Uninsured Motorist Coverage in North Carolina: Do You Need It?

Uninsured motorist coverage is part of North Carolina’s required legal minimum car insurance coverage.
Written by Amber Reed
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Uninsured motorist coverage is more than just a legal requirement in North Carolina—it’s also proactive protection to have. 
By law, all drivers in North Carolina are required to have both
liability insurance
uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage
. Hopefully, it’s coverage you’ll never need to use, but having uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can potentially save you thousands of dollars in damages and medical expenses. 
Spend a few minutes and take a closer look at the details surrounding North Carolina’s UM/UIM requirements with
, the friendly car insurance comparison app. We’ll tell you what you need to know and how much
car insurance
coverage you’re required to have, and we’ll also give you some pro tips on how to lower your
North Carolina car insurance costs
while still getting the protection you need!

Do you need uninsured motorist coverage in North Carolina?

Yes. Uninsured motorist coverage is a part of North Carolina’s legal minimum car insurance. 
Coverage requirements vary by state, so if you’re new to a state where UM/UIM is mandatory, it might be a change of pace for you. But mandatory or not, it’s an incredibly wise policy to have. The
Insurance Information Institute (III)
estimated in 2019 that about 12.6% of drivers nationwide don’t have any car insurance. While the number in North Carolina is a bit lower than the national average at 9.1%uninsured, that’s still close to one in every 10 drivers in North Carolina hitting the road uninsured. 
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to the rescue! This smart and affordable add-on picks up where the other driver’s liability insurance (or total lack thereof)—leaves off, and ensures that your expenses are paid for in the event of an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. 
Because it’s required, you don’t have a choice as to whether you have it. North Carolina has the same mandatory minimum amounts for both liability and UM/UIM coverage, which is 30/60/25. That means you have to have $30,000
bodily injury
per person, $60,000 bodily injury per accident, and $25,000
property damage
in both liability and UM/UIM coverage. 
The good news is car insurance costs are lower than average in North Carolina. Meeting just the minimum requirements will run you around $500 a year, or about $40 per month
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How uninsured motorist insurance works in North Carolina

The minimums required by
North Carolina's car insurance laws
include liability coverage for both bodily injury and property damage. This will cover other drivers’ expenses in the case of an accident where you’re at fault. 
Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury and property damage coverage is required as well, but this will help to pay your expenses in the event you are in an accident caused by an uninsured driver. 
What if the other driver just has the minimum insurance, and your expenses exceed that amount? This is where the “underinsured” part comes into play. The
average cost of a single ER visit
in North Carolina is almost $1,600, and that could be just the beginning in the case of a severe injury. 
With the exceedingly high cost of medical expenses in the US and the prevalence of car accidents, having UM/UIM coverage is simply a smart move. 

What’s available

The UM/UIM insurance available in North Carolina falls into two categories: 
  • Uninsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) covers your medical expenses and property damage after an accident with an uninsured driver.
  • Underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) covers your medical expenses and property damages if the other driver’s liability insurance isn’t sufficient to cover your costs. 
One will pay out if the other driver has no insurance, and the other will pay out if the at-fault driver’s liability coverage isn’t enough to cover your expenses. The minimum limits are the same 30/60/25 as liability coverage, but you can choose to purchase more if you want to. 
Unlike some other states, North Carolina requires UM/UIM coverage for both bodily injury and property damage. 

What it covers

North Carolina requires drivers to carry both bodily injury and property damage as part of their uninsured/underinsured coverage. This means that damages to your car or property will be covered in addition to the medical bills of you and your passengers. That said, it’s a bit broader than that. 
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage will also pay for: 
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Long-term rehab or nursing care
  • Medical devices like crutches or wheelchairs 
  • Retrofitting your house to accommodate a disability caused by the accident
  • Services such as yard work or cleaning that you’re no longer able to do
  • Pain and suffering (under certain circumstances) 
In short, North Carolina’s UM/UIM requirement is designed to protect you, your passengers, and your property in the event of a car accident caused by an uninsured driver. Being involved in a car crash is awful enough—no one wants the added stress (and possibly dire consequences) of struggling to pay for your expenses. 

How to make a claim 

If you’re involved in a car accident, it’s critical to exchange information with the other drivers involved, and in some states, it's required by law. An important aspect of this is getting the current insurance information of all the drivers involved
after a car accident
. But if the at-fault driver doesn’t have any (or enough) liability insurance, then you’ll need to make a UM/UIM claim.
The process isn’t difficult, and your insurance agent can help you through the steps, so it’s important to contact your insurer right away. Take thorough notes while you’re still at the scene, and photographs can also be very helpful. 
Keep a thorough and organized record of all the police reports, all of your medical bills, related receipts, etc. The more rigorous and complete your documentation is, the faster your claim should go.  
If by chance your costs exceed the limit of your uninsured/underinsured policy, then it’ll be up to you to make up the difference. Questions about the limits that are a good idea for you?
can help! 

Why it’s a good idea to have uninsured motorist insurance in North Carolina

It’s a little confusing to have different requirements in each state, right? To clear things up, here are some reasons why having uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is the right thing to do in North Carolina.

It’s legally required

It seems pretty obvious, but there you have it: buying uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in North Carolina is a legal requirement for being on the road. Not only is driving without the proper car insurance a bad idea, but it can also lead to some severe consequences. 
In North Carolina, being caught without the proper car insurance can result in having your license plate revoked and having to pay reinstatement fees. Additionally, it comes with a fine of $100 on your first offense, and a fine of $150 for each subsequent offense. It’s not worth the risk of skipping this vital coverage—especially when you have
to find you the lowest rate possible!

Almost one in ten North Carolina drivers is uninsured

Even though it’s against the law, almost one out of every ten drivers in North Carolina is uninsured. It’s also important to note that North Carolina shares a border with
, which leads the nation in uninsured drivers at a cringeworthy 23.7%
When you look at the big picture, North Carolina’s UM/UIM requirements start to make quite a bit of sense!

How to save on car insurance coverage in North Carolina

Car insurance in North Carolina may be a little bit below the national average, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get an even better rate (and potentially more coverage) with help from
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trustworthy comparison shopping super app
The process is fast and easy, with no phone calls or lengthy paperwork needed! Simply download the top-rated app, answer a few questions, and in a matter of minutes, you’ll be browsing a selection of competitive quotes chosen just for you. Have any questions? Friendly licensed brokers are available to help out every step of the way. 
Jerry works with more than 50 of the best insurance providers in the nation and continues to monitor prices throughout the year on a tireless search for the best rate for you. Whether you’re looking to expand your coverage or just get the best deal possible on the minimum requirements, Jerry’s got your back with top-notch service and real savings.
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