How to Meet the Insurance Requirements in North Carolina

Drivers across the nation take out auto insurance policies each day. But did you know that your state's regulations can affect how much you pay annually? In fact, the laws are likely different from those in neighboring states. Whether you're seeking a new policy or are simply brushing up on local regulations, make sure your policy is comprehensive and provides you with the best plan to meet your needs. Consider your state's guidelines as a starting point; laws can set minimums for coverage, but individual consumers must decide the extent to which they need protection. Remember that if you are liable for property damage or medical costs, you could face extensive out-of-pocket expenses if your policy isn't comprehensive.

Regulations to Know in the Tar Heel state

North Carolina sets mandatory coverage minimums. To register a vehicle, you will be required to prove that you are protected - and your insurer is obligated to provide you with at least this amount of coverage:

  • $30,000 to cover injury or death to a single person in an accident
  • $60,000 to cover injury or death to more than one person in an accident
  • $25,000 to cover property damage in an accident

Again, remember that these are minimum standards and should be used as a starting point for determining a course of action. Think of it this way: if you have minimum coverage, are in an accident and are liable for $50,000 in property damage, you will be responsible for $25,000 beyond what your plan will provide. You could be surprised how affordable extra protection would be. Make sure you go over all of your options with your provider.

When driving in North Carolina, keep proof of your plan with you in your vehicle at all times. The easiest way to do this is by getting a copy of your policy card or certificate and putting it your glove box. You also can satisfy the proof of protection requirement by having the name of your insurer and the policy number in your car. Should you fail to meet the requirements, your license could be suspended and you could face penalties. If for some reason your plan lapses, make sure you rectify the situation - if you drive without a license, you could be subject to extremely severe penalties and fines.

Consumer tips

When considering a new policy, be sure to follow these consumer tips:

  • To verify that you're receiving the best protection for your money, you should seek out competitive quotes from several different providers. The Internet is making this a particularly consumer-friendly process. Be sure to look over not only the price of the plan, but also the extent of the coverage you'll be receiving.
  • If cost is an issue, you may want to consider raising your deductible. This will result in savings on your premium - but remember that you will end up paying more out-of-pocket in the event that you file a claim.
  • Your personal credit history will have an effect on your rates. If you raise your credit score, you could find savings.
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