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If you’re looking for the best car insurance in North Carolina, you’re in the right place. Bankrate’s insurance editorial team found that Geico, State Farm, Nationwide, Allstate and North Carolina Farm Bureau are among the best car insurance companies in the state, based on an objective analysis. However, each person has a different insurance preference and a unique driving profile, so it may be beneficial to research each provider and get quotes from your top choices.
Doing this may also help you pay less for your car insurance. The average cost of full coverage car insurance in North Carolina is $1,392 per year, according to Bankrate’s 2021 study of quoted annual premiums, which is $379 less than the 2022 national average of $1,771 per year. Additionally, many of the companies on our list offer even lower average rates, so budget-conscious drivers could earn some savings with these companies.
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Key takeaways
  • North Carolina drivers generally enjoy average rates that are lower than the national average cost of car insurance.
  • Geico is the cheapest car insurance company on our list, with an average annual full coverage premium of $910 per year.
  • Understanding your needs and North Carolina’s car insurance laws could help you find a policy that works for you.

How Bankrate chose the best car insurance companies in North Carolina

To find the best car insurance companies in North Carolina, we developed a proprietary Bankrate Score system that takes several metrics into account. Our insurance editorial team analyzed average car insurance premiums from Quadrant Information Services and reviewed coverage options, discounts, policy features, customer satisfaction scores from J.D. Power and financial strength ratings from AM Best for each company. We also looked at accessibility and ease of use for policy management through online and mobile resources. Insurance companies are then graded on a weighted scale of 5.0 points, with a score closer to 5.0 indicating strong performance across these categories. If you are shopping for the best auto insurance in North Carolina, our research might help you find a carrier that fits your needs.

Best car insurance companies in North Carolina

Bankrate’s insurance editorial team analyzed the largest auto companies by market share and found Geico, State Farm, Nationwide, Allstate and North Carolina Farm Bureau to be among the best car insurance companies in North Carolina. When shopping for car insurance, North Carolina drivers might want to get quotes from these companies:

Car insurance company Bankrate Score J.D. Power score (Southeast region) Average annual full coverage premium Average annual minimum coverage premium
Geico 4.7 843/1,000 $910 $329
State Farm 4.7 855/1,000 $966 $318
Nationwide 4.4 850/1,000 $1,197 $328
Allstate 4.0 833/1,000 $1,597 $439
North Carolina Farm Bureau 3.6 844/1,000 $1,047 $336

Geico

Geico offers car insurance coverage nationwide and is known for its signature catchphrase, “15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance.” That statement may hold true for North Carolina drivers. Based on our car insurance carrier list, Geico could be a good fit if budget is your primary concern. However, Geico does not offer many unique coverage options and the company did receive a below-average score from J.D. Power for claims service.

Learn more: Geico Insurance review

State Farm

State Farm is the largest auto insurance company in the nation, with 16% of the market share. If you are looking for an established company that does its business through local agents, State Farm might be a good fit. The company’s mobile tools give you easy access to your policy, allowing you to file claims, make payments and call for roadside assistance. However, despite its above-average J.D. Power ranking, State Farm did receive a higher-than-average overall complaint index score from the National Association of Insurance Commissions (NAIC).

Learn more: State Farm Insurance review

Nationwide

Nationwide’s average premium in North Carolina is still below the state’s average, despite not being the cheapest on our list. The company might be a good fit if you want one company that can handle several of your financial products. Nationwide offers numerous types of insurance, plus banking services and financial planning. However, if you are looking for an auto insurance company with strong digital tools, Nationwide might not be the best fit. The company’s technology rated below average in both the Shopping and Service categories in the 2022 J.D. Power U.S. Insurance Digital Experience Study.

Learn more: Nationwide Insurance review

Allstate

Allstate offers excellent coverage options, including sound system coverage, roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement coverage, and could be a good fit if you are looking for a personalized policy. There are also local agents available to help you find the right policy or file a claim. However, Allstate’s average rate is higher than North Carolina’s average and the company has a below-average customer satisfaction score from J.D. Power in the Southeast region.

Learn more: Allstate Insurance review

North Carolina Farm Bureau

North Carolina Farm Bureau offers an average full coverage premium lower than the state’s average, and the company may even help you save on non-insurance expenses. Although membership is required, Farm Bureau members may have access to discounts on hotels, rental vehicles and farm equipment. Farm Bureau works exclusively through independent agents, which you might find appealing if you like handling your coverage in person. However, the company’s coverage options tend to be basic with relatively few options for personalization.

Learn more: Farm Bureau Insurance review

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Average cost of car insurance in North Carolina

North Carolina car insurance rates are well below the national average. While the average cost for full coverage car insurance in the U.S. is $1,771 annually, the average annual cost for North Carolina car insurance is $1,392 for a full coverage policy, according to 2022 rate data gathered from Quadrant Information Services. Minimum coverage is also cheaper, on average, in North Carolina, with an average policy costing $431 per year. The average minimum coverage premium in the U.S. is $545 per year.

North Carolina may have lower than average state insurance rates for several reasons. Parts of the state are at risk for severe weather damage, including hurricanes, but many areas are shielded from the storms, which can help keep full coverage rates down. And although some parts of the state experience heavy tourism, the areas that have less traffic and therefore a lower risk of accidents might offset the busier areas. Rates vary by location within a state though, so areas closer to the coast — where tourism is likely heavier and roadways are more crowded — may have higher premiums.

Average annual premium for minimum coverage in North Carolina Average annual premium for full coverage in North Carolina
$431 $1,392

How to find the best car insurance in North Carolina

The best car insurance in North Carolina is different for everyone. When you are searching for car insurance, you can take a few steps to help you decide what is right for you.

Consider minimum insurance requirements in North Carolina

Like most states, North Carolina requires drivers to carry at least minimum levels of car insurance to drive legally. You must carry the state-required levels of bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverage, uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage. Understanding North Carolina’s car insurance laws can help you decide if you need higher levels of coverage, but you do not need to commit them to memory. You won’t be able to buy a policy that does not adhere to the state’s laws.

Consider lender requirements

If you have a loan or lease on your car, you should be aware of your financial institution’s car insurance guidelines. Minimum coverage does not include comprehensive coverage or collision coverage, which provides you with coverage for damage to your vehicle. If you purchase those options, you will have a full coverage policy, which is often required by lenders. You may also want to consider gap insurance. If your new vehicle is totaled and the payout is less than the balance of your loan, gap coverage is designed to help pay the difference.

Consider your individual needs

Do you have a teenage driver you need to insure? Are you looking for a company that has a highly-rated digital app? Are you more concerned with customer service than you are with price, or is your budget your primary concern? Do you have accidents and tickets on your record that could affect your premium and eligibility? Understanding your personal insurance needs might help you decide what companies could be a good fit.

Car insurance discounts in North Carolina

Most insurance companies in North Carolina offer auto insurance discounts to help you save money. In addition to finding a cheap car insurance company, discounts can help you get the coverage you need for a price that fits your budget. Although discounts will vary by company, here are some common ways to save:

  • Young driver discounts: If you insure a teen driver who is a full-time student, there may be several discounts available. Good student discounts, distance student discounts and driver training discounts could all help lower your premium.
  • Safe driver discounts: Safe drivers could qualify for several discounts. For example, telematics programs involve using a mobile app or plug-in device to track your driving habits. Based on how safely you drive, you could earn a discount. And if you work from home or drive only a short distance each day, be sure to tell your agent. You might qualify for a low mileage discount and earn a lower premium.
  • Other discounts: If you have a home, condo or renters insurance policy, getting your auto insurance with the same company might earn you a significant discount on both policies. Additionally, opting to receive your policy documents, billing statements or both via email or an online portal might save you some money.

Most insurance companies list their discounts online, but you can also talk to a representative to find ways to save.

Frequently asked questions