North Carolina Car Insurance Requirements
North Carolina used to be one of those states with fairly loose car insurance requirements in place. But all that has changed over the last several decades to create an environment where liability insurance is now mandatory for all passenger vehicles on the state’s highways. One of the nice things about the North Carolina statute is that it requires insurance companies to cover not only you, but also all of your family members as well as any friends or acquaintances using your vehicle with your permission.
Minimum liability amounts in the Tar Heel State are a bit higher than in some other states. You may have seen them described in some places as 30/60/25. Those three numbers represent different levels of financial protection in tens of thousands of dollars. Here are the details:
- 30 = $30,000 per accident to cover injuries or death of a single person
- 60 = $60,000 per accident to cover injuries or death of two or more people
- 25 = $25,000 per accident to cover property damage
The cheapest car insurance policy you’ll find in North Carolina offers just these three minimum coverages. You can increase the minimums, add extra coverages like collision and comprehensive, or just take the basic policy as your car insurance company offers it.
Submitting Proof of Insurance
Car insurance companies operating in North Carolina have the ability to notify the state when you purchase a policy. However, they are not required to do so. Ultimately it is the responsibility of each driver to provide the state with an acceptable form of insurance proof. That proof is required at time of registration or renewal.
You can prove your insurance coverage in one of two ways. The first is an FS-1 certificate provided by your insurance company. The other option is to simply offer the DMV the name of your insurance company and your policy number; they can verify your policy using this information.
Allowing Your Insurance to Lapse
Even though your car insurance provider is not required to notify the state when you buy a new policy, they ARE required to do so if you allow your policy to lapse or do they cancel it. In such a case you will receive an insurance lapse notification in the mail. You’ll have 10 days to respond as directed or face fines and penalties.
Driving without insurance will also incur various fines and penalties if you’re caught. They can be expensive, so why take the risk? Purchase the cheapest car insurance policy that will meet your needs and you’ll have nothing to worry about.