The Best Car Insurance in North Carolina for 2022

The best car insurance companies offer affordability, customer satisfaction and financial stability. Based on MoneyGeek’s scoring system, the best insurance company in North Carolina is Erie, leading in claims, tying in second for customer satisfaction and financial stability and ranking third for affordability.

Different kinds of drivers can also find the best policies from other companies. For example, Nationwide is best for drivers on a budget, State Farm is ideal for young drivers and Allstate is the top option in the state for low-mileage drivers.

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Last Updated: 11/2/2022
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The Best Car Insurance in North Carolina

If you’re less focused on service quality and just searching for the most affordable options, MoneyGeek also found the cheapest car insurance companies in North Carolina.

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Methodology

Why Trust MoneyGeek? Our scoring system for car insurance in North Carolina incorporates thousands of quotes analyzed by our data scientists, as well as customer service and financial strength ratings from industry-leading market research firms. Click to learn more about how our scores are calculated out of 100.

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Quotes Analyzed

 
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Companies Compared

 
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ZIP Codes

Best Full Coverage Car Insurance Companies in North Carolina: Overall

MoneyGeek compared premium rates, claims ratings and customer satisfaction to rank Erie and Nationwide as the leading auto insurance companies in the state.

  • Erie: MoneyGeek Score of 89 out of 100 (approximately $716 per year)
  • Nationwide: MoneyGeek score of 87 out of 100 (approximately $600 per year)

USAA received a MoneyGeek score of 4.8 out of 5, higher than Erie’s, but its policies are only available to military members and their families.

For affordable but full protection, you can opt to purchase the cheapest full coverage car insurance in North Carolina.

THE TOP CAR INSURANCE COMPANIES IN NORTH CAROLINA

1
ErieBest Overall
Score:89

3.8/5

Affordability

5/5

Claims

4.5/5

User Satisfaction

4.5/5

Financial Stability

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

With annual premiums averaging $716, Erie ranked first for claims and tied second for stability and customer satisfaction. Erie offers better car replacement coverage.

Average Annual Cost: $716

More About Erie

Erie offers better car replacement and new car replacement coverage, also called Auto Security. If you’ve owned a car for less than two years and it gets totaled, your policy can help you replace your car with its newest model year. The policyholder can still get a replacement for cars that are older than two years, but the replacement will be a model that’s two years newer. Better car replacement coverage is difficult to come across for other companies. New car replacement coverage is present in more companies, but it’s still quite uncommon for insurers to offer such coverage. These coverages can help alleviate your stress, especially financially, when looking for a new car right after an accident. With Auto Security, you can quickly get back on the road.

2
Nationwide
Score:87

5/5

Affordability

4/5

Claims

4/5

User Satisfaction

4.5/5

Financial Stability

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

Nationwide tops on affordability, with annual premiums averaging $600. It's second in stability and third on satisfaction and claims. The company offers identity theft coverage.

Average Annual Cost: $600

More About Nationwide

Two of the rarest coverages that Nationwide offers are identity theft coverage and total loss deductible waiver. Identity theft coverage reimburses your expenses for up to $25,000 in case you or the people you live with become a victim of identity theft or fraud. Total loss deductible Waiver pays for the deductible of your comprehensive or collision insurance in case your car gets totaled in an accident. You can also add gap insurance to your policy. It pays the gap between the actual cash value of your loss and the amount that’s left on your lease or loan. Deductible modification or vanishing deductible decreases your deductible for being a safe driver. It can lessen your deductible by up to $500, giving you a $100 deductible decrease for every year of being a safe driver.

3
North Carolina Farm Bureau
Score:83

3.6/5

Affordability

4.5/5

Claims

4.5/5

User Satisfaction

4/5

Financial Stability

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

North Carolina farm Bureau ties at number two for customer satisfaction and claims and comes in third for stability and affordability. It offers annual premiums at an average of $737.

More About North Carolina Farm Bureau

You must first enlist for membership at $25 annually to get an insurance premium. North Carolina Farm Bureau offers discounts for multiple cars and multiple policies. You also qualify for a discount if you pay your premiums in full.

4
GEICO
Score:74

2.7/5

Affordability

4/5

Claims

4/5

User Satisfaction

5/5

Financial Stability

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

GEICO ties at number one on stability with travelers and comes in third on stability and claims. Insurance premiums go for an average of $825 per year. The company offers mechanical breakdown coverage.

More About GEICO

GEICO's Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (MBI) includes all parts and systems, not just the specific items covered by most dealer warranties. MBI is available for new or leased cars that are less than 15 months old and have less than 15,000 miles. You can conveniently get an insurance quote and pay online at any time, whether day or night. If you combine policies, like health and auto insurance, you could also qualify for a discount.

5
Travelers
Score:68

2.2/5

Affordability

4/5

Claims

3.5/5

User Satisfaction

5/5

Financial Stability

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

Travelers insurance premiums average at $872 per year. The company ties first for stability with GEICO and third for claims settlement. The company offers personal injury protection coverage.

More About Travelers

Travelers offer Personal Injury Protection coverage that pays for medical expenses and lost wages incurred due to the accident, even if the driver is at fault. If you own a Hybrid or an electric car, Travelers gives you a discount on your car policy. Also, if you pay for your premiums in full or use paperless payments, you qualify for a discount.

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HOW WE DETERMINED THE BEST INSURANCE IN NORTH CAROLINA

MoneyGeek evaluated the best full coverage in North Carolina using a full coverage policy in using a consumer satisfaction and claims score from NAIC and J.D. Power and a sample driver used to get quotes from different insurers.

MoneyGeek's North Carolina Car Insurance Resources:

Best Car Insurance in North Carolina for Customer Service

The best car insurers for customer service in North Carolina are:

  • Erie: MoneyGeek score of 95 out of 100
  • North Carolina Farm Bureau: MoneyGeek Score of 89 out of 100

MoneyGeek looked at claims ratings and customer satisfaction to rank the car insurance providers with the best customer service in the state.

THE TOP TWO CAR INSURANCE COMPANIES IN NORTH CAROLINA FOR SERVICE QUALITY

1
ErieBest for Customer Service
Score:95

5/5

Claims

4.5/5

User Satisfaction

4.5/5

Financial Stability

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

Erie has a user satisfaction score of 4.5 out of 5. Its claims score of 5 out of 5 is the highest among companies rated by MoneyGeek.

More About Erie

A claim often occurs during a time of crisis where policyholders are facing stress caused by losing their vehicles or even just some parts of their car. Therefore, having great customer service is important when choosing a car insurance company since you will be dealing with them at such a crucial time. Erie policyholders can have accident forgiveness coverage to prevent their premiums from increasing in case of their first at-fault accident. However, it only applies if you’ve stayed claims-free for three years and you’ve had a policy with Erie. It also doesn’t take effect if you have the Erie Rate Lock feature. Nevertheless, this coverage can help you save a lot of money since there’s a huge difference between premiums for those with accidents and those with clean driving records.

2
North Carolina Farm Bureau
Score:89

4.5/5

Claims

4.5/5

User Satisfaction

4/5

Financial Stability

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

North Carolina Farm Bureau has a satisfaction score of 4.5 out of 5 and a matching 4.5 out of 5 for claims. This makes it the second-best car insurance company in North Carolina.

More About North Carolina Farm Bureau

North Carolina Farm Bureau provides custom parts coverage. Custom parts coverage is automatically included in your policy, so car insurance from this company is great for drivers who have customized parts in their cars. Drivers of modified cars need to have this level of protection since they spend so much time, effort and money to make their cars their own. The company offers gap insurance that covers the deficit between what you owe in loans and the vehicle's value if it is totaled in an accident. It also has rideshare insurance for drivers who use their cars for Uber and other ride-sharing entities so that their policy remains in effect while they’re working. North Carolina Farm Bureau even offers a discount on a car insurance policy for married couples.

Best Car Insurance in North Carolina for Minimum Coverage

MoneyGeek identified Nationwide as the best car insurer in North Carolina for drivers on a budget, followed by State Farm:

  • Nationwide: MoneyGeek Score of 87 out of 100 (approximately $301 per year)
  • State Farm: MoneyGeek Score of 82 out of 100 (approximately $357 per year)

We looked at companies offering policies that meet the state's minimum car insurance requirements. We also evaluated those with the highest scores offering high-quality insurance services and cheap minimum car insurance in North Carolina.

MoneyGeek’s Pick: Nationwide

Nationwide

pros

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MoneyGeek claims rating of 4 out of 5

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MoneyGeek customer satisfaction of 4 out of 5

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An affordable, annual premium of $600

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10% discount on premiums for accident-free driving

cons

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No discounts for electronic payments

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Offers no discounts for hybrids and electric cars

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

Nationwide gives discounts for bundling, insuring multiple cars and safe driving. The bundling discount applies when you couple a home insurance policy with a car insurance policy from Nationwide. Getting a policy for two or more cars with Nationwide gives you a discount on your premium as well. In addition, keeping a record with no at-fault accidents and major violations for five years allows you to access a discount.

Drivers with anti-theft systems in their cars can also have a reduced rate for their car insurance policy. Additionally, policyholders can also get a discount if they set up a bank account for automatic payments. Taking advantage of these discounts, no matter how common or uncommon they are across insurers, helps drivers save money in the long run.

Read MoneyGeek's Nationwide Auto Insurance Review

Best Car Insurance in North Carolina for Young Drivers and Students

MoneyGeek evaluated State Farm as the best car insurance company in North Carolina for students and young drivers. Nationwide ranks second:

  • State Farm: MoneyGeek Score of 89 out of 100 (approximately $1,258 per year)
  • Nationwide: MoneyGeek Score of 82 out of 100 (approximately $1,464 per year)

We used both price and customer service ratings to determine the top car insurance companies in North Carolina for students and young drivers. MoneyGeek also found insurers that offer cheap car insurance for young drivers in North Carolina.

MoneyGeek’s Pick: State Farm

State Farm

pros

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One of the most affordable options for young drivers with policy costing $1,258 annually

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Offers a good student discount for students who achieve and maintain good grades

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MoneyGeek claims a rating of 4 out of 5 and a customer satisfaction rating of 4.5 out of 5

cons

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No accident forgiveness, new car replacement, gap insurance, deductible modification or better car replacement coverage

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

Despite the high cost of insurance for students and new drivers, young drivers in North Carolina can get a policy with cheap rates and superior service through State Farm. Because of their higher risk for accidents, young drivers need an insurer with excellent customer service.

State Farm offers discounts for distant students, good students and those who take a driver's education course. A student who’s under 25 years of age can get a discount when they go away to college provided that they only use their car while they’re back home. Students who get a B average, a GPA of 3.0 or belong to the top 20% of their class can also get cheaper rates.

Lastly, drivers who are under 21 years old and have taken a driver’s education course can receive a discount as well.

Read MoneyGeek's State Farm Auto Insurance Review

Best Car Insurance in North Carolina for Seniors

MoneyGeek ranked different insurance providers in North Carolina. Our rankings considered each company’s car insurance rates for seniors and track records for customer service.

Based on our analysis, the following companies in North Carolina provide the best senior car insurance:

  • Nationwide: MoneyGeek score of 87 out of 100 (approximately $549 per year)
  • Erie: MoneyGeek score of 83 out of 100 (approximately $785 per year)

MoneyGeek used a combination of affordability and customer service to determine these scores. Aside from looking for the best insurers, we also searched for the cheapest car insurance for seniors in North Carolina for those who want to prioritize savings.

MoneyGeek’s Pick: Nationwide

Nationwide

pros

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One of the most affordable companies for seniors at $549 per year

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Offers roadside assistance, accident forgiveness, rental car or travel reimbursement and more

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Gives a discount for defensive driving

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MoneyGeek claims ratings and user satisfaction ratings are 4 out of 5

cons

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Doesn’t have a senior discount

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Doesn’t offer discounts for paying in full or for having an airbag

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

Nationwide combines top-notch service with providing affordable premiums despite the increasing rates of senior insurance. This company offers a variety of coverages that specifically help seniors keep their premiums down.

Drivers who are 55 years old and older can get a discount on their policy for defensive driving. This discount applies once the driver completes a safety course that is approved by the state.

This company also provides roadside assistance coverage and rental car or travel reimbursement. Nationwide’s roadside assistance is available around the clock for fuel delivery, tire change, jump-starting your battery or towing. Rental car reimbursement gives you a rental car while your car is being repaired because of a covered accident. These make things more convenient for seniors to help them avoid stress in these situations.

Read MoneyGeek's Nationwide Auto Insurance Review

Best Car Insurance in North Carolina for Bad Driving Records

The best car insurer for drivers with at-fault records in North Carolina is Erie, with North Carolina Farm Bureau ranked second in this category, as follows:

  • Erie: MoneyGeek Score of 93 out of 100 (approximately $1,089 per year)
  • North Carolina Farm Bureau: MoneyGeek Score of 89 out of 100 (approximately $1,062 per year)

MoneyGeek looked at each insurer’s affordability and quality customer service ratings to determine the best in this category. MoneyGeek also analyzed the cheapest car insurance in North Carolina for those with a DUI or bad record.

MoneyGeek’s Pick: Erie

Erie

pros

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After an at-fault accident, the cost of the premium is $1,089 annually

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A claim rating score of 4.7 out of 5

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Pays for travel costs, including food and lodging if your car breaks down

cons

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Some coverages are not available in all states

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New car and better car replacement do not apply to cars on lease terms

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

Erie is the best option for drivers with a poor driving record, with a policy costing roughly $1,089 annually. Erie covers the following if you are involved in an accident:

  • Roadside Assistance: This covers towing and labor charges when your car breaks down.
  • Rental Reimbursement: This pays for transport expenses and car rental if your car is at the repair shop.
  • Accident Forgiveness: With accident forgiveness, there are no surcharges for the first at-fault accident after a three-year accident-free period
  • New Car Replacement: If your car is two years or less and is totaled in an accident, you can have it replaced with the same model.
  • Better Car Replacement: You can have your car replaced if it is less than two years old and gets totaled. However, this coverage does not apply to leased cars.
Read MoneyGeek's Erie Auto Insurance Review

Best Car Insurance in North Carolina for a Military Background

USAA is ranked as the best car insurance provider in North Carolina for serving and retired military members. It has a MoneyGeek score of 100 out of 100 and ranks first compared to the other reviewed companies.

MoneyGeek’s Pick: USAA

USAA

pros

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Offers low premiums

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MoneyGeek claims a rating of 5 out of 5 and user satisfaction ratings of 4.5 out of 5

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Extended benefits covers lost income and disability or death resulting from a car accident

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If you insure a new car that is less than three years old, you get a discount

cons

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Only current or retired military are eligible for insurance cover.

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Limited options to customize insurance cover

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

USAA provides some of the most affordable policies and has the best service ratings in North Carolina. It also has one of the best reputations nationwide.

The coverages and discounts that USAA offers include:

  • Uninsured Motorist: This covers damage caused to your car in an accident involving a driver with no insurance. It also covers damage caused by a hit-and-run driver.
  • Accident Forgiveness: If you manage to stay accident-free for five years, you will not incur a rate increase for your first at-fault accident.
  • New Vehicle: You qualify for a discount when you buy a premium for a car that’s only three years old or below.
  • Multiple Car Coverage: You qualify for a discount when you insure more than one car with USAA.
Read MoneyGeek's USAA Auto Insurance Review

Best Car Insurance in North Carolina for Those With New Cars

With a MoneyGeek rating of 89 out of 100, Erie is the best-rated insurance company offering both new car and better car replacement coverage in North Carolina (average annual premium of $716).

If you total your vehicle, a new car replacement policy replaces it with a similar model. Better car replacement coverage allows you to upgrade your older vehicle to a newer one after an accident. Standard insurance policies don’t automatically include this coverage; you must pay to add it.

MoneyGeek’s Pick: Erie

Erie

pros

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Affordable policy costing $716 annually

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It has a better and new car replacement policy; better car replacement is infrequent

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MoneyGeek rating of 5 out of 5 and customer satisfaction of 4.5 out of 5

cons

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Does not replace leased cars

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Cars need to be no more than two years old

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

Erie offers new and better car replacement coverage. Your vehicle loses value as soon as you drive it off the lot, so this coverage helps you replace your car if you get into an accident soon after buying it.

Erie’s new car and better car replacement coverages are also called Auto Security. This feature pays for the reimbursement of your car if you total it in the first two years after buying. This provides you with a new vehicle of a similar model or an upgrade.

A car that’s less than two years old can be replaced by the latest model of the same car. On the other hand, if your car is older than two years, you can still get a replacement, but it will be a model that’s two years newer.

Read MoneyGeek's Erie Auto Insurance Review

Best Car Insurance in North Carolina for Low-Mileage Drivers

Today, more and more insurers are offering pay-per-mile programs for those who don’t drive frequently. Under these programs, policyholders only pay based on the number of miles they have traveled within a specified period. These programs are distinct from low-mileage discounts as they only charge a certain rate for every mile that you drive on top of a basic rate.

In North Carolina, Nationwide SmartRide is the best option for drivers with low mileage. Take note, though, that SmartRide is a mix of a discount program and a pay-per-mile program. Options for pay-per-mile programs in North Carolina may be limited.

MoneyGeek’s Pick: Nationwide

Nationwide

pros

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It allows affordable rates for car insurance

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MoneyGeek claims ratings and user satisfaction ratings of 4 out of 5

cons

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This program may be less beneficial for drivers who are always on the road

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Mainly a discount program

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

Nationwide SmartRide is a combination of driving behavior and a pay-per-mile program. To measure how safe your driving is and calculate your discount, SmartRide pays attention to the number of miles you’ve driven, your hard braking and acceleration, idle time and nighttime driving.

You can get weekly updates on your discount until your final discount, which will reflect on your next policy renewal. The maximum discount offered by this program is 40%.

SmartRide won’t increase your premiums. It can only reduce them since this is a discount program. You don’t have to pay anything to enroll.

These types of programs can be excellent for low-mileage drivers since they allow you to save money on your insurance premiums. They are worth looking into if you don’t drive far.

Read MoneyGeek's Nationwide Auto Insurance Review

How to Find the Best Car Insurance in North Carolina For You

When looking for the best car insurance in North Carolina, you need to pick a provider with financial stability, affordability and quality service.

MoneyGeek reviewed the best insurers in the state based on these factors, but you can still complete your own comparison.

1

Research customer service reputations in North Carolina

MoneyGeek collected policy quotes from different providers using a sample driver and used them together with NAIC complaint and consumer satisfaction ratings by J.D. Power to pick the best insurer in North Carolina. You can also check J.D. Power and NAIC complaint ratios if you want to do your research. It is also good to refer to North Carolina's Department of Insurance Website.

2

Compare quotes for yourself

For comparison, MoneyGeek used quotes drawn from most of North Carolina and not the entire state. You will need to compare quotes from about three companies to understand how much insurance costs.

3

Make sure the company has coverages you want in North Carolina

Oftentimes, insurers advertise discounts and coverages they offer, but they aren't available in every state. Confirm if the company offers what you are looking for.

4

Double-check financial stability ratings

Large insurance companies are more stable and have better ratings. In comparison, regional companies in North Carolina will have less stability and lower ratings and will likely have issues with claims payment.

FAQs About the Best Car Insurance in North Carolina

The best car insurance in North Carolina for you depends on what your policy needs are. These are some answers to the common questions regarding car insurance in New York:

Expert Advice: Finding the Best Auto Insurance in North Carolina

  1. What is the best way to figure out which insurer is best for me in North Carolina?
  2. What are the best coverages to add to your car insurance policy in North Carolina?
Heather Lawrence
Heather Lawrence

Direct and Chief Planning Officer/ CFP, CTFA

About the Author


expert-profile

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.


sources
  • Nationwide. "SmartRide." Accessed September 1, 2022.