North Carolina is a beautiful state with a very diverse landscape. The east is made up of the coastal plains and includes the Outer Banks, a popular vacation spot for families. The western part of the state is made up of the Appalachian Mountains and foothills, and in the center of the state is the Piedmont region that includes beautiful landscapes and several waterfalls. All this gorgeous land coupled with the state’s temperate weather makes North Carolina a great place to live and enjoy outdoor adventures. If you are a resident of this state, you likely have several insurance coverage needs.
Agents in the Trusted Choice® network of independent insurance agents are here to help you find the right policies. There are currently 693 member agents for this state’s 9.7 million residents. Contact a local agent today to receive a variety of North Carolina insurance quotes for the policies that matter to you.
Independent Agents vs. Captive Agents in North Carolina
Are you aware that there are two very different types of insurance agents? When shopping for North Carolina insurance, you can choose to work with either an independent or a captive agent. The differences between the two are significant:
- Independent agents: This type of insurance agent works for you, not for a specific insurance company. Independent agents have relationships with a variety of different insurance providers and can use these relationships to find you several suitable policies at competitive rates. They are uniquely equipped to build customized coverage packages that can meet your specific coverage needs. Also, when you work with an independent agent, you can have all your insurance policies conveniently administered through one office and one agent.
- Captive agents: This type of insurance agent works exclusively for one specific insurance company. Captive agents are therefore very limited in what they can offer you. If you work with this type of agent, you will need to comparison shop with other companies in order to be sure that you are getting a suitable policy at a reasonable rate. Captive agents have fewer coverage options to work with and this makes them less able to customize policies to meet your specific coverage needs.
The Trusted Choice network only includes independent agents, who can access many insurance companies to find just the right coverage for your unique needs.
Find a North Carolina Car Insurance Policy
Like every other state, North Carolina mandates minimum liability insurance coverage requirements for vehicle owners. These minimums are designed to protect motorists from the devastating financial losses that can be brought on by a collision. In North Carolina, the liability minimums are 30/60/25. The means that your auto insurance much cover a minimum of:
- $30,000 in bodily injury or death coverage for one person in an accident
- $60,000 in bodily injury or death coverage in total for an accident involving two or more people
- $25,000 in property damage coverage per accident
While these minimums may seem high, an accident that results in several serious injuries or a fatality can easily exceed these coverage limits. For this reason, many financial advisors recommend that you protect your assets by purchasing as much liability coverage as you can comfortably afford.
In addition to North Carolina’s state imposed liability coverage, you may also choose to purchase additional coverage for your vehicle. Optional coverage includes:
- Collision insurance: This covers any damages your vehicle may sustain in a collision for which you are at fault. If you financed the purchase of your vehicle, this coverage may be required by your lender.
- Comprehensive insurance: This covers loss or damage to your vehicle that is not collision-related. Covered events include fires, floods, flying debris, falling objects, vandalism and theft. If you financed the purchase of your vehicle, this coverage may also be required by your lender.
- Uninsured / Underinsured motorist insurance: This covers any property damage or injuries you sustain in a collision if the responsible driver lacks the necessary insurance coverage or funds to handle your repair and medical costs.
- Personal injury insurance (PIP): This covers any medical care necessary to treat injuries sustained by you or your passengers in a collision for which you are at fault.
Be Sure to Adequately Cover Your North Carolina Home
As a homeowner, you likely take pride in your house. You have put a lot of money into its purchase and upkeep, so why not protect your investment with a suitable North Carolina homeowners insurance policy? Whether you need traditional homeowners insurance or a policy to cover a condo, mobile home, or manufactured home, you will want to be sure that you are purchasing coverage that is sufficient to fully cover you in in the event of a disaster.
The three main coverage components that make up a North Carolina home insurance policy are:
- Liability coverage: This covers you against liability claims for personal injury or property damage experienced by a third-party while they are on your property. This insurance also covers you against charges of libel and slander. All associated court costs and legal fees are included in this coverage.
- Contents coverage: This covers the personal belongings kept within your home if they are lost or damaged by an event such as a fire or theft. It includes coverage for everything you own, including such things as clothing, furniture, appliances, home décor, flooring and light fixtures. You will want to be sure that you have enough coverage to allow you to replace all necessary property in the event of a total loss. Some expensive items, such as antiques, jewelry, furs and family heirlooms, may require additional riders in order to be fully covered.
- Building coverage: This covers the structure of your home as well as any outlying structures, such as detached garages and storage sheds, if they are damaged or destroyed by a covered event. Most policies include heavy winds, lightning, hail, fire and falling objects among their covered events. Be sure to purchase building coverage in an amount sufficient to completely rebuild your home if it is destroyed in a catastrophe.
North Carolina residents should be aware that flood damage is excluded from coverage in virtually all homeowners insurance policies. The only way to get coverage against this potentially very expensive catastrophe is by supplementing your homeowners insurance with a flood insurance policy. These policies are federally backed and are available through the National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP.;
You may also need coverage to protect against hurricanes and earthquakes, as well as insurance for your home business, and expensive personal property, such as collectible items and art pieces.
Do You Own a Small Business in North Carolina?
As of 2010, there were 806,203 small businesses in North Carolina. Many represented sole-proprietorships for the self-employed and freelancers, but more than 168,000 had employees. If you are one of the many entrepreneurs in the state of North Carolina, you have probably invested a lot of time and money into your business. Why not protect it with a suitable North Carolina business insurance policy?
Businesses can vary significantly, and those in different industries face very different inherent risks. Insurance companies understand this and offer a vast number of coverage options with their commercial insurance policies. Trusted Choice member agents can work with several of these insurance providers to build you a North Carolina business policy that makes sense for your company’s coverage particular coverage needs. In fact, Trusted Choice agents write more business policies than any other company.
Business policies have dozens of different coverage options. The most frequently purchased include the following:
- Liability coverage: In today’s litigious society, businesses are vulnerable to lawsuits. Liability coverage includes all associated court costs and legal fees, up to the limits of your policy. There are several different types of business liability insurance. Some liability coverage options include:
- General liability insurance
- Product liability insurance
- Professional liability insurance
- Employment practices liability insurance
- Non-owned or for-hire auto liability insurance
- Liquor liability insurance
- Property loss coverage: If a covered event, such as a fire, burglary or severe weather, causes your business to suffer property loss or damage, this will compensate you for the cost of repairing, rebuilding or replacing the damaged property.
- Employee injuries coverage: If an employee is injured while on the job, your company is responsible for covering any necessary medical treatments. You can include workers compensation as a coverage option with most business insurance plans, or you can elect to purchase it as a separate policy through the state.
- Loss of income coverage: If your business is forced to temporarily close its doors and discontinue sales or production because of a covered event, a North Carolina business insurance policy that includes this coverage will provide a continuation of income. This coverage should be sufficient to enable you to continue to pay salaried employees as well as your business’s monthly bills and expenses until you can resume business.
Protect Your Loved Ones with North Carolina Life Insurance
On average, North Carolina residents live 77.8 years, ranking this state 37th in the nation in terms of life expectancy. It is natural to assume that you will live long enough to experience several years of retirement, and statistically speaking, you probably will. Unfortunately, accidents and sudden severe illnesses do sometimes happen, and they have the potential to cut a life short. Fortunately, you can protect the financial well-being of those you leave behind by purchasing a suitable North Carolina life insurance policy.
North Carolina life insurance policies fall into two distinct categories. For many, making the decision about which type to purchase is the hardest part about buying a policy. There are no right or wrong answers about which is the better choice. An agent in the Trusted Choice network can help you understand the pros and cons of each option so that you can make an informed decision.
- Term life insurance: These polices remain in effect only for a specified length of time, referred to as a term. Once the term is up, the policy expires and ceases to exist.
- Pros: Term policies are significantly less expensive than permanent policies, so they enable you to purchase high levels of coverage at low, affordable rates. With a term policy, you can have a lot of coverage during the years in your life when it is most needed.
- Cons: Term policies have no cash value, and they cannot be renewed after the term is up. In some cases, when your policy expires, it may be impossible to find another affordable life insurance policy to replace it, particularly if you have been diagnosed with a serious medical condition.
- Permanent life insurance: These policies do not expire, so you can keep them for as long as you stay current on your premiums. They enable you to lock in a low rate while you are young and healthy and keep that rate for your entire life.
- Pros: Permanent policies accrue a cash value and do not expire. If you are in urgent need of funds, you can cash out your policy early and collect its accrued value, or, in some cases, you can take out a low interest loan against your policy’s cash value.
- Cons: These policies are significantly more expensive than term policies. You may therefore have to spend a lot to get coverage in the amount you feel is sufficient to protect your family’s financial future.
Do You Need to Find a North Carolina Health Insurance Policy?
Because of the recently passed Affordable Healthcare Act, many previously uninsured North Carolina residents will need to either purchase a health insurance policy by January 1, 2014 or face a penalty. Fortunately, affordable health insurance is now available to North Carolina residents at group rates through online exchanges or marketplace options. This will make it easy for residents who do not get health benefits through their employers or spouse, or qualify for Medicare or Medicaid, to find coverage at affordable rates. Also, this new law prohibits insurance companies from turning down coverage because of pre-existing conditions.
There are many benefits to having health insurance. Besides the coverage you can count on if you are injured or fall ill, if you have health insurance, you are far more likely to get preventive care and routine, age-appropriate health screenings. These measures can increase your longevity as they allow doctors to detect and treat serious health problems early, when treatment is most likely to be successful. Those without coverage tend to put off seeing a doctor until their health problems have grown severe and require extensive and costly treatments that have a lower success rate.
Member agents can answer your North Carolina health insurance questions and can explain many aspects of health coverage such as:
- How the Affordable Healthcare Act can prove beneficial to you and your family
- The pros and cons of HMOs, PPOs and EPOs
- How opening a health savings account (HSA) can save you money on your taxes
- Which tier of available coverage on the NC exchange is best for you and your family
- What is covered under the available insurance plans and how much co-pays will be
Are You a North Carolina Boat Owner?
North Carolina is an excellent state for boat owners. With 80 suitable bodies of water and more than 200 free boating access areas within the state, it is little wonder that boating is one of the most popular year-round activities for residents here. If you own one of the more than 300,000 boats currently registered in the state, you may want to consider protecting your investment and your finances with a North Carolina boat insurance policy.
Unless you use your boat for commercial purposes, the state of North Carolina does not require you to carry insurance on it. You may be able to get some liability and property coverage for your boat through your homeowners insurance policy, but this coverage is typically very limited. The only way you can fully shield yourself from boat-related financial losses is through a boat insurance policy.
Some coverage you can expect to find with your North Carolina boat insurance policy includes:
- Liability coverage: If you are responsible for an accident while operating your boat, this will cover any resulting third-party injuries or property damage.
- Collision coverage: If you are responsible for a collision while operating your boat, this will cover any resulting damages to your own vessel.
- Comprehensive coverage: If your boat is lost or damaged while not in operation, such as while it is docked or stored, this will cover repair or replacement costs.
- Medical costs coverage: If you or your passengers are injured in a boating accident for which you are responsible, this will cover the cost of necessary medical treatment.
- Uninsured / underinsured boater coverage: If another boater is at fault for a boat collision but lacks the funds or coverage to pay your resulting losses, this coverage will compensate you for any unpaid portions.
- Fuel spill and wreckage clean up: If you are responsible for a boating collision, you will also be responsible for the cost of the clean-up, which can be rather costly if a fuel spill is involved. This will cover the costs.
- Trailer coverage and roadside assistance: If your boat is damaged or you require it to be towed because of a problem on the road while transporting it to and from the water, this insurance will cover the costs.
Obtain a Variety of North Carolina Insurance Quotes
Regardless of how simple or complex your individual insurance coverage requirements may be, an independent agent in the Trusted Choice network can help you find the right policies to meet them. These agents work with a variety of highly-rated insurance providers to find suitable policies for all of your North Carolina personal or commercial insurance needs.
Member agents can answer your insurance-related questions, provide you with principled coverage advice, and can ensure that you fully understand your coverage before you make a purchase. Contact one of the 693 member agents in the state now, to start comparing North Carolina insurance quotes today.