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Cheap Car Insurance in North Carolina
Although every state has laws about minimal car insurance coverage, the actual amount varies from state to state. They can actually vary drastically which is why it’s so important to know the car insurance laws in North Carolina. To get all the important details about the minimum requirements in NC, you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to provide you with all the information you need to get informed and get insured by connecting you with insurance companies in NC.
Are Minimum Requirements Really Enough?
Before we get into whether or not the minimum car insurance coverage is actually enough, let’s take a look at what the law requires. In NC, the law says that automobile liability coverage must be continuously maintained. You will sometimes see this written as 30/60/25. What that means is that the minimal requirements are:
- $30,000 bodily injury for each person
- $60,000 total bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 property damage
State law also requires all motorists to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance coverage, too.
So, those are the minimal requirements. To understand if that’s actually enough coverage, let’s take a closer look and breakdown what that coverage actually means.
Bodily Injury covers the people involved in an accident that was your fault. It covers everything from the ambulance ride to the hospital to hospital expenses to rehabilitation and other long term costs. This coverage is for anyone injured in the accident you caused, including other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, or bystanders. If an injured parts sues you, this money can also cover legal expenses, any money awarded for pain and suffering, and lost income.
If that sounds like a lot of things to cover, it is. And consider this: if you have the minimal bodily injury coverage, your insurance company will only cover $30,000. That might seem like a lot, but if you are at fault in a serious accident, costs can add up quickly.
Here’s a hypothetical example. You are at fault in an accident that involved a pedestrian and one other car. You were alone in your car but the other vehicle has a driver and 2 passengers. Their injuries and the cost for those injuries are as follows:
- The other driver had a minor neck injury. Treatment included an ambulance ride to the hospital, several scans and lab tests, and a month off of work. Total cost: $12,000
- The passenger in the other car has a concussion and a broken arm. Treatment included an ambulance ride to the hospital, tests and scans, and a one night hospital stay. She also missed a week of work. Total cost: $18,000
- The pedestrian suffered the worst injuries: 2 broken legs and a head injury. He was taken by helicopter to the nearest trauma center and required an extensive hospital stay as well as months of physical therapy. Total cost of his injuries: $50,000.
The minimum bodily injury insurance is $30,000 per person. That means that the driver and passenger are each completely covered because their injuries were less than the limit. Things get complicated when you figure in the pedestrian. Remember, the total bodily injury coverage is only $60,000. The grand total of everyone’s injuries that you are responsible for is $80,000. The minimum coverage will only cover $60,000. That means that you somehow have to come up with the remaining $20,000 out of pocket. Lot’s of insurance, like very cheap car insurance no deposit do not have a lot of coverage. So you may find yourself in a situation like this if you don’t buy enough coverage.
There are other costs to consider, too. If there is a lot of property damage, you’ll have to cover anything over the $25,000 cap. Not to mention that it’s very likely you have also sustained some injuries. What if you’re injured and can’t work? What if your car is totaled and you have to buy a new one?
So, is minimum coverage enough? It depends what you’re really asking. Yes, the minimum is enough if your biggest concern is driving legally. If you want to make sure you’re adequately covered in case of an accident, it might be a good idea to consider a policy with higher limits.
The costs of an accident can be outrageous. If you don’t think the minimum offers enough coverage, how do you know how much coverage to get? Is there such a thing as good, cheap insurance in NC?
How Much Coverage Do I Really Need?
The simple answer is that you should get enough to cover your assets. Why? Because if you are found at fault and end up having to go to court, your home, vehicles, and bank accounts will be somewhat protected. Most insurance companies recommend coverage of 100/300/35, much higher than the 30/50/25 minimum.
Looking at our example, let’s see what would happen if you had this more extensive policy. The driver and passenger are still completely covered. So it the pedestrian because the bodily injury per person limit is much higher. The total cost of the accident -$80,000 – is completely covered.
Here’s one way to think about it. If you have a better policy, you’ll have a higher premium and pay more month to month. But is $20 or $30 or even $50 more a month better than having to come up with tens of thousands of dollars if you’re at fault for an accident? Having the minimum coverage is a gamble. You really won’t see the value of a better policy until you need to use it.
You don’t necessarily need the best car insurance in NC. That said, it’s a good idea to find the best insurance for you.
Auto insurance NC is also required to have a policy that protects you against uninsured and underinsured motorists. This means that if you’re in an accident or involved in a hit-and-run with another motorist that is not your fault, you’ll have protection if the other driver doesn’t have enough insurance or has no insurance at all. It will help pay for your medical expenses as well as those of passengers you have in your car.
This kind of insurance usually has a deductible, which is a predetermined amount that you will pay out of pocket before your coverage kicks in. If your deductible is $500 and your injuries are minor and only cost about $300, you would pay for that, not your insurance. If the damage was $1000, you would pay the first $500 and then your insurance coverage would kick in.
What If I Get Caught Driving Without Insurance?
In NC, if you’re caught driving without insurance, the punishments can be pretty severe. For the first offense, you’ll face a $50 fine and 1-45 days of probation. Your car registration and driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days, too, and you will have to pay and additional $50 for reinstatement. If you have insurance and just don’t have proof when you get pulled over, you can provide evidence within 10 days and avoid any punishment.
For your second offense, the fine is $100 and you’ll lose your license and registration for 30 days if this offense occurs within 3 years of the first one. You will also have to serve some jail time or 1-45 days probation if the judge allows it.
If you have a third offense within 3 years, the fine increases to $150. Again, you’ll lose your license and registration for 30 days and face jail time. That’s why we always recommend making sure you have coverage, even if the coverage is something like cheap car insurance no deposit.
Best Auto Insurance in NC
If you currently don’t have coverage and are looking for non-owners insurance NC or cheap car insurance in NC, the best thing to do is shop around.
All you have to do is enter your zip code into the box below! We’ll provide you with information about cheap auto insurance in NC, where to find it, and how to get it.