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Best cheap car insurance in Raleigh

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There are over 470,000 residents in Raleigh, North Carolina, and a large number of them are drivers. In fact, more than 77% of Raleigh drivers commute alone to work each day – and more than 40% of households own two cars, which means that there is a significant auto insurance need in this city. Luckily, the average annual cost of car insurance in Raleigh is cheaper than the national average – at $459 per year for liability coverage and $1,286 per year for full coverage.

If you shop around for car insurance and comparing quotes, there is a chance you can save even more on your car insurance in the Raleigh area. To help you get started, Bankrate analyzed Quadrant Information Services data for insurance providers in North Carolina to help you find the best cheap car insurance in Raleigh.

Best car insurance companies in Raleigh

To find the best car insurance companies in Raleigh, we compared coverages, discounts, financial strength, market share, customer experience and third-party rankings from the 2021 J.D. Power Auto Insurance Study. The companies that stood out are featured in the table below, along with their average minimum coverage and full coverage premiums.

Insurance company J.D. Power score
(Southeast region)
Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
Erie 874 / 1000 $446 $1,157
Geico 843 / 1000 $281 $797
North Carolina Farm Bureau 836 / 1000 $410 $1,085
State Farm 859 / 1000 $359 $929

Erie

For almost 100 years, Erie has been offering auto, home and other insurance policies to North Carolina residents and other states. Erie is one of the few companies to offer dividend policies, and coverage for rideshare drivers. It also provides the opportunity for the customers it insures to lock their rates in for as long as their policy remains unchanged.

Erie is highly rated for customer satisfaction in the Southeast region in the 2021 J.D. Power Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study. The company ranked second on the list of 16 companies, with 871 points. As a mid-size insurer, Erie has 882 points in third place for overall purchase experience in J.D. Power’s U.S. Insurance Shopping Study. Erie also ranked in second place for auto claim satisfaction in the 2021 J.D. Power Auto Claims Study.

Learn more: Erie Insurance review

Geico

Almost everyone can recognize Geico’s gecko mascot on television and many North Carolina drivers insure their cars with Geico, holding 12.9% of the market share in the state. Geico offers a wide array of discounts to help keep costs low and happens to have the cheapest car insurance rates on this list, based on sample rate data. That said, one downside to Geico is that the coverage options are limited, so it may be better for drivers who just want a standard policy.

Geico ranked sixth for overall customer satisfaction in the Southeast region in the J.D. Power Auto Insurance Study, which is just slightly below average. Geico was also rated below average for purchase experience among large insurers in the 2021 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study. In terms of claim satisfaction, Geico earned 881 points, which is one point above the industry average.

Learn more: Geico Insurance review

North Carolina Farm Bureau

To get car insurance with North Carolina Farm Bureau, you have to pay an annual membership fee. However, Farm Bureau membership comes with a host of benefits, including discounts on car, home and health insurance. North Carolina Farm Bureau is popular among Raleigh drivers, holding fifth place with 9.7% of the market share, and the company has agents all across the state.

North Carolina Farm Bureau ranked ninth for overall customer satisfaction in the Southeast region in the J.D. Power Auto Insurance Study, with 836 points. While North Carolina Farm Bureau is not large enough to be included on the 2021 Insurance Shopping Study or the Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, it does have slightly higher-than-average complaints as reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Learn more: Farm Bureau Insurance review

State Farm

State Farm is the largest car insurer in North Carolina, and underwrites more car insurance policies than any other provider in the United States, with 14.1% of the market share. The company offers a variety of coverages, including rideshare coverage, 24/7 roadside assistance, and a policy for antique and classic cars. State Farm is also known for its generous discounts.

State Farm ranked fourth in the Southeast region for overall customer satisfaction in the J.D. Power Auto Insurance Study. The company also has an above average claim satisfaction score, earning 892 points and ranking sixth out of 18 insurers. J.D. Power also rated State Farm very highly in the 2021 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study – with the company tied for first place in the large insurer category.

Learn more: State Farm Insurance review

Cheapest car insurance in Raleigh

The average cost for full coverage car insurance is cheaper in Raleigh than other areas of North Carolina. In Raleigh, drivers on average pay $1,286 per year for full coverage, while North Carolina’s average rate is $1,325 per year.

For minimum coverage, rates are slightly higher in Raleigh at $459 per year compared to North Carolina’s average rate of $413 per year. Both Raleigh and North Carolina’s average cost for car insurance is cheaper than the national average, which is $565 per year for liability and $1,674 for full coverage per year.

We compared the most popular carriers in the North Carolina market to determine who has the cheapest average rates for car insurance.

Insurance company Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
Geico $281 $797
State Farm $359 $929
Nationwide $388 $1,259
Erie $446 $1,157
Allstate $532 $1,627

Geico has the cheapest average rates for both liability and full coverage, while State Farm is second cheapest. All the companies featured offer various coverage options and discounts with excellent or better financial strength to pay claims. You can file claims online, but Erie does not have the option on the mobile app, though you can track its progress. Additionally, all of the providers allow you to get a free insurance quote online.

Raleigh insurance requirements

Drivers living in Raleigh must have a minimum amount of liability limits on their car insurance to drive legally. All registered vehicles driving on North Carolina roads must have a minimum amount of coverage:

  • $30,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $60,000 for bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident

North Carolina also has additional requirements for uninsured motorist coverage, which includes:

  • $30,000 for uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $60,000 for uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $25,00 for uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage

In an at-fault state like North Carolina, you must pay for others’ bodily injury and property damage if you cause an accident. Having higher liability limits protects you financially compared to state minimums, so it may be a good idea to get quotes for 100/300/100 to help avoid having to self-insure. If you purchased a vehicle with a loan or lease, you may also be required to carry full coverage to satisfy loan requirements.

Car insurance discounts in Raleigh

If you are looking for the cheapest auto insurance in Raleigh, ask about all the discounts a car insurance company offers to see what you are eligible for. Here are some of the best discounts you can get for cheap car insurance in Raleigh:

  • Accident forgiveness: If you have gone at least three years without an at-fault accident, you may be eligible for an accident-free discount. If you get into an at-fault accident, your rates will not increase because of it, which could mean substantial savings over the period of time you would have paid higher rates.
  • Driving behavior discount: If you are generally a safe driver and make it a habit to avoid accelerating too fast or hitting the brakes hard, you could save money with a telematics program through a car insurance company. A plug-in device is installed in your car or you can use an app to monitor your driving habits for potentially big savings.
  • Multiple policy discount: If you own a home or rent, you may get a discount on your home insurance and car insurance by insuring them both with the same company. Some providers also offer discounts for bundling auto and life, or auto and commercial insurance. Bundling can make it easier to keep track of all your insurance policies if you have them all together.
  • Usage-based discounts: Some companies have a flat rate no matter how many miles you drive, but those that do not may have cheaper rates for drivers who do not put many miles on their cars.

Most discounts can be stacked on top of each other for more savings, so use this to your advantage.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company in Raleigh?

The best car insurance company in Raleigh is one that has discounts you qualify for and the right coverages for your household. Getting multiple quotes to compare will help you find the best car insurance company for you.

Who has the cheapest car insurance in Raleigh?

We found Geico and State Farm to have some of the cheapest car insurance rates in North Carolina when we compared premiums using our methodology, as explained below. However, you may find cheaper car insurance elsewhere depending on your driving record, vehicle type and coverage needs. You can research discounts and coverage offerings from several companies to compare cheap car insurance quotes.

How much car insurance do I need in Raleigh?

In Raleigh, you must carry at least 30/60/25 in personal liability and uninsured motorist coverage. However, remember that a minimum coverage insurance policy may not offer enough protection in the event of an at-fault accident. Purchasing more coverage than you are legally required to carry can be a crucial part of your financial plan, and if you lease or finance your vehicle, you may be required to carry more than just the state minimum.

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
Mandy Sleight
Insurance Contributor
Mandy Sleight has been a licensed insurance agent since 2005. She has three years of experience writing for insurance websites such as Bankrate, MoneyGeek and The Simple Dollar. Mandy writes about auto, homeowners, renters, life insurance, disability and supplemental insurance products.
Edited by
Insurance Editor