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Best Cheap Car Insurance In North Carolina (2023)

Find out which providers offer quality, affordable coverage in the Tar Heel State.

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09/20/2023 03:54 PM

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Have you been searching for the cheapest auto insurance rates in the Tar Heel State? Whether you live in Charlotte or the Outer Banks, our team has you covered with the information you need to find the best car insurance in North Carolina.

Our research team has reviewed the top auto insurance providers nationwide based on cost, coverage, reliability, and service, and we’ve focused our findings to identify the best options for North Carolina drivers. We recommend getting quotes from several of the most reputable auto insurance companies to find the car insurance coverage that works best for you.

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Cheap Car Insurance In North Carolina

How much is car insurance in North Carolina? The table below highlights the top seven cheapest car insurance providers in the state, according to our review team’s research. North Carolina drivers can often find the most affordable full-coverage rates through Nationwide, Erie Insurance, and North Carolina Farm Bureau, with each offering average annual costs below $1,120.

Auto Insurance ProviderEstimated Annual Cost
Erie Insurance$984
North Carolina Farm Bureau$1,114
State Farm$1,176
National General Group$1,334
Pennsylvania National Insurance$1,500

How Much Is Auto Insurance In North Carolina?

According to our rate estimates, the average cost of full-coverage car insurance in North Carolina is $1,368 per year. The national average is about $1,730 per year, meaning North Carolina drivers pay about 21 percent less for auto insurance on average. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) ranked North Carolina the 47th-most expensive state to for auto insurance in 2019.

While North Carolina auto insurance rates tend to be among the cheapest in the country, it’s important to note that your rates will vary based on a number of factors, including:

  • Age: Young drivers 25 and under pay more for car insurance due to their lack of experience on the road.
  • Marital status: Married drivers generally pay less for auto insurance than single drivers. They also tend to qualify for more family and bundling discounts.
  • Driving record: Speeding tickets, accidents, and DUIs all cause car insurance rates to increase.
  • Credit score: Drivers with poor credit scores usually pay significantly higher insurance rates than those with good credit scores.
  • Coverage level: Full-coverage auto insurance policies are more expensive than those that only meet state minimum liability limits.

Cheapest North Carolina Car Insurance: Young Drivers

Young North Carolina drivers pay much more for auto insurance than experienced drivers, but State Farm, Nationwide, and Erie Insurance are generally the cheapest options.

Cheapest Car Insurance In North Carolina: 16-Year-Olds

The cheapest car insurance in North Carolina for 16-year-olds comes at roughly $177 per month on average from State Farm. Nationwide also offers affordable coverage at $182 per month.

Cheap Car Insurance In North CarolinaAverage Monthly CostAverage Annual Cost
State Farm$177 $2,121
Nationwide$182 $2,186
Erie Insurance$235 $2,820
North Carolina Farm Bureau$283 $3,394
National General$294 $3,527

Cheapest Car Insurance In North Carolina: 18-Year-Olds

Eighteen-year-old drivers in North Carolina can find the cheapest car insurance from Nationwide at around $151 per month and from State Farm at around $170 per month.

Cheap Car Insurance In North CarolinaAverage Monthly CostAverage Annual Cost
Nationwide$151 $1,809
State Farm$170 $2,043
Erie Insurance$175 $2,100
North Carolina Farm Bureau$197 $2,367
Geico$214 $2,571

Cheapest Car Insurance In North Carolina: 21-Year-Olds

In North Carolina, the cheapest full-coverage car insurance for 21-year-olds comes from Erie Insurance at $94 per month. North Carolina Farm Bureau comes in a close second at $96 per month

Cheap Car Insurance In North CarolinaAverage Monthly CostAverage Annual Cost
Erie Insurance$94 $1,130
North Carolina Farm Bureau$96 $1,157
Geico$97 $1,164
National General$112 $1,339
Nationwide$118 $1,417

Cheapest Car Insurance In North Carolina: 25-Year-Olds

Twenty-five-year-olds can find the cheapest coverage in North Carolina at Erie Insurance, which has an average monthly cost of $84. Drivers this age can also find affordable coverage from Geico and North Carolina Farm Bureau.

Cheap Car Insurance In North CarolinaAverage Monthly CostAverage Annual Cost
Erie Insurance$84 $1,009
Geico$91 $1,094
North Carolina Farm Bureau$96 $1,157
Nationwide$97 $1,169
National General$111 $1,337

Cheapest North Carolina Car Insurance: High-Risk Drivers

In general, those with clean driving records pay lower insurance premiums than drivers who have a history of speeding tickets, car accidents, or DUI convictions. The table below shows the difference in cost for each traffic violation by the top five cheapest companies for North Carolina drivers.

Car Insurance ProviderSpeeding TicketsRecent AccidentsDUI Convictions
Nationwide$1,503 $2,176 $4,045
Erie Insurance$1,714 $2,058 $4,517
North Carolina Farm Bureau$1,750 $2,100 $4,599
Geico$2,296 $3,669 $7,363
State Farm$1,932 $2,237 $5,281

*Speeding tickets are for 16 to 20 mph over the speed limit. Recent accidents are for a single vehicle ($2,500 worth of damage).

Cheapest North Carolina Car Insurance: Bad Credit

A poor credit score will lead to much higher car insurance rates in most states, including North Carolina. Our review team found that a poor credit score can increase the price of auto insurance coverage by over 20 percent.

Car Insurance Providers in North Carolina Estimated Monthly Cost Estimated Annual Cost
National General $97 $1,163
Auto-Owners Insurance $104 $1,242
Erie Insurance $104 $1,244
Nationwide $110 $1,316
Progressive $117 $1,398

Top 5 Auto Insurance Companies In North Carolina

Our review team took a close look at several leading providers to determine which are the best and most affordable options for auto insurance coverage in the state of North Carolina. Based on our cost, coverage, reliability, and service rating categories, we found Erie, North Carolina Farm Bureau, National General, Auto-Owners Insurance, and Nationwide to be the top five choices for North Carolina drivers.

Best Car Insurance in North Carolina Overall Rating Cost Rating Coverage Rating
1. Erie Insurance 4.5 4.8 4.3
2. North Carolina Farm Bureau 4.0 4.0 4.0
3. National General 4.0 4.0 3.5
4. Auto-Owners Insurance 4.4 4.5 4.3
5. Nationwide 4.3 4.5 4.2

*Our research team scores car insurance companies by taking nationwide factors into account. The order of insurers in this table is specific to auto insurance in North Carolina.

#1 Erie Insurance

Erie Insurance is our review team’s overwhelming pick for the best car insurance in North Carolina. It offers the lowest average rates for good drivers in the state and is consistently among the cheapest options for many other types of North Carolina drivers. In addition to its competitive pricing, the insurer is known for its comprehensive coverage options.

Erie has an exceptional industry reputation, with an A+ AM Best financial strength rating and an A+ Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. The provider also receives high scores in several J.D. Power studies. Erie placed third in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study℠, with a score of 893 out of 1,000 possible points. The insurer also ranked third for customer satisfaction in the Southeast region in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Auto Insurance Study℠.

Read moreErie Insurance review

#2 North Carolina Farm Bureau

Founded in 1953, North Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance is a great option for North Carolina drivers searching for auto insurance. Good drivers and high-risk drivers in particular can find some of the lowest car insurance rates through the insurer. You’ll need to be a member of the Farm Bureau to get coverage through the North Carolina Farm Bureau, though membership fees are affordable.

North Carolina Farm Bureau holds a financial strength rating of A from AM Best, highlighting the insurer’s ability to reliably pay out claims. It also has an A+ rating from the BBB and has only had to close 35 customer complaints via the site in the last three years.

#3 National General

Founded in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, National General is a local company that offers great auto insurance rates. The insurer sells auto insurance policies through a network of insurance agents throughout the state, leading to highly-personalized service. National General’s parent company is the well-known insurance provider Allstate.

National General prides itself on its affordable pricing for North Carolina drivers and its range of car insurance discounts, which include safe driving discounts and multi-policy discounts. National General has A+ ratings from both AM Best for financial strength and the BBB.

#4 Auto-Owners Insurance

Founded in 1916 in Lansing, Michigan, Auto-Owners Insurance offers car insurance to drivers in 26 states, including North Carolina. Based on our research, we found this provider to be a smart choice for many types of North Carolina drivers-young and teen drivers in particular.

Auto-Owners has an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best as well as an A+ rating from the BBB. In the J.D. Power Auto Insurance Study, the provider received second place for customer satisfaction in the Southeast region.

#5 Nationwide

Although Nationwide’s average car insurance costs are slightly higher than some of its competitors’ average rates, we found the company still offers some of the most affordable rates overall in the state. We also found it to be an especially great option for older drivers and senior citizens. 

Nationwide has a positive reputation within the insurance industry both for its rates and its accessibility to other drivers. The insurer holds an A+ financial strength rating from AM Best as well as an A+ rating from the BBB. However, it ranked slightly below the industry average for its claims process in the most recent J.D. Power Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.

Read more: Nationwide insurance reviews

North Carolina Insurance Requirements

According to state law and the North Carolina Department of Insurance (NCDOI), all drivers must meet the following state minimum auto insurance coverage requirements:

  • Bodily injury liability car insurance: $30,000 per person/$60,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability insurance: $25,000 per accident
  • Underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage (bodily injury): $30,000 per person/$60,000 per accident
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage: $25,000 per accident

Beyond state minimum coverage limits, there are several other types of car insurance that are worth adding to your policy to ensure you’re covered in a variety of situations. Some of these coverage options include:

Is North Carolina A No-Fault State?

North Carolina is an at-fault state. In a fault-based system like North Carolina’s, the driver who is deemed responsible for a car crash must compensate the other party (or parties) for their financial loss. The at-fault party’s insurance provider will pay out the damages.

How To Get North Carolina Car Insurance Quotes

Following in-depth research of auto insurance providers, our review team found Erie Insurance to be the best provider in the state of North Carolina. Drivers in the Tar Heel State can also find affordable coverage from North Carolina Farm Bureau, National General, Auto-Owners Insurance, and Nationwide.

We recommend getting started with quotes from providers to compare car insurance options and find the best cost and coverage for your needs. You can easily get car insurance quotes online from many major providers, or you can call companies directly for quotes. You can also reach out to an auto insurance agent or broker for more personalized service.

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Best Cheap Car Insurance In North Carolina: FAQ

What auto insurance is required in North Carolina?

North Carolina drivers are required to carry bodily injury liability coverage ($30,000 per person/$60,000 per accident), property damage liability coverage ($25,000 per accident), uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage ($30,000 per person/$60,000 per accident), and uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage ($25,000 per accident).

Is car insurance cheaper in North Carolina?

The average cost of car insurance in North Carolina is $1,368 per year, according to our estimates, which is about 21 percent cheaper than the national average, which is $1,730 per year. Car insurance is cheapest in North Carolina from Nationwide, which boasts an average full-coverage policy of $968 per year.

How much is car insurance in North Carolina monthly?

Car insurance in North Carolina is about $114 monthly on average, according to our rate estimates. Compared to the monthly national average of $144, North Carolina drivers pay about 21 percent less for auto insurance.

Does insurance follow the car or driver in North Carolina?

In the state of North Carolina, car insurance policies follow the car rather than the driver.

How We Rate Insurers

Our review process aims to deliver consistent and unbiased assessments of car insurance providers. While there are multiple qualities that make a car insurance company successful, our review team focuses on those we believe are the most important for consumers:

  • Cost: Cost can be difficult to compare between insurers because so many factors impact annual premiums. The cheapest insurer for one driver may not be the cheapest for another. To determine our cost score, we look at insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services, discount opportunities, and consumer reports.
  • Coverage: To determine our coverage score, we look at the number of coverage options available as well as coverage limits and deductible options. Our ratings also take into account additional services and benefits like roadside assistance.
  • Reliability: It’s important that an auto insurer is able to meet its claims obligations. Companies with a strong financial strength rating from AM Best score best in this category. Established insurers with a long history of reliable service also receive positive marks.
  • Service: We comb through customer reviews on sites like the BBB to learn about customer experiences. Insurers with a low volume of complaints score well in this area. We also consider the claims process, giving higher ratings to car insurance providers that offer easy-to-use claims apps.

*Data accurate at time of publication