Compare Cheap Car Insurance in North Carolina (2021)

If you're paying more than $46/month for auto insurance, you could save by switching insurers.

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Best Cheap Car Insurance in North Carolina (2021)

The average North Carolina driver pays $46 per month for the minimum amount of auto insurance the state requires, according to our data. The same driver pays $88 per month for full-coverage car insurance — which usually includes liability, collision and comprehensive protections.

Here is a quick breakdown of the cheapest car insurance companies in North Carolina:

Most affordable car insurance in North Carolina
Cheapest for minimum coverage Erie
Cheapest for full coverage Erie
Cheapest for young drivers State Farm
Cheapest for bad drivers Erie

After analyzing the rates of the best major insurance companies in North Carolina, we found the best insurer for your specific driver profile.

Keep reading for more details about car insurance in the Tar Heel State:

Cheapest car insurance companies in North Carolina

The three cheapest insurance companies in North Carolina are Erie, NC Farm Bureau and State Farm. They each offer competitive rates — at $32 to $37 a month, on average — for policies that meet the minimum coverage requirements in North Carolina. 

Cheapest state-minimum car insurance in North Carolina
Company Average monthly rate
Erie $32
NC Farm Bureau $34
State Farm $37
Standard Fire $44
North Carolina average $46
GEICO $47
MetLife $48
Progressive $48
Nationwide $54
Allstate $73
Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.

A minimum-coverage policy has a low upfront cost, but if you get into an accident, it can be costly because the policy is meant to protect other drivers and their property — not your own. We recommend that drivers with expensive or new cars purchase additional coverage to avoid exorbitant out-of-pocket costs.

Cheapest full-coverage car insurance in North Carolina

Erie not only has the most affordable rates for drivers searching for a minimum-coverage policy, it also has the best rates for full-coverage car insurance. 

Erie isn’t the only company offering affordable car insurance in North Carolina. NC Farm Bureau and State Farm are each only $5 more expensive on average than Erie.

Cheapest full-coverage car insurance in North Carolina
Company Average monthly rate
Erie $61
NC Farm Bureau $66
State Farm $66
Standard Fire $79
GEICO $82
North Carolina average $88
MetLife $92
Progressive $92
Nationwide $117
Allstate $139
Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.

Full coverage is more expensive than a minimum liability policy because it provides additional coverages. There's some variation in the definition of a full-coverage policy, but it typically means that you have comprehensive and collision protections on top of your minimum-coverage policy.

Comprehensive coverage financially protects you from car damage caused by events out of your control. This includes natural disasters, theft or hitting an animal. On the other hand, collision coverage pays out if your car is damaged by crashing into another vehicle or a stationary object, like a sign or pole.

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You can potentially save hundreds of dollars annually by shopping around for rates.

Cheapest car insurance for young drivers in North Carolina

Two of the biggest determinants of your insurance rates are your experience and your age. New and teenage drivers have the highest rates out of any age group. This is due to the fact that they are among the most likely groups to be involved in an accident.

Due to the expensive prices, it's even more important that young drivers do everything they can to save money on car insurance. This includes shopping around at multiple companies. The monthly difference between the cheapest and most expensive company for a 16-year-old is $259, on average. 

 
 
 

To save as much money as possible on car insurance, we recommend teen drivers do the following:

Cheapest car insurance for bad drivers in North Carolina

Incidents in your driving history can adversely impact your car insurance rates. We took a look at how an at-fault car accident, a speeding ticket and a DUI conviction affect premiums. Here's what we found:

Cheapest car insurance for drivers after an accident

Drivers who have been involved in accidents are considered high risk and likely to get into another accident. As a result, these drivers are often charged higher car insurance premiums following a crash.

But depending on your insurance company, you may not see much of an increase at all. For example, Erie increased rates by an average of only $3. However, GEICO nearly doubled its premium.

Cheapest car insurance after an accident
Company Monthly rate before accident Monthly rate after accident Difference
Erie $61 $64 $3
NC Farm Bureau $66 $87 $21
State Farm $66 $92 $26
Progressive $92 $125 $33
Standard Fire $79 $131 $52
MetLife $92 $137 $45
GEICO $82 $150 $68
Nationwide $117 $157 $40
Allstate $139 $178 $39
Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.

Accidents stay on your driving record for three to five years, so the best thing you can do to get your rates back to normal is to drive safely during that time. If your premium has become unaffordable, you can start shopping around for cheaper insurers and take advantage of discounts.

Cheapest car insurance for drivers with a DUI

Considering the severity of a DUI, it's no surprise that drivers caught under the influence pay substantially higher rates for coverage. In fact, NC Farm Bureau, the cheapest company for drivers charged with a DUI, increased rates by nearly 300%.

Cheapest car insurance after a DUI
Company Monthly rate before DUI Monthly rate after DUI Difference
NC Farm Bureau $66 $247 $181
Erie $61 $252 $191
State Farm $66 $281 $215
Standard Fire $79 $361 $282
MetLife $92 $371 $279
Progressive $92 $371 $279
Nationwide $117 $394 $277
GEICO $82 $401 $319
Allstate $139 $615 $476
Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.

Cheapest car insurance for drivers with a speeding ticket

Drivers caught having the need for speed pay higher premiums on average compared to their counterparts with clean records. According to our research, Erie and NC Farm Bureau increased their monthly rates the least following a speeding citation.

Cheapest car insurance after a speeding ticket
Company Monthly rate before ticket Monthly rate after ticket Difference
Erie $61 $86 $25
NC Farm Bureau $66 $87 $21
State Farm $66 $92 $26
MetLife $92 $125 $33
Progressive $92 $125 $33
Standard Fire $79 $129 $50
GEICO $82 $150 $68
Nationwide $117 $150 $33
Allstate $139 $190 $51
Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.

The best way to remove a speeding ticket from your record is to wait for it to come off. Typically, it takes around three to five years. Alternatively, you can look out for discount and savings opportunities to lower your premium.

Best car insurance companies in North Carolina, according to customers

It's not enough to have the most affordable insurance policy. You also need to have the best service. Having top-notch service can help make the claims process stress-free, efficient and quick. 

GEICO, for instance, is one of the most expensive options for insurance, but has among the best service quality and claims satisfaction in the state. When selecting an insurance company, aim to strike a balance between quality service and low prices.

To examine the quality of each company's customer service, we looked at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Complaint Index and J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study. The higher the J.D. Power score, the more positive the overall customer satisfaction. The higher the NAIC Complaint Index, the more complaints the insurer received.

Company J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study NAIC Complaint Index (2020)
Erie 874 1.32
GEICO 843 0.67
NC Farm Bureau 836 1.04
Progressive 828 0.72
Allstate 838 0.87
State Farm 859 0.7
Nationwide 831 0.61
MetLife N/A 0.46
Standard Fire N/A 0.56
Note: J.D. Power assesses overall customer satisfaction on a 1,000-point scale. The NAIC Complaint Index is the rate at which customers file complaints to their state regulators. The median Complaint Index is 1.0.

Average car insurance costs in North Carolina by city

The average cost of car insurance is influenced by several factors, including the city where you live. Areas with higher rates of theft or large populations tend to be slightly pricier than cities with lower rates of crime and fewer residents. 

Charlotte, the largest city in North Carolina, is nearly twice as expensive as Asheville, which has nearly a tenth of Charlotte's population.

Average cost of car insurance in North Carolina by city
City Average monthly rate
Asheville $105
Cary $113
Charlotte $107
Concord $118
Durham $113
Fayetteville $113
Greensboro $107
High Point $119
Raleigh $116
Winston-Salem $101
Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.

Car insurance requirements in North Carolina

North Carolina has car insurance coverage laws every driver in the state must follow to operate a vehicle. The minimum requirements are:

Coverage Limits
Bodily injury liability $30,000 per person/$60,000 per accident
​Property damage $25,000 per accident
Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury $30,000 per person/$60,000 per accident
Uninsured motorist property damage $25,000 per accident

At face value, a minimum liability policy is the cheapest car insurance plan. However, depending on your needs, these coverages may not be sufficient. Say you get into an expensive accident and your car is badly damaged. Since you don't have collision coverage, you won't receive financial reimbursement for the crash.

The penalties for failing to meet these requirements is steep. The state may fine you $50 for your first car insurance lapse, $100 for your second lapse and $150 for each lapse after that. It also may charge you a $50 restoration fee. Additionally, your insurance company may penalize you for a lapse in coverage by charging higher rates.

Driving conditions in North Carolina

According to a recent infrastructure study QuoteWizard conducted based on Federal Highway Administration (FHA) data, North Carolina ranks 24th out of 50 states for the worst infrastructure. Approximately 14% of North Carolina roads are deemed unacceptable, and 8.4% of the state's bridge decks are poor quality.

These infrastructure problems result in approximately $336 annual costs to the average state motorist — lower than the national average of $556.

Methodology

QuoteWizard utilized data provided by Quadrant Information Services to conduct this comprehensive study. Our sample driver was a 30-year-old male who owns a 2012 Honda LX. His average mileage is 13,500 miles per year. The minimum auto insurance plan in our study met the bare coverage requirements needed to drive in North Carolina.

We defined a full-coverage policy as follows:

  • $100,000/$300,000 bodily injury liability
  • $100,000 property damage liability
  • $30,000/$60,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury
  • $25,000 uninsured motorist property damage
  • $500 collision and comprehensive deductible

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