Carolina

Bankrate’s insurance editorial team began our research by obtaining recent 2021 premium data from Quadrant Information Services for the largest auto insurance companies in North Carolina by market share. We also considered a few other important factors in addition to searching for the companies with the cheapest rates. We analyzed each provider’s J.D. Power customer satisfaction scores and AM Best financial strength ratings to ensure that the companies we featured had more to offer than just affordable rates.

Based on our search criteria, drivers looking for cheap car insurance in North Carolina may want to consider getting quotes from Geico, State Farm, Erie and North Carolina Farm Bureau. Nationwide could also be a good choice if you are seeking minimum coverage, and Penn National also made our list of cheapest full coverage companies.

The cheapest companies for minimum coverage in North Carolina

Geico and State Farm offer the cheapest minimum coverage premiums in North Carolina, according to our research. Minimum coverage means that you are only purchasing the state-required coverage types and base limits. However, most insurance professionals recommend that you purchase higher liability limits and additional coverage for greater financial protection. Add-on options include comprehensive and collision coverage for your vehicle, as well as uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage if you were to be involved in an accident where the other at-fault party did not have enough insurance to cover your costs.

If you are seeking minimum coverage in North Carolina, we found these five national and regional companies are among the cheapest:

Car insurance company Average annual minimum coverage premium Average monthly minimum coverage premium
Geico $260 $22
State Farm $292 $24
Erie $365 $30
Nationwide $368 $31
North Carolina Farm Bureau $374 $31

The cheapest companies for full coverage in North Carolina

Geico, State Farm and North Carolina Farm Bureau sell the cheapest full coverage car insurance in North Carolina, based on our analysis. Full coverage adds both comprehensive and collision coverage for damage to your vehicle.

If you are looking for the cheapest auto insurance in North Carolina and need full coverage, these companies might be a good place to start:

Car insurance company Average annual full coverage premium Average monthly full coverage premium
Geico $835 $70
State Farm $958 $80
North Carolina Farm Bureau $1,107 $92
Erie $1,125 $94
Penn National $1,333 $111

Events that can impact your cheap rates in North Carolina

Car insurance rates do not stay the same throughout your life. Rates change based on several factors, including live events such as getting married, moving to a new community, adding a teenage driver, or driving-related incidents such as an at-fault accident, speeding ticket or a DUI. When your life changes, you may want to consider reviewing your car insurance to make sure your coverage is appropriate and that your company is still the best fit. It may be helpful to review your policy and coverage types if you have recently:

  • Added a teen driver: Teens are typically considered high-risk drivers by most insurance companies due to their inexperience. If you have a teen driver getting their license, you might want to shop your policy to see which carrier can offer you the cheapest rate. A number of cheap car insurance companies are available for teen drivers, and many carriers offer discounts to help offset the increase in your premium, such as driver’s education programs, good grades and being away at college without a vehicle.
  • Received a speeding ticket: Speeding tickets are a common conviction and can negatively impact your premiums. Speeding is considered a risky behavior and can be a sign that you might cause an accident, so insurance companies will generally charge you more. However, not all companies will penalize you the same amount, so getting quotes can be helpful.
  • Involved in an at-fault accident: It may be common knowledge that accidents can increase your insurance premium, but just like with speeding tickets, not all companies respond in the same way. If you have recently caused an accident, you might want to talk to your provider about discounts or coverage changes that could lower your premium. Several carriers offer accident forgiveness programs for your first at-fault accident, so you will not face an automatic surcharge. Shopping your policy could also help you find cheaper coverage.
  • Deemed a high-risk driver: High-risk drivers generally have poor driving records, including accidents, tickets and DUI convictions. Some companies may also take poor credit into consideration. If you have been deemed a high-risk driver, you may have experienced a significant increase in your premium or found it difficult to qualify for coverage with certain insurers. Not all insurance companies will insure high-risk drivers, so you may have to do a bit more research to find cheap car insurance.

Cheapest cities in North Carolina for minimum coverage

How much you pay for car insurance in North Carolina will also depend heavily on where you live in the state. Generally, the more urban your area, the more you will pay. Cities with high population densities, like Charlotte and Raleigh, tend to have higher average premiums, while drivers in smaller markets typically pay less for auto insurance. More vehicles on the road generally mean a higher probability of getting into an accident.

If you live in one of these smaller North Carolina communities, you might pay less for minimum coverage car insurance:

City Average annual minimum coverage premium Average monthly minimum coverage premium
Burnsville $336 $28
Lake Lure $336 $28
Bakersville $337 $28
Zionville $337 $28

Cheapest cities in North Carolina for full coverage

Your full coverage premium in North Carolina can be affected by your city and even your ZIP code, as well. Higher cost of living areas, like Greensboro and Durham, tend to have higher average premiums. This may be due in part to these areas having generally higher costs of vehicle repairs and labor. Because full coverage car insurance covers damage to your vehicle, these costs can increase your premium.

However, it is possible to still find cheap full coverage. The following four cities pay among the lowest average rates for full coverage in North Carolina:

City Average annual full coverage premium Average monthly full coverage premium
Weaverville $1,130 $94
Alexander $1,132 $94
Swannanoa $1,133 $94
Barnardsville $1,133 $94

Minimum coverage requirements for North Carolina drivers

Like most states, North Carolina has minimum coverage car insurance requirements. To drive legally in the state, you must carry at least the following coverage types and limits:

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

However, most insurance professionals recommend that you purchase higher limits if you can afford to. Minimum coverage limits are quite low and may not provide adequate protection in the event of an at-fault accident. Additionally, if you have a loan or lease on your vehicle, you likely need to have full coverage to satisfy your financial institution’s requirements.

Here is how to find (and keep) cheap car insurance in North Carolina

Finding cheap car insurance may take a bit of research, but it is possible. Once you’ve found a cheap policy, you may need to employ some strategies to keep your rates down. Here are some ways you can find and keep the cheapest car insurance for your needs:

  • Shop around: Getting quotes from different insurance providers could help you find the most affordable rates for your needs. Each company has its own rating system, so shopping around can help you see which carrier can offer you the lowest premium for the coverage you need.
  • Avoid tickets and accidents: Drivers with a clean driving record tend to pay lower premiums. Having accidents, tickets or DUI convictions on your driving record could indicate that you engage in risky driving habits, which tends to increase premiums.

Frequently asked questions

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 coverage that met 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
Cate Deventer
Insurance Writer & Editor
Cate Deventer is a writer, editor and insurance professional with over a decade of experience in the insurance industry as a licensed insurance agent.
Edited by
Insurance Editor
Reviewed by
Director of corporate communications, Insurance Information Institute