North Carolina Car Insurance Laws

Raleigh, NC
Getty Images/Swapan Jha

North Carolina is a state with more than its share of natural beauty and American history. One of the 13 original colonies, North Carolina is also the home of the first English settlement  in the New World (the infamous "Lost Colony") as well as the Wright brothers' first flight. Not to mention that it's where Pepsi was created and first served. North Carolinians will tell you, it's a great place to live.

So if you think you might be interested in a move there, here are a few things you need to know about North Carolina car insurance laws.

Basic Coverage Requirements in North Carolina

Almost every state in the nation mandates minimum insurance coverage requirements for its drivers. Here's a brief rundown of North Carolina's:

  • Bodily Injury Liability: $30,000 for one injured person/$60,000 total for one accident .  Bodily injury liability coverage pays for the personal injuries or death of others caused by the insured or another covered person. Damages covered include medical and funeral expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, legal expenses, and pain and suffering.


  • Property Damage: $25,000 per accident. Pays for damage to the property of others caused by the insured or other covered person. Coverage extends to repair or replacement costs of another's vehicle or other property, as well as accident-related  legal expenses.


    • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Uninsured motorist coverage pays the insured for damages he or she, or another insured person, suffers in an accident that is the fault of an uninsured party. Underinsured motorist coverage pays the insured or other covered person for damages caused by a driver whose coverage limits are less than those of the insured. Under North Carolina state law, insurers are required to provide uninsured/underinsured coverage in the same amounts as an insured's primary bodily injury/property damage liability coverage.


      Additional Coverage

      North Carolina only requires drivers to carry liability insurance that covers personal and property damage to others caused by the insured. However, most drivers choose to add optional coverage that pays for the damages to themselves and their property for accidents in which they are at fault.  The most common forms of optional coverage include:

      • Collision: Collision coverage pays the insured for damage to his or her vehicle resulting from a collision with another vehicle or object.  Payment is made in the amount of either the cost of repairs or the vehicle's actual cash value, whichever is less.


      • Medical Payments: This coverage pays for medical and funeral expenses for you or a covered family member hurt or killed while a passenger in any automobile, or as a pedestrian hit by a motor vehicle.  It also covers non-family members who are injured or killed while riding as passengers in the insured's vehicle.


      • Comprehensive: Comprehensive coverage pays the insured for damages caused by a number of non-collision related events such as fire, hail, wind, rain, flood, vandalism, and theft.


      • Miscellaneous: There are several other types of coverage that may or may not be offered by your insurer including: gap insurance, which pays the difference between the actual cash value of a financed or leased vehicle and the unpaid balance on the loan or lease when the vehicle is totaled; rental reimbursement, for when you need to rent a car while yours is out of commission for repairs; and towing and labor costs, when your vehicle is disabled.