How Bankrate chose the best home insurance companies in North Carolina
To help you find the best North Carolina homeowners insurance, Bankrate first assessed average rate data from Quadrant Information Services. We then analyzed coverage offerings and discounts, as well as how third-party organizations, including J.D. Power and AM Best, rank the carriers for customer service and financial strength. We compiled this information into a Bankrate Score. The better a company performed in each category, the higher its Bankrate Score, for a maximum score of 5.0 out of 5.0. Utilizing our Bankrate Score can help provide a quick picture of which insurance companies may be worth requesting quotes from during your home insurance search.
- North Carolina homeowners pay an average of $1,317 per year for a policy with $250,000 in dwelling coverage.
- North Carolina Farm Bureau and Travelers offer some of the cheapest average rates in the state.
- You may want to consider the specific types of common damage in your area when shopping for North Carolina home insurance.
Best home insurance companies in North Carolina
Based on our research into North Carolina homeowners insurance companies, we chose North Carolina Farm Bureau, USAA, Erie and Travelers as among the best in the state. If you’re shopping for North Carolina home insurance, you may want to get quotes from these carriers. Let’s dive a bit deeper into how these companies compare.
|Home insurance company||Bankrate Score||Average annual home insurance premium for $250,000 in dwelling coverage||J.D. Power score||AM Best rating|
|North Carolina Farm Bureau||5.0||$1,021||Not rated||A|
*Not officially ranked with J.D. Power due to eligibility restrictions
North Carolina Farm Bureau
If you are a member of the North Carolina Farm Bureau, you have access to home insurance through the organization. The company could be a good option if you own a high-value home, as North Carolina Farm Bureau’s average premiums for $350,000 or more in dwelling coverage are the cheapest on our list. However, the company’s digital tools aren’t as easy to use as some of its competitors, so if you like to handle your policy online or on your phone, North Carolina Farm Bureau might not be a good fit.
Learn more: Farm Bureau Insurance review
USAA homeowners insurance in North Carolina provides robust coverage for your home and property, but it’s only available to active military members, veterans and their eligible immediate family members. The company consistently earns high customer satisfaction scores from J.D. Power, but is disqualified from official ranking in the study due to its membership eligibility restrictions. While USAA’s average premium is a bit higher than the state average, the company could still be a good choice for those who qualify.
Learn more: USAA Insurance review
Erie is a regional carrier available through local agents in 12 states and Washington, D.C. The company offers the standard range of property coverages and discounts but adds the option to personalize your coverage with a range of optional endorsements. Erie includes animal coverage up to $500 and optional coverage for computer and equipment breakdowns. Although Erie is highly rated for customer satisfaction with J. D. Power — perhaps due to the service of its local agents — and its Bankrate Score also reflects its limited state availability and average home insurance premium, which was the second-highest on this list.
Learn more: Erie Insurance review
Travelers is known for competitive rates that are complemented by a handful of discounts that may lower your premium even more — including a home buyer discount and one for having a green home. You can personalize your policy with endorsements for jewelry, furs and other high-value items and add coverage for water backup and sump pump overflow. While coverage comes at a premium lower than the state average, it may be worth considering that Travelers ranked near the bottom for customer satisfaction in the 2021 J.D. Power Home Insurance Study, indicating that some policyholders may have been left feeling dissatisfied with its service.
Learn more: Travelers Insurance review
How much is homeowners insurance in North Carolina?
The average cost of homeowners insurance in North Carolina is $1,317 per year for $250,000 in dwelling coverage. North Carolina homeowners insurance is, on average, slightly cheaper than the national average of $1,383 per year. North Carolina’s average annual home insurance rate falls between surrounding states’ rates, with Tennessee’s average at $1,644 annually and South Carolina’s average at $1,165 annually. The average rates in this state may be due to the fact that so much of the state is inland. Coastal states often see higher rates due to higher likelihoods of damage, but a large percentage of North Carolina is inland and therefore doesn’t experience severe damaging weather as often.
There are several factors that can affect your North Carolina insurance premium, like being in a more populated area with higher crime rates or in a hurricane zone. Geographical location aside, your marital status, credit-based insurance score and claims history might all impact your insurance rate, depending on your state’s regulations.
Home insurance in North Carolina
Homeowners may want to consider North Carolina’s weather conditions when searching for home insurance. If your home is located along the coast, there is a higher likelihood that severe weather events, including wind damage, hail and hurricanes, may cause home damage, and other parts of the state may also experience similar weather events. According to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I), an estimated 780,462 single-family homes in North Carolina could be at risk due to storms ranging from a Category 1 to a Category 5. Estimated reconstruction costs for these homes could top $172.3 billion. Below are a few important factors for North Carolina residents to keep in mind when shopping for homeowners coverage.
Common causes of loss in North Carolina
Besides the threat of hurricanes and tropical storms, parts of North Carolina suffer from frequent hail storms, tornadoes and other windstorms. Areas of the state may experience downed trees, damaged power lines and hail damage on a regular basis. The most common losses include:
- Hail and wind: These are damages caused by severe weather events that have not been named and labeled as tropical storms or hurricanes. Storm season typically runs from June to November in North Carolina, creating a large window for possible damage.
- Hurricane wind and flooding: This category of damage is caused by storms that have been named and labeled as either a tropical storm or a hurricane. Based on FEMA’s Declared Disasters tracker, these weather patterns have been a moderate threat in North Carolina for the last few years, with one declared disaster in 2021 and four in 2020.
- Fire and lightning: These claims are not the most frequent but can be expensive. Fires usually result in structural damage, and water damage from firefighters can be a concern too. Additionally, fire by lightning strikes can damage a home’s entire electrical system and lead to damage.
Home insurance coverage options in North Carolina
Standard home insurance policies cover your home, detached structures, personal belongings and liability exposure, but you may want to consider additional coverage for more robust protection.
- Flood insurance: Standard homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage, so you will need to obtain flood insurance separately if you want it. Flood insurance is available through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program and some private flood insurers.
- Windstorm and hail: Depending on where you live in the state and your insurance company, windstorm and hail coverage may be excluded from your standard coverage. Some homeowners may need to purchase a separate windstorm and hail policy. If included in your policy, this coverage may come with a separate deductible, typically 1% of your home’s insured dwelling value.
- Earthquake damage: An earthquake endorsement can cover repairs needed due to earthquake damage and may cover other structures not attached to your house, like a garage or shed. It can also insure your personal property, the cost to remove debris and extra living expenses you may have while your home is being rebuilt or repaired after an earthquake. While major earthquakes aren’t incredibly common in the state, without the endorsement, there is typically no coverage for earthquake damage on most North Carolina homeowners insurance policies.
Frequently asked questions
- North Carolina flood insurance
- Homeowners insurance for people with bad credit
- Guide to flood insurance: here’s what to know
- High-value home insurance
- Largest home insurance companies