North Carolina Car Insurance Laws: How Much Coverage Do I Need?

North Carolina requires all drivers to carry 30/60/25 in liability coverage and the same set of limits for uninsured motorist coverage.
Written by Kianna Walpole
Edited by Jessica Barrett
North Carolina
’s car insurance laws mandate that all drivers must purchase a
car insurance
policy that follows that 30/60/25 rule. In addition, drivers must carry the same amounts in uninsured motorist coverage.

Car insurance requirements in North Carolina

Under North Carolina state law, the minimum insurance requirements include the following liability limits and
uninsured motorist coverage
(UM) limits:
  • $30,000 per person in bodily injury liability coverage
  • $60,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage
  • $25,000 per accident in property damage liability coverage
  • $30,000 per person/$60,000 per accident in uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UMBI)
  • $25,000 per accident in uninsured motorist property damage coverage (UMPD)
Liability coverage
is legally required in all states. With this coverage, your insurance company will pay the other party up to your policy limits for any damage or injuries you cause. 
North Carolina also includes UM coverage as part of its state minimum auto insurance mandates. This insurance is broken down into two categories—UMPD and UMBI:
Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD)
This type of coverage protects your vehicle from damage caused by an uninsured driver.
Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI)
This type of coverage pays for injuries to you or your passengers after an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. It also covers your medical expenses if you are the victim of a hit-and-run.
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 If you’re shopping with
you’ll be able to easily run quotes for a state minimum policy.
Here’s a sample of the quotes you can find with a state minimum option—however, you can change your coverage limits at any time to see how your policy changes.

Is minimum insurance coverage the most cost-effective option?

Although you will comply with North Carolina insurance laws with only a minimum liability insurance policy, you may be leaving yourself open to more expenses down the road. 
Using previous data, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration projected that out of the 9,330 accidents, 360 would occur in North Carolina.
North Carolina is an at-fault state, meaning that if you’re at fault in an accident, you are on the hook for damages—and if your coverage isn’t enough, you could face legal repercussions, putting your assets and future income on the line. 
That’s why it’s important to consider upping your coverage limits. By increasing the limits on your auto insurance policy, you can be sure that your coverage will pay for damages and injuries in both minor and serious accidents. 

Expert Insurance Agent Insight

Vice President Insurance Operations
A general rule that I recommend is to carry enough coverage to protect your current and future assets – at least $100,000/$300,000 of liability coverage is recommended, but you may need more coverage depending on your financial situation.
Another solution is to opt for a
full coverage policy
complete with
comprehensive coverage
collision coverage
. On average, drivers in North Carolina pay $3,153 per year for a full coverage option—and while it is more expensive each month, it will provide you with better protection overall.
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 Luckily, raising your limits or changing to a full coverage option won’t have too much of an impact on your rates.
This is what an automobile insurance policy with higher limits looks like using the Jerry app.
Remember: The state minimum liability insurance covers medical payments and property damage costs for the other party. Along with UM, in North Carolina, only others and their vehicle will be protected. A full coverage policy helps to protect your vehicle in the event of an accident.
If you lease or finance a vehicle, a full coverage policy may be required, as it further protects the lender’s assets—the car. But if you own, you have the liberty to compare coverage options and determine which is best for you. 
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While the Jerry app can’t tell you which limits to choose, it can help you build your driver profile with the state minimum limits or a full coverage option—and compare pricing to find the best deal.

Additional car insurance coverage in North Carolina

North Carolina drivers with a full coverage policy can also include add-on insurance options for further coverage. Some of the best additional coverage options in the state of North Carolina include:1
  • Rental car reimbursement
    : This coverage option will pay for costs up to your policy limits related to renting a vehicle while your vehicle is being repaired.
  • Towing and labor
    : Also known as roadside assistance, towing and labor coverage pays for everything from jumpstarts to tire changes to towing costs.
  • Custom equipment coverage: Custom equipment coverage pays for the replacement costs for additional permanent electronic accessories and custom parts. 
  • Automobile death indemnity, specific disability, and total disability benefits coverage: This type of coverage will provide a benefit for death, specific disabilities, and total disabilities resulting from a car crash.

Penalties for driving without insurance in North Carolina

Driving without insurance
proof of insurance
in North Carolina is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor, making the consequences all the more serious. Not only do the charges and fines increase but they’re even imposed on
coverage lapses
Jail time
License/registration suspension
1st offense
Up to 45 days probation
30-day suspension for both
2nd offense
Up to 45 days probation or jail time
30-day suspension for both
3rd and subsequent offense
Up to 45 days probation or jail time
30-day suspension for both
After receiving a ticket, you’ll get an FS 5/7 form in the mail from the DMV. You have up to 10 days to provide proof of insurance—and if you can show that proof, you might avoid consequences. 
Drivers who experience a lapse in coverage will be required to pay a $50, $100, or $150 civil penalty fee depending on how many prior paid lapses occurred in the last 3 years. Individuals must also pay a $50 fee to reinstate their vehicle registration.


How much is liability car insurance in North Carolina?

North Carolina drivers typically pay $2,889 per year for the state minimum liability insurance. For a full coverage option, motorists pay, on average, $3,153 annually. Both of these insurance costs put North Carolina over the national average. 

Who has the cheapest car insurance in North Carolina?

Progressive, National General, and Nationwide offer some of the cheapest rates for car insurance in North Carolina. But it’s important to keep in mind that
your car insurance rates are determined
based on a number of factors, making insurance quote comparison key.

What does liability insurance cover?

Liability insurance pays for the property damage and bodily injuries for the other party after an accident. If you don’t have enough coverage in place to pay for more serious damages, you could be left paying the remainder out of pocket and face possible legal consequences.

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