In North Carolina, you are required to show proof of financial responsibility in case of an accident. The best way to fulfill this requirement is to purchase car insurance. Get more insights about North Carolina car insurance requirements, programs, rates and discounts.
Car Insurance Requirements
North Carolina car insurance laws require you to purchase liability insurance to cover the cost of property damage and injuries to others as a result of car accident that you may cause. The minimum limits for liability coverage are:
- $30,000 for bodily injury, per person per accident
- $60,000 for total bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 for property damage per accident.
The state also requires you to purchase uninsured motorist coverage. This insurance coverage helps pay your medical cost resulting from injuries caused by uninsured drivers who cause accidents. The same minimum limits of liability coverage apply to this insurance coverage.
Optional Car Insurance
In addition to the required North Carolina car insurance coverages, you may also consider purchasing optional insurance coverage. Typically, optional insurance coverages include:
- Collision – Insurance cover that helps pay for damages made to your car after an accident
- Comprehensive – Insurance cover that pays for damages resulting from all accident related events such as fire, floods etc
- Rental car
- Towering and labor.
NOTE: Comprehensive and collision coverages may be required if you are financing your car through a loan or lease agreement.
Proof of Insurance
North Carolina car insurance laws require you to show proof of insurance when registering your car. Acceptable ways of showing proof of insurance include:
- Your North Carolina car insurance policy
- An insurance binder
- An insurance card
- A DL-123 form issued by your car insurance provider showing that you have insured your car.
You can get any of the above from your car insurance provider.
Safe Driver Incentive Plan
North Carolina’s Safe Driver Incentive Plan (SDIP) is a program that grades drivers conduct on the road. Essentially, if you have a bad driving record, you will be penalized and pay higher insurance premiums when you apply for insurance coverage. The reverse is true. If you violate any traffic regulation, you get some points on your driving record which may eventually increase your car insurance premiums. The Department of Insurance in North Carolina provides more information on how SDIP points are given and how they might affect your premiums.
North Carolina Reinsurance Facility
North Carolina car insurance laws do not allow car insurance providers to deny liability coverage to any driver. However, if you are considered a high-risk driver, you are more likely to pay higher insurance premiums. You will be insured directly, but through the North Carolina Reinsurance Facility (NCRF). You will end up paying more in comparison with direct insurance policy. Additionally, in order to minimize risk associated with insuring high risk drivers, insurance companies offer the following maximum coverage for drivers under this category:
- $100,000 for bodily injury, per person per accident
- $300,000 for total bodily injuries for multiple victims per accident
- $50,000 for property damage liability per accident
- $2,000 for medical payments
- $1,000,000 for uninsured drivers.
FS-1 Proof of Insurance
North Carolina requires you to hold car insurance all the time. If the DMV finds that your car insurance is expired, they will notify you and require you to renew it. Essentially they will request your car insurance company to submit an FS-1 to prove that you were insured at the time of insurance lapse. If you fail to comply with North Carolina car insurance requirements, you will face some penalties, including car registration and driver’s license suspension for 30 days. Your license plates will also face suspension. To reinstate all these, you need to do the following:
- Paying the license plate fee
- Paying any fees for insurance violation
- Submitting an FS-1 form proof of liability insurance.
Car Insurance Fraud
The North Carolina Department of Insurance’s Criminal Investigations Division is the body that deals with car insurance frauds. Typically, car insurance frauds involve the following:
- Overpricing costs of repairs
- Overstating damages
- Staging accidents
- Falsifying medical costs.
Reporting Car Insurance Fraud
By reporting suspected car insurance frauds, you can help keep car insurance rates low. You can therefore report any suspected fraud through the following means:
- Online through the NAIC’s website
- By e-mail to [email protected]
- By fax at (919) 715-1156
- By phone at (919) 807-6840 or toll-free (888) 680-7684.
Car Insurance Discounts
If you want to purchase any insurance cover for your vehicle, take advantage of available car insurance discounts such as:
- Good driver discount
- Multiple car discount
- Good student discount
- Homeowner’s discount
- Airbag or safety device discount
- Auto-theft alarm discount.
North Carolina car insurance companies use certain factors when calculating your car insurance premium; however, they firstly look at your driving record before giving you a final insurance quote.
Most Stolen Cars in North Carolina
Driving a car that is always targeted by thieves may increase your car insurance rates. According to www.nicb.org, the 2013 most stolen car in North Carolina include:
- Honda Accord and Honda Civic
- Ford Pickup (Full Size)
- Toyota Camry
- Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
- Ford Explorer
- Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee
- Dodge Caravan.
- Nissan Altima
- Dodge Pickup (Full Size).