Best cheap car insurance in Raleigh

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Of the over 470,000 residents in Raleigh, North Carolina, more than 77% drive alone to work each day and more than 40% of households own two cars. Luckily for Raleigh drivers, the average annual cost of car insurance is cheaper than the national average at $459 per year for liability coverage and $1,286 per year for full coverage.

Shopping around for car insurance and comparing quotes is a great way to save even more for car insurance in the Raleigh area. Bankrate analyzed insurance companies offering coverage in North Carolina to find the best and cheapest rates based on third-party rankings and other criteria.

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 2020 J.D. Power Auto Insurance Study. The companies that stood out are featured in the table below.

Insurance company J.D. Power score
(Southeast region)
Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
Erie 871 / 1000 $446 $1,157
Geico 857 / 1000 $281 $797
North Carolina Farm Bureau 854 / 1000 $410 $1,085
State Farm 835 / 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 coverage for rideshare drivers and the opportunity for insureds to lock their rate in for as long as their policy remains unchanged.

Erie holds the ninth position for market share in North Carolina, with 4.1% of drivers insuring their cars with the company. Erie ranks high in the Southeast region on the 2020 J.D. Power Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study, in second place with 871 points. As a mid-size insurer, Erie has 880 points in second place for purchase experience in the U.S. Insurance Shopping Study. Erie also makes the top 10 insurance companies for auto claims, coming in seventh place of 24 eligible spots in the 2020 J.D. Power Auto Claims Study.

Geico

Almost everyone can recognize Geico’s gecko mascot on television and North Carolina drivers often insure their cars with Geico, holding 12.9% of the market share in the state. Geico has a wide array of discounts to help keep costs low and happens to be the cheapest car insurance rates on this list.

Geico is fourth in customer satisfaction for the Southeast region with 857 points, but took first place for large insurers on purchase experience in the 2020 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study. On the 2020 Claims Satisfaction Study, Geico came in one point short of the industry average, with 871 points.

North Carolina Farm Bureau

To get car insurance with the North Carolina Farm Bureau, you have to pay an annual membership fee. However, it comes with a host of benefits, including cheap rates on car, home and health insurance. The North Carolina Farm Bureau is popular among Raleigh and other drivers in the state, holding fifth place with 9.7% of the market share. Its agents even have a location in each North Carolina county.

The Southeast region rankings put the North Carolina Farm Bureau in sixth place with a total of 854 points in auto insurance satisfaction. The North Carolina Farm Bureau is not large enough to be considered on the 2020 J.D Power Insurance Shopping Study or the Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, but it does have a slightly higher-than-average complaint index with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

State Farm

State Farm is the largest insurer in North Carolina, with 14.1% of the market share. Offering rideshare coverage, 24/7 roadside assistance, and a policy for antique and classic cars, State Farm has a lot to offer North Carolina drivers.

State Farm is rated as being on par with the industry average for purchase experience on the 2020 J.D. Power Insurance Shopping Study and has 835 points in the Southeast region in the Auto Insurance Study, making it just below the industry average. However, State Farm is above average in the Auto Claims Satisfaction Study and has excellent financial strength, which shows its ability to pay out claims, no matter the amount.

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 liability 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 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 premium 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.

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

To keep rates cheap 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. It also makes 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, 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?

You may only be legally required to carry the state minimums, but many drivers in Raleigh purchase higher liability limits in addition to collision and comprehensive coverage so they have better financial protection against out-of-pocket costs if found at-fault in an accident. Full coverage will cost more, but could be worth it, especially if you own a newer vehicle.

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.

About the author


Mandy Sleights

Mandy Sleights

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