If you live in the Tar Heel State, we can help you find cheap car insurance in North Carolina that keeps you protected.
North Carolina has a vast pool of car insurance providers as diverse as the state’s landscapes. With so many options, finding the best North Carolina car insurance can be overwhelming. To give you a head start, we’ve researched the best car insurance companies and explained our favorites below.
By shopping around, you should be able to find a reliable and trustworthy provider that also offers affordable car insurance rates in North Carolina. Enter your zip code below or call our team at (855) 518-0148 to start comparing quotes.
In this article:
- The 5 Best North Carolina Car Insurance Providers
- Minimum North Carolina Car Insurance Coverage
- How Much Does North Carolina Car Insurance Cost?
- Driving In North Carolina
- How To Save Money On North Carolina Car Insurance
The 5 Best North Carolina Car Insurance Providers
In our search to find the best car insurance companies, we found several that offer cheap rates to North Carolina drivers. But to pick the best overall, we have to look beyond the price. It’s also important to consider the company’s reputation, customer reviews, and independent rankings.
We also took the time to evaluate the available car insurance discounts and additional benefits each provider offers. After doing this, we feel confident that these five companies have insurance policies to meet most needs.
|Best North Carolina Car Insurance||Motor1 Rating||Customer Service||Affordability||Coverage|
#1 Geico Car Insurance: Top Pick
Geico (Government Employees Insurance Company) started in 1936 as a way to provide cheap auto insurance to government employees. Since then, the provider has morphed into one of the largest in the industry, and now insures just about anyone.
Many people assume that the company has some of the highest rates, simply because of how big it is, but that’s not the case. In fact, our research shows that Geico car insurance has some of the lowest rates for North Carolina car insurance.
When it comes to finding a provider with a solid reputation, Geico has many other companies beaten. J.D. Power performed some independent studies and ranked Geico with decent scores in the 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction StudySM. The company also has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Here’s what one customer wrote on Trustpilot about his claims experience with Geico:
“Affordable insurance rate. I previously have used Geico for my three different autos at low price. They did [pay] all my medical bills after I got in an accident in 2016.”
Aside from a solid reputation, Geico offers some unique policy add-ons. You can choose from:
- Glass coverage: Opt for full glass protection in the event that a storm, road debris, or other object causes damage to automotive glass.
- Belongings protection: If your vehicle is broken into, you can receive additional compensation for the items that were inside.
- Roadside assistance: This coverage provides towing, lockout services, fuel delivery, jump-starts, and other emergency services.
- Accident forgiveness: After an at-fault accident, you can keep your current rate in place.
- Rental car coverage: If your vehicle is in the shop because of a covered repair, your coverage will provide or reimburse you for a rental car.
|A+ rating from the BBB and A++ financial strength rating from AM Best||Average quotes experience|
|Many choices for coverage|
|High level of customer satisfaction|
|Available in 50 states|
To learn more about the car insurance provider, check out our review of Geico car insurance.
#2 USAA Car Insurance: Best For Military
No matter how you look at it, USAA tends to be the cheapest car insurance around. If you can qualify for USAA car insurance, you could end up paying well below the average for North Carolina car insurance. Of course, every driver’s situation is unique. Prices are tied to your zip code, the type of car you drive, your driving records, and more. The only way to know exactly what you’ll pay is to get a car insurance quote.
There is one downside to USAA – its membership is selective. You can qualify for USAA if you meet any of the following conditions:
- You are an active member of the military – Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard.
- You are a former member of the military and retired or were honorably discharged.
- You are part of a commissioning program like the Naval Academy or ROTC.
- You are the child or spouse of a current or former USAA member.
That last qualification allows a family to pass on USAA eligibility to generation after generation.
You might think that cheap car insurance quotes come with poor customer service, but that’s not the case here. USAA consistently scores high on customer satisfaction studies and surveys from around the industry.
USAA received a score of 909 out of 1,000 in J.D. Power's Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study for the Southeast region (which includes Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee), the highest score of any company in the study. What that means is that USAA does a great job of responding to claims, communicating with customers throughout the process, and returning customers’ cars quickly. We think a strong claims process is the most important thing to find in an auto insurance company – that’s what you’re really paying them to do, after all.
We also like that USAA car insurance has a few extra coverage options like roadside assistance and gap insurance – which not all providers have.
|Affordable rates and numerous discounts||Only available for military and their families|
|Good option for military members and young drivers|
|Superior financial rating from AM Best|
To learn more about insurance coverage in North Carolina, check out our review of USAA car insurance.
#3 Erie Insurance: Excellent Service In North Carolina
Erie Insurance has been in business since 1925 and has set numerous industry standards. Despite its many years in business, the company has not expanded its availability across the entire United States. It is, however, available for drivers looking for car insurance in North Carolina.
We rate Erie highly for its low cost and strong customer service reputation. Erie customers are able to save through numerous discount opportunities, including:
- Safe driving discount
- Car safety equipment discounts
- Multi-car discount
- Multi-policy discount
- Reduced usage discount
- Annual payment plan discount
Erie has an A+ rating from the BBB as well as an A+ financial strength rating from AM Best. In the J.D. Power Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study, Erie scored 871 out of 1,000 points, placing it in second for the Southeast region.
|A+ rating from the BBB and A+ rating in financial strength from AM Best||Mixed customer service reviews during claims process|
|High customer satisfaction|
|Comprehensive coverage options|
|Variety of auto insurance discounts|
To learn more, read our complete Erie Insurance review.
#4 North Carolina Farm Bureau: Cheap Option For North Carolina Drivers
North Carolina Farm Bureau (NCFB) is one of the largest auto insurance companies in the state of North Carolina. It has locations in every county and an extensive network of local agents who specialize in North Carolina car insurance.
While NCFB does not score particularly well with the BBB, it does receive high ratings from customers. In the J.D. Power Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study, NCFB scored 854 out of a possible 1,000 points, putting it above the Southeast regional average of 849.
The company is a good choice for North Carolina drivers seeking cheap car insurance. Customers do need to be NCFB members to qualify for a policy, and this costs $25 per year. However, drivers can more than make up for these dues by taking advantage of the many NCFB discount offers, which include:
- Multiple policy discount
- Multiple vehicle discount
- Experienced driver discount
- Pay-in-full discount
- Discount for married couples
- Discount for vehicle safety devices
NCFB also offers home, life, health, and business insurance. Customers can bundle these policies to save even more in North Carolina.
|Local agents and customizable coverage||
Must be a Farm Bureau member
D- rating from the BBB
|Overall positive reviews||
Some complaints regarding the claims process
For more information, check out our North Carolina Farm Bureau review.
#5 Progressive Car Insurance: Best For High-Risk Drivers
It’s typical to consider Progressive car insurance when thinking about industry leaders. While the company is one of the major players in the industry, it also provides some of the lowest rates for good drivers in North Carolina.
For the most part, you will pay more to go with Progressive over Geico, but many motorists prefer the company and the service. Also, the only way to know for sure is to get quotes from both providers.
The BBB rating for Progressive is an A+. On the other hand, it didn’t score as high as Geico or our other recommendations in J.D. Power’s Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study. Still, customer reviews are largely positive, such as the one below:
“My parked car was hit by a hit-and-run driver. A person who witnessed the accident got the license plate of the fleeing vehicle. They had Progressive Insurance, and the agent came to my house, looked over the damage and wrote me out a check on the spot. I was very pleased and impressed with the amount and the promptness of Progressive to respond.”
As far as additional coverage is concerned, you have several options available from Progressive, including:
- Gap insurance: If your vehicle is considered a total loss, Progressive will cover up to an additional 25 percent of the current value of the vehicle to help you pay off the loan or lease.
- Roadside assistance: This plan provides towing, flat tire changes, lockout services, fuel delivery, and similar emergency services.
- Rideshare coverage: Most apps only cover the driver while in the process of transporting passengers with Uber or Lyft, leaving them vulnerable while waiting for a job. Progressive covers the interim for complete protection.
- Rental car reimbursement: Rental vehicles are partially covered when your car is in the shop because of a covered loss.
- Custom parts and equipment: If you have aftermarket components on your vehicle, Progressive will pay for the damaged equipment if it occurred during a covered incident.
|One of the top auto insurers in the United States||Average claims process|
|A+ financial strength rating from AM Best||Mixed customer service reviews|
|Great choice for high-risk drivers|
|Several money-saving features|
To learn more about the car insurance provider, check out our review of Progressive car insurance. Enter your zip code below or call (855) 518-0148 to start comparing quotes for car insurance in North Carolina.
Minimum North Carolina Car Insurance Coverage
Each state dictates the required auto insurance coverage for drivers. Typically, if you don’t have the state minimum, you could find yourself in hot water if you’re in an accident or pulled over by the police. The minimum required by states usually includes some combination of bodily injury liability and property damage liability insurance.
In a few states, uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, and personal injury protection (PIP) are also required. After choosing the state-required insurance coverage, you have the option to add on additional protections.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation dictates the required coverage limits of drivers in the state.
- Bodily injury liability: $30,000 per person/$60,000 per accident
- Property damage liability: $25,000 per accident
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury: $30,000 per person/$60,000 per accident
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage: $25,000 per accident
The first two North Carolina auto insurance state limits relate to the damage caused to others and their property during an accident where you’re at fault. The other two cover damage done to your vehicle by an uninsured motorist.
If you want additional protection for your vehicle, medical bills, and other related expenses, you will need to add that coverage to your policy. We recommend this approach, if you’re financially able. Why?
Because North Carolina is an at-fault state, you’re responsible for any car accident you cause. If damages exceed the amount your insurance covers, you will be held personally liable. That’s one reason why it’s not always wise to have just the minimum coverage car insurance in North Carolina.
Consider carrying some of these coverages, as well:
- Medical payments
- Gap insurance
- Rental car reimbursement
- Roadside assistance
If you choose to drive without auto insurance in North Carolina, you could face serious consequences. You could have your license plates revoked, as well as deal with fines, civil penalties, and other fees under North Carolina state law.
Alternative North Carolina Car Insurance
Some drivers can’t get typical North Carolina car insurance because of a poor driving record, DUIs, or poor credit. For these drivers, there’s still a chance to get behind the wheel with coverage from the North Carolina Reinsurance Facility.
While this organization will help high-risk drivers get behind the wheel of a car, it should be seen as a last resort. Policy premiums are incredibly high, and you can find better car insurance options in North Carolina if you do a little digging.
How Much Does North Carolina Car Insurance Cost?
The state ranks as having some of the best road conditions in the nation, according to a study by Reason Foundation. That may be part of the reason that the rates for car insurance in North Carolina are some of the most affordable in the country.
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the cost of North Carolina car insurance was $705.56 in 2017, while the national average was $1,004.68. This makes North Carolina the 6th least expensive state in respect to average car insurance rates. Here’s a breakdown of the coverage costs that year based on data from the Insurance Information Institute:
|Type of Coverage||Average Annual Expenditure in 2017|
*Most drivers carry liability coverage but not necessarily other types of auto insurance. Total average annual expenditure measures what North Carolina drivers actually spent on auto insurance in 2017.
Driving In North Carolina
According to Statista, there are more than seven million licensed drivers on the roads in North Carolina. With numbers like this, it places eighth in most drivers among the fifty states.
Teen drivers in North Carolina can get a learner’s permit at the age of 15 through the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (NC DMV). Once the teen reaches 16 years old and has completed a driving course, he or she can receive a limited provisional license. With this license, the young driver may not operate a vehicle from 9:00 PM through 5:00 AM EST. In addition, there can’t be more than one passenger in the vehicle under the age of 21, unless the occupants are family members.
How To Save Money On North Carolina Car Insurance
While finding the cheapest North Carolina car insurance starts with the company you choose, there are other ways to keep the rates low. Start by getting multiple quotes online and comparing coverage. You also want to consider these ways to lower your premiums.
- Drive safely: If have a clean driving record, you have a better chance of getting a lower rate for North Carolina auto insurance. Some providers also offer a discount for staying accident-free. If you want to participate in a safe driving monitoring program, many insurance companies offer this as well. You can get additional discounts by allowing the company to monitor your driving habits by using an app.
- Look for discounts: Insurers normally provide a list of available discounts. Bundle your policies, insure multiple vehicles, and maintain good grades in school for your best shot at getting a price break.
- Maintain good credit: In the Tar Heel State, it’s acceptable for insurers to evaluate your credit score to determine trustworthiness and reliability. If you pay your bills on time, you could receive a better insurance rate by default.
- Play with the deductible: You can pay less for your North Carolina car insurance by increasing the deductible. Remember, you will have to pay this amount during a covered incident, so don’t make it so high that it will hurt you financially after an accident or loss.
- Choose another vehicle: Your car, truck, or SUV factors into the insurance price. If you drive an expensive luxury car with hard-to-find parts, you will pay more than the next guy. If you aren’t sure how much you will spend after buying a car, it helps to do your research before signing on the dotted line. Ask for insurance quotes on potential vehicles to help determine what it could cost.
- Shop around: Many drivers stick with one car insurance provider for years. While nothing is wrong with that approach – in fact, the company may provide a loyalty discount – you could end up saving by shopping around. We recommend getting at least three quotes for auto insurance in North Carolina.
Enter your zip code below or call (855) 518-0148 to see what providers are available near you.
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