Cheapest car insurance in North Carolina for 2021

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Drivers in North Carolina benefit from some of the cheapest auto insurance in the country. While the average annual cost of car insurance in the U.S. is $565 for minimum coverage, and $1,674 per year for a full coverage policy, North Carolina drivers pay $413 and $1,325 a year for minimum and full coverage, respectively. This is mainly because the state legislature monitors North Carolina auto insurance premiums, capping rates so they are not as impacted by inflation.

With the privilege of cheaper auto insurance rates, car insurance may be especially beneficial for North Carolina’s 7.6 million licensed drivers. A good portion of North Carolina’s driving population is under the age of 30, which is an age group that tends to see higher rates on average. Fortunately, there is plenty of cheap auto insurance in North Carolina, but which provider is right for you? Bankrate keeps close watch of the insurance industry year-round in order to provide consumers with updated quoted premiums, policy overviews and trusted third-party ratings.

The cheapest car insurance in North Carolina

There are several options for cheap auto insurance in the state, including rates by some of the nation’s top providers. We analyzed the prominent car insurers in the state by market share to highlight the cheapest rates available to Tar Heel State motorists. Based on average quoted rates from Quadrant Information Services, some of the cheapest car insurance in North Carolina is offered by the companies below.

Insurance company Average minimum coverage Average full coverage
Erie $365 $1,125
Geico $260 $835
Nationwide $368 $1,374
NC Farm Bureau $374 $1,107
State Farm $292 $958

Erie

Not only does Erie offer premiums below the state average, but it helps North Carolina drivers lock in their low rates for the duration of their policy with its Rate Lock feature. With it, drivers can maintain the same insurance costs each year as long as they continue to insure the same vehicles.There is also a vanishing deductible option that you can add with Erie Auto Plus for even more protection.

Erie is a smaller company, serving just 12 states and Washington, D.C., but many drivers may find comfort in its more focused coverage and high customer satisfaction scores. The company even earned several Achieve in Customer Excellence (ACE) Awards, including one in particular for the voice of customer category, highlighting the company’s ability to value its policyholders experiences.

Learn more: Erie insurance review

Geico

Geico has several attractive options, in addition to offering cheap auto insurance in North Carolina. Policyholders benefit from a convenient mobile app designed to help with policy management and on-the-go claims tracking. Additionally, there are several branches in the state where drivers can meet with a Geico insurance agent in-person.

Geico is also one of the few providers that offers a military discount, in addition to a host of other meaningful discounts for membership groups, vehicle safety, good drivers and multi-policy for eligible drivers. Even North Carolina Uber or Lyft drivers could opt for coverage specific to their occupations through Geico’s rideshare insurance, tying the coverages drivers need in an easy, convenient package.

Learn more: Geico insurance review

Nationwide

Nationwide has a high number of local agents available to help with the finer points of policy management, as well as expanded coverage options. Nationwide is one of the more flexible providers for drivers with bad credit, with thoughtful safeguards like accident forgiveness and a vanishing deductible worth up to $500 off policyholders’ annual premiums. These options help solidify its place on our list for offering some of the cheapest auto insurance in North Carolina available. There are also extra protections that can be added to a car insurance policy, such as towing and labor coverage, rental car insurance, roadside assistance, gap insurance and a total loss deductible waiver.

Nationwide earns an A+ (Superior) rating from AM Best for financial stability, which means North Carolina motorists may count on the company for reliable claims processing. The mobile tools help make policy management easy and claims filing more efficient. Although the company lands on the higher end of quoted premiums out of the companies showcased, its policies come with an improved customer experience in the areas that matter most to many drivers.

Learn more: Nationwide insurance review

North Carolina Farm Bureau

Drivers must be a member to benefit from North Carolina Farm Bureau’s rates, but it only costs $25 a year to join. With its full coverage premium averaging more than $200 less than North Carolina averages, drivers are likely able to justify the small additional cost for its benefits. Once membership is official, drivers have access to a ton of great benefits, including savings on hotels, prescriptions and fun attractions.

Farm Bureau offers auto insurance, homeowners insurance and renters insurance, in addition to life insurance, health insurance and even insurance for your business or farm. Local agents are available to help, specializing in the insurance-related issues relevant to the communities they serve. With this, if there is ever a need to file claims, working directly with an agent or opting for NC Farm Bureau’s digital filing process should both be easily accessible options.

Learn more: Farm Bureau insurance review

State Farm

State Farm is not only the largest national insurer, but also a top-rated company for customer service from J.D. Power and holds stellar ratings from AM Best with an A++ (Superior) rating. State Farm offers an abundance of online resources with over 19,000 agents nationwide and 24/7 roadside assistance coverage. The State Farm Select Service program offers in-network auto repair shops for vehicle estimates and repairs. For drivers who like more robust policies, State Farm offers expanded coverage, including rental and rideshare insurance with the option for classic and antique cars insurance.

To save even more, consider exploring the types of car insurance discounts that State Farm has to offer. There are exclusive savings programs available, including its Drive Safe & Save, Steer Clear and good student reward programs, which could save motorists up to 20% or more.

Learn more: State Farm insurance review

Affordable coverage for North Carolina drivers

North Carolina auto insurance laws mandate the following amount of minimum car insurance for North Carolina drivers:

  • $30,000 – Bodily injury per person
  • $60,000 – Bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 – Property damage per accident

Drivers are also required to maintain minimum coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage of the same amounts. This will protect you and pay for damages that may come from an accident with a driver who does not have adequate car insurance, up to the coverage’s limits. However, it is generally recommended by insurance experts to purchase collision and comprehension as well to add additional financial assistance for potential damage to your vehicle from an accident, which would otherwise be left uncovered by liability. If your vehicle is leased, your lender may require full coverage to protect the loan.

How to get cheap car insurance in North Carolina

Because every driver has different needs, the company each individual decides is the cheapest will vary based on multiple driver-specific factors. For this reason, it is usually good practice to consider more than just the first provider you find and shop your options to find the right car insurance for you.

Before you purchase a new North Carolina auto insurance policy, consider these tips to find the right insurance policy.

Consider vehicle features

The kind of car you drive has an enormous impact on the total cost of your auto insurance. Factors like the year, make and model help insurance providers evaluate how much risk your vehicle poses on the road. An insurance provider may also consider the safety risks for your vehicle, such as possible recalls or high theft rates. If you have extra safety features, like an anti-theft device or safety sensors, you could earn additional discounts because of the reduced claim risk.

Raise your deductible

An easy way to make your payments more affordable is to increase your deductible. This option is pretty straightforward, but it is usually most effective for drivers who can afford a higher out-of-pocket expense without putting too much on their budget. Raising your deductible will have a varied impact on your premium depending on which type of coverage the deductible is raised, such as collision or comprehensive.

Ask about discounts

Car insurance providers often offer auto insurance discounts that you can use to save extra money. Some insurance companies offer employee discounts or special discounts for those who belong to certain organizations. While discounts vary by provider, asking which ones might apply to you before officially purchasing a policy could help you ensure the best rate for your money.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance in North Carolina?

The best car insurance in North Carolina varies by each driver’s needs, preferences and unique situation. The providers showcased here represent some of the cheapest annual premium offerings, but cost is not the only factor that contributes to a provider being the best fit for you. Other considerations could include the ease of claims filing or ability to speak to a local agent.

What is the average cost of car insurance in the U.S.?

Car insurance in North Carolina is much cheaper than most places in the country, ranking 21st for the cheapest averages. The average cost of car insurance is $565 annually for minimum coverage and $1,674 per year for a full coverage policy in the U.S. Meanwhile, North Carolina drivers only pay an average of $413 a year for minimum coverage and $1,325 a year for full coverage.

Can you drive without car insurance in North Carolina?

North Carolina requires you to maintain a minimum amount of car insurance. This includes both liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in case you are in an accident with someone who does not have car insurance. If you are caught driving without auto insurance, you could be responsible for penalties.

Who has the cheapest car insurance in North Carolina?

The cheapest price offered for your auto insurance policy will depend on several factors, such as your credit score, driving history and the kind of car you drive. It is important to Consider getting a quote with a few carriers to see who offers you the coverage you want at the best rate.

Can North Carolina’s average annual premiums be used as a quote?

Bankrate uses a sample driver profile that represents the average American driver to provide current average rates for providers across the country, state and national averages and rates for specific auto-related events, like at-fault accidents. While this information is accurate and may be used as a tool to start your insurance shopping process, it is not the same as a company-provided quote, which reflects how much they might charge you based on your unique details.

Insurance experts recommend obtaining quotes from multiple providers in order to compare the cost of your desired coverage and choose which insurer suits your needs best.

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
Mariah Posey
Insurance Editor
Mariah Posey is an insurance writer and editor for Bankrate.com specializing in auto and home insurance. She aims to make the insurance journey as convenient as possible by keeping the reader at the forefront of her mind in her work. With a background in reporting and feature writing, she has a knack for conducting research, writing factually while incorporating compelling details, and prioritizing story intent. Mariah is originally from New Jersey and holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Elon University. Prior to joining the team, she worked as a copyeditor and writing consultant at her alma mater. She has covered topics ranging from news to tech and lifestyle and has a vested interest in producing engaging content for audiences.
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