Car Insurance in New Jersey vs. North Carolina: Costs, Laws and Resources

Auto insurance laws, requirements and rates in New Jersey vs. North Carolina vary. The cheapest car insurance in New Jersey is from GEICO at roughly $499 annually, while Nationwide has the lowest rates for North Carolina at roughly $301 annually.

Last Updated: 6/17/2022
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You’ll need to keep the differences in car insurance requirements between New Jersey and North Carolina in mind if you’re moving states.

New Jersey only requires you have liability insurance for property damage and personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. While you don’t need the latter in North Carolina, you must have 30/60/25 liability coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

MoneyGeek’s guide compares car insurance laws, requirements and costs for both states.

Car Insurance Laws in New Jersey vs. North Carolina

Car insurance laws in North Carolina require you to have uninsured/underinsured motorists and 30/60/25 liability coverage. You only need a policy with liability insurance for property damage worth $5,000 and PIP coverage to fulfill car insurance laws in New Jersey.

You’ll spend around $436 annually for a state minimum policy in North Carolina. In New Jersey, it costs an average of $1,018 yearly despite having fewer requirements. Other factors contribute to New Jersey’s higher premiums, including highway density, theft and accident rates.

MINIMUM CAR INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS IN NEW JERSEY AND NORTH CAROLINA

New Jersey Requirements

  • $5,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $1,000 personal injury protection per person

North Carolina Requirements

  • $30,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $60,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $25,000 property damage liability per person
  • $30,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person
  • $60,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident
  • $25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage
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How Are Car Insurance Laws Enforced in New Jersey and North Carolina?

North Carolina is a tort state, which means you’re accountable for the other driver’s expenses if you're at fault. This includes medical bills for injuries and repair costs for any damage to the other person’s property.

In comparison, New Jersey is a no-fault state. This means that drivers can file a claim with their insurance companies regardless of who caused the accident. It's one reason why insurance rates are higher.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in New Jersey vs. North Carolina

MoneyGeek’s study evaluated quotes from multiple car insurance companies in both states. We found that, on average, different insurers offer the lowest rates for state minimum coverage.

  • Cheapest in New Jersey: GEICO ($499 per year)
  • Cheapest in North Carolina: Nationwide ($301 per year)

Car insurance companies can provide coverage in different states but charge different premiums. GEICO is an excellent example since it offers policies in both locations. In New Jersey, it’s your top option for affordable car insurance. However, it ranks fifth in North Carolina when it comes to cost.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in New Jersey

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Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in North Carolina

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THE CHEAPEST COMPANY FOR YOU MAY DIFFER

You can purchase the cheapest state minimum policy from GEICO in New Jersey, while Nationwide is your top option in North Carolina. Location is only one factor affecting rates. Insurers also consider your age, driving history and preferred coverage levels.

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Average Cost of Car Insurance in New Jersey vs. North Carolina

Your preferred coverage level impacts the cost of auto insurance in New Jersey vs. North Carolina. For example, you’ll pay an average of $436 for state minimum coverage in North Carolina, while it costs around $1,018 per year in New Jersey.

A full coverage car insurance policy is more expensive because it offers more protection. You can purchase this kind of policy in North Carolina for an annual average premium of $841 and around $1,674 in New Jersey.

Average Cost of Car Insurance in New Jersey vs. North Carolina

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  • Driver
    New Jersey Annual Premium
    North Carolina Annual Premium
  • Minimum Coverage
    $1,018
    $436
  • Full Coverage
    $1,674
    $841
  • Adding a Young Driver
    $4,172
    $2,060
  • Drivers With a Violation
    $2,259
    $1,193
  • Drivers With Poor Credit
    $3,413
    $1,024

Why Are Car Insurance Rates More Expensive in NJ vs. NC?

Multiple factors contribute to how car insurance companies determine premiums. Pinning it down to a single element is almost impossible.

One factor impacting higher rates in New Jersey vs. North Carolina is that New Jersey has higher rates because it’s a no-fault state. Furthermore, North Carolina is less densely populated and has a lower highway density. Having fewer cars on the road reduces the probability of motor vehicle crashes. As a result, North Carolina’s insurance rates are generally more affordable.

Car Insurance Costs by City in New Jersey vs. North Carolina

Location is a significant contributor to insurance costs. Premiums don’t just vary between states. They may also change depending on where you live in a certain state.

In New Jersey, drivers from Jersey City spend an average of $960 for a state minimum policy. In comparison, those in Paterson pay around $1,089.

Drivers in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, pay an average annual premium of $361 for the state minimum coverage. The rates in Charlotte are the most expensive at around $500.

Car insurance requirements don’t vary within the state, so it doesn’t affect your rate. Population density is more likely to cause the difference in pricing.

Car Insurance Costs by City in New Jersey

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Car Insurance Costs by City in North Carolina

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Moving Between New Jersey and North Carolina? What to Know

If you’re moving from New Jersey to North Carolina or vice versa, you’ll need to transfer your car’s registration and apply for a new driver’s license.

Ask your current carrier if they cover your new state so you can transfer your policy. You’ll likely have changes in your premium due to different car insurance laws.

However, if you need a new provider, MoneyGeek can help you find affordable insurance options that fit your driving background.

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    Use MoneyGeek’s car insurance calculators for New Jersey and North Carolina

    You can use MoneyGeek’s New Jersey car insurance calculator to determine how much you’ll pay for coverage. The car insurance calculator for North Carolina also provides you with estimates regarding insurance costs.

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    Learn about car insurance for high-risk drivers in New Jersey and North Carolina

    Your driving record may affect your premiums. Having multiple violations could cause insurers to categorize you as a high-risk driver, which means you’ll pay more for coverage.

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    Figure out your options for temporary car insurance in New Jersey and North Carolina

    You still need coverage even if you’re only staying in a state for a short amount of time. Although most policies last for at least six months, you can use them to create temporary insurance in New Jersey. The same option is available if you want temporary insurance in North Carolina.

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    If you’re a low-income driver, see if New Jersey or North Carolina offer car insurance programs

    New Jersey offers resources to low-income drivers. However, North Carolina does not. Luckily, MoneyGeek can help you find car insurance for low-income drivers in North Carolina.

FAQs About New Jersey and North Carolina Car Insurance

There are several differences between auto insurance in New Jersey vs. North Carolina. MoneyGeek answered the most commonly asked questions about insurance in these states.

Methodology

To calculate average car insurance rates by company and across New Jersey and North Carolina, MoneyGeek collaborated with Quadrant Information Services to collect auto insurance quotes from both locations. We used a sample profile for a 40-year-old driver with a clean driving record and minimum coverage unless modified by criteria like coverage level, age, driving offenses and credit score. Learn more about how costs are calculated in our MoneyGeek car insurance methodology.

Minimum car insurance requirements by state were sourced from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of the respective state.

About the Author


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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.