North Carolina Minimum Car Insurance Requirements, Penalties and Other Auto Insurance Laws

North Carolina drivers are required by law to carry minimum coverage of 30/60/25 for both liability coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This means your auto insurance policy must have liability limits of at least $30,000 for bodily injury per person and up to $60,000 per accident, along with $25,000 for property damage. Your uninsured motorist coverage should have these same limits. Drivers who do not meet North Carolina’s minimum car insurance requirements will face penalties, fines, suspension or jail time. Auto insurance will protect you against financial loss in the event of an accident.

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What Is the Minimum Car Insurance Requirement in North Carolina?

How much car insurance do you need in North Carolina? According to state laws, you need at least the state’s minimum amount of liability and uninsured motorist coverage to operate a motor vehicle in North Carolina.

  • $30,000 per person for bodily injury
  • $60,000 per accident for bodily injury
  • $25,000 per accident for property damage
  • $30,000 per person for bodily injury for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
  • $60,000 per accident for bodily injury for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
  • $25,000 per accident for property damage for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage

The 30/60/25 state minimum will provide basic protection. If you want more coverage, you can get higher liability limits or add-ons for an additional cost.


What Does This Minimum Coverage Mean?

North Carolina car insurance requirements include liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage. Generally, liability coverage pays for the injuries and property damage you cause to another party due to an at-fault accident. The minimum liability limits in North Carolina are 30/60/25. That means your policy must have a minimum coverage of $30,000 per person for bodily injuries and a total of $60,000 per accident for all parties involved. For property damage liability, you need to carry at least $25,000. This coverage will pay for damages to property, such as another person’s car or home.

North Carolina car insurance laws state that drivers should have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage amounting to no less than the required liability limits. That means you will also need 30/60/25 coverage for bodily injuries and property damage under uninsured motorist coverage. This type of coverage will protect you and your family against expenses related to injuries and property damage you incur due to the negligence of another driver with limited or no coverage.

How Much Does the Minimum Car Insurance Cost in North Carolina?

Car insurance rates in North Carolina vary depending on the driver. When calculating premiums, insurance providers consider the driver’s age, credit score, driving history and ZIP code, among others. The cost of auto insurance will also vary greatly by company.

In North Carolina, the cheapest option for the average driver with a policy only meeting the state minimums is Nationwide, with an average rate of $301 per year.

Cheapest Minimum Liability Car Insurance in North Carolina

Cheapest Minimum Car Insurance in North Carolina
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    North Carolina Farm Bureau
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These prices are only estimates based on rates for an average North Carolina driver and should not be used to compare insurance prices.

MoneyGeek compared average car insurance costs from different insurers in North Carolina for a policy with state minimum liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage of 30/60/25. The driver profile used is a 40-year-old male North Carolina resident driving a 2010 Toyota Camry with a clean driving record and good credit score.


What Is the Minimum Car Insurance Requirement in North Carolina While Leasing a Car?

State laws dictate the minimum coverage requirements for North Carolina drivers. However, that does not mean it is enough coverage for all North Carolina residents. If you plan on leasing a car, your minimum requirements may be different. Usually, leasing companies require full coverage auto insurance with 100/300/50 minimum liability limits, but this may vary depending on the company. Contact your leasing company to find out how much coverage you need.

How much insurance should you have? Generally, you should look for a policy with a coverage level suitable for your needs. If you are unsure, MoneyGeek recommends at least 50/100/50 full coverage.

Aside from being a requirement in North Carolina, uninsured motorist coverage is a great way to protect yourself and your family against possible financial loss if an uninsured/underinsured motorist hits you. About 7.4% of North Carolina drivers are uninsured. While this is on the lower end compared to some other states, having full coverage will prepare you for unexpected incidents.

Penalties for Driving Without Car Insurance in North Carolina

Auto insurance is a requirement to operate a motor vehicle on the roads of North Carolina. Additionally, drivers need to carry proof of insurance at all times and provide it to a law enforcement officer if asked. Driving without auto insurance or proof of insurance could result in the following penalties and fines:

  • 30 days suspension of registration
  • Up to 45 days probation or jail time
  • Restoration fee of $50
  • Civil fine from $50 to $150

Drivers who fail to pay the fines may have their car’s license plates revoked or seized by law enforcement. You may also incur additional penalties.

Frequently Asked Questions About Car Insurance in North Carolina

Here are some of the questions drivers frequently ask to help you better understand auto insurance in North Carolina.

Learn More About Car Insurance

About the Author


Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content manager with MoneyGeek specializing in insurance. Mark has years of experience analyzing the insurance market and creating original research and content. He graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts and Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Arts.