If you drive a motor vehicle in the U.S., you are legally obligated to have insurance regardless of where you live. However, car insurance is not one-size-fits-all, and the specifications could vary based on your car type, where you live, and your individual needs. At Henson Fuerst, we believe drivers should select insurance coverage with the same careful consideration as buying a car because it’s just as important, if not more.
If you live in North Carolina, here’s what you should know about NC’s minimum car insurance requirements to keep yourself and others protected out on the road.
North Carolina Minimum Car Insurance Requirements
North Carolina law states that all vehicles registered in NC have continuous liability insurance provided by a company licensed to do business in the state. Out-of-state policies are not accepted. Liability insurance protects drivers and their passengers against injuries and property damage in the event of an accident due to someone else’s wrongdoing with limited, minimum, or no liability insurance.
The minimum insurance coverage in North Carolina must cover uninsured and underinsured motorists and have minimum bodily injury and property damage limits. So, the minimum coverage for bodily injury is $30,000. The minimum coverage for bodily injury involving two or more people is $60,000. Finally, the minimum property damage coverage is $25,000.
Motorcycle insurance has its own set of requirements. More information about motorcycle insurance requirements in North Carolina can be found here.
Does Insurance Follow the Car or the Driver in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, car insurance usually follows the car. This includes bodily injury liability, personal injury liability, uninsured motorist protection, collision, and comprehensive. So, if you let someone borrow your car in North Carolina, you’re also letting them borrow your insurance policy.
If they cause an accident, your insurance policy will cover the other driver’s injuries and property damage. Specifically, the bodily injury liability insurance will cover the other driver’s injuries, while property damage liability will pay for the damage to their car.
How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in North Carolina?
The cost of car insurance premiums in North Carolina depends based on several factors, such as:
- State requirements
- Car make and model
- Yearly mileage
- High-risk violations (such as DUI)
- Zip code
- Driving record
- Credit history
- Marital status
Minimum insurance coverage in North Carolina costs roughly $40/month ($477/year), while the average cost for a full-coverage policy is $114/month ($1,366/year). According to a report by WalletHub, the cheapest insurance companies in North Carolina are Geico, Erie, and North Carolina Farm Bureau.
What Is The Difference Between a No-Fault and At-Fault State?
Depending on your state, fault laws vary. In a no-fault state, small claims are removed by the court system, and insurance covers policyholders’ injuries and damages from an accident without regard to who was at fault. If your accident claim is substantial enough, however, you have the right to sue the at-fault party for non-economic damages.
There are 12 no-fault states in the U.S.: Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Utah.
In an at-fault state, the insurance system is based on tort liability. This means that each insurance pays for the extent of the damages from an accident based on each policyholder’s degree of fault. So, the driver who caused the accident is responsible for paying for the damages of the other parties involved.
Is North Carolina a No-Fault State for Car Insurance?
No, North Carolina is not a no-fault state. Instead, North Carolina is an at-fault state, which means the driver who causes an accident uses their insurance to cover the other driver’s bills after the collision. Depending on their policy, the at-fault driver may have insurance to cover their injuries and damages, too.
However, just because North Carolina is an at-fault state does not always mean the at-fault driver covers injuries and damages after an accident. Several factors can impact the amount of compensation you’re entitled to after a wreck. In many cases, proving fault in an accident leads to significant delays in compensation for victims’ injuries and damages, and insurance companies deny justified claims every day. This is why an auto accident attorney who is well-versed in North Carolina car insurance laws is essential for your car accident case.
North Carolina Car Accident Attorneys Who Put You First
An auto accident happens instantly and can turn your life upside down. Fortunately, if you are adequately insured, it can make the process of recovering from an accident much easier.
If you have questions about North Carolina’s car insurance requirements or want to speak with an attorney about an accident you were involved in, contact Henson Fuerst for help. To do so, call 919-781-1107 or submit a free case evaluation form online today.