Accidents can happen to anyone. That is why vehicle owners in Charlotte are required to carry car insurance. From fender-benders on W. Morehead Street to multicar collisions on I-77, a solid auto insurance policy can prevent you from facing large financial losses as the result of an accident.
Finding the best and most affordable coverage is easy when you work with a local independent agent. These agents can help you obtain and compare customized quotes from some of the best car insurance companies in North Carolina. Contact an insurance agent in Charlotte to get started.
How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in Charlotte, NC?
The average cost of car insurance in North Carolina is lower than the national average. This is great news for Charlotte residents who are looking for an affordable auto insurance policy.
Comparing rates from a variety of insurance companies enables you to get the coverage you want at the lowest possible price.
- National average annual car insurance cost: $1,311
- North Carolina average annual car insurance cost: $1,086
Of course, an average can only give you a general idea of what you might actually be expected to pay. Car insurance costs can vary significantly from one driver to the next because they are based on several considerations. For instance, your costs can be affected by things like these factors.
- The make, model, and year of the vehicle(s) you are insuring
- Your age, occupation, and driving history
- Information about the other licensed drivers in your household
- Whether you own or rent your home
- The amount of liability coverage you are purchasing
- Your claims history and credit score
A lot of insurance companies also offer other money saving incentives like good-student discounts for the teen drivers in your household who get good grades and safe-driver discounts for anyone who has long history without moving violations or accidents.
What Are the Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Charlotte, North Carolina?
Every state has its own coverage requirements. In North Carolina, all car insurance policies must include the following.
- Liability insurance: This is designed to cover other people’s medical bills and property damage if you are at fault for an accident. Your policy must have a minimum of:
- Bodily injury liability insurance: $30,000 per person / $60,000 per incident
- Property damage liability insurance: $25,000 per incident
- Uninsured motorist insurance (UIM): This is designed to cover your medical bills and property damage if you are in an accident caused by an uninsured driver. Your policy must include a minimum of:
- UIM bodily injury insurance: $30,000 per person / $60,000 per incident
- UIM property damage insurance: $25,000 per incident
Many Charlotte drivers opt to purchase car insurance that has higher-than-required liability limits. Residents who have a lot to lose may also want to consider purchasing umbrella insurance in order to get even more liability coverage than their auto insurance policy can provide.
What Else Can Charlotte Car Insurance Cover?
In addition to the mandatory coverage mentioned above, your car insurance provider will offer optional coverage that you may want to include in your Charlotte auto insurance policy. These options can include the following.
- Collision insurance: This covers the cost to repair or replace your vehicle if is it damaged or totaled in a collision, even if the accident was your own fault. This coverage is typically required by lenders if you are still paying for your vehicle and by dealerships if you are leasing it.
- Comprehensive insurance: This covers the cost to repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged or totaled due to a non-collision event like a fallen tree or a hailstorm. This coverage is typically required by lenders if you are still paying for your vehicle and by dealerships if you are leasing it.
- Medical payments insurance: This covers medical treatments for you and the other members of your household if you are injured in a collision, regardless of fault.
- Roadside assistance: This covers the costs of assistance and towing if your car becomes disabled while you are on the road, such as if you run out of gas or you blow a head gasket.
- Gap insurance: This can pay off your car loan if your car is totaled in a covered event and you owe more for it than it is worth. New cars depreciate quickly, so this coverage is often valuable during the first two or three years of new-car ownership.
- Rental car reimbursement: This covers the cost to rent a vehicle while your own car is being repaired following a covered event.
Talk to your local insurance agent for help determining which, if any, of these coverage options is a good fit for you.
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What Is the Penalty for Driving without Insurance in Charlotte?
Driving without insurance in North Carolina is illegal. If caught, you will be charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor and can face the following penalties.
- A civil penalty fine ranging from $50 to $150
- The suspension of your license plates for up to 30 days
- The need to pay a $50 restoration fee to reactivate your plates
- Higher car insurance rates
The good news is that, at about half the national rate, North Carolina has one of the lowest rates of uninsured drivers in the country.
- Percentage of US drivers who are uninsured: 13.0%
- Percentage of North Carolina drivers who are uninsured: 6.5%
Because this state requires you to carry uninsured motorist insurance, you can rest assured that if you find yourself in a collision caused by an uninsured driver, you can you receive timely compensation for your injuries and property damage without the need to take legal action against the at-fault driver.
Does Charlotte Car Insurance Cover against Auto Theft?
The auto theft rate in the state of North Carolina is lower than the national rate, but in Charlotte, the rate is higher. Residents of this city report around 2,800 auto thefts a year.
- National auto theft rate per 1,000 people: 2.29
- North Carolina auto theft rate per 1,000 people: 1.70
- Charlotte auto theft rate per 1,000 people: 3.21
You can only be compensated for a stolen vehicle if your car insurance policy includes comprehensive or "other than collision" coverage.
Comprehensive insurance covers more than just auto thefts. It can also reimburse you for repair costs if your car is damaged in a wide range of non-collision events like hailstorms and floods.
If you are still paying for your vehicle or you have it on a lease, chances are good you have comprehensive insurance already. If not, you may want to look into how much it will cost for you include it in your Charlotte car insurance policy so you can determine whether or not it is a good fit for you.
How Can an Independent Agent in Charlotte Help You Find the Best Car Insurance?
You can ask a local independent agent for help when you are looking for the right auto insurance policy to meet your coverage and budgetary needs. These agents work for you, not for a particular insurance company, so they can shop around to find you the coverage you want at a price you can afford.
Contact an insurance agent in Charlotte to get answers to your insurance-related questions and to start comparing customized car insurance quotes.
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