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The Best Auto Insurance in North Carolina

Our top picks for auto insurance in North Carolina

Best Auto Insurance Company in North Carolina Overall
State Farm Logo

State Farm is one of the most recognizable providers in the country and the largest auto insurance company in North Carolina.1 With low average rates, solid bundling options and habit-based driving programs for drivers young and old, State Farm is our overall top pick.

Best Auto Insurance for Active Military and Veterans in North Carolina
USAA Logo 2023

USAA has some of the lowest car insurance rates and highest customer service ratings in North Carolina. If you’re a military member, veteran or spouse/child of a military member or veteran, you’ll have access to all the discounts, membership perks and coverage options USAA offers.

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North Carolina is known for its Great Smoky Mountains, Wright Brothers National Memorial and iconic brands like Pepsi and Krispy Kreme. It also offers cheap car insurance. On average, North Carolinians pay about $750 a year for car insurance, which is 28 percent more affordable than the national average of $1,047.

Even with low annual averages, insurance rates and coverage types vary from provider to provider and from person to person, depending on many factors, including ZIP code. Finding the best rates and coverage for your unique needs and circumstances might be difficult and that’s why we’re here. Below, we’ll cover the best providers in North Carolina based on coverage type, affordability, driving record and more.

Summary of the Best Auto Insurance in North Carolina

  1. 1.

    Best Auto Insurance in North Carolina Overall: State Farm

  2. 2.

    Best Auto Insurance for Active Military and Veterans in North Carolina: USAA

  3. 3.

    Best Auto Insurance for High-Risk Drivers in North Carolina: Direct Auto

  4. 4.

    Best Auto Insurance for Homeowners in North Carolina: Allstate

Comparison of the Best Auto Insurance in North Carolina

Insurance company Average annual rate Bundling discount Senior discount Good student discount Safe driver discount Low mileage discount J.D. Power auto claims satisfaction study

(out of 1,000)2

State Farm $1,419 Yes No Yes Yes Yes 882 State Farm review
USAA $1,151 Yes No Yes Yes Yes 890 USAA review
Direct Auto $2,487 Yes Yes Yes Yes No N/A Direct Auto review
Allstate $1,673 Yes No Yes Yes Yes 889 Allstate review

Detailed List of the Best Auto Insurance in North Carolina

1. Best Auto Insurance in North Carolina Overall - State Farm

What We Like Most:

  • Multiple discounts for safe driving, including one specifically for young drivers
  • Local agents
  • Discounts for multiple cars

State Farm’s average annual rate is $1,419, which makes it the third-cheapest provider among the top 10 largest providers in the country. You can expect these rates to be cheaper in North Carolina, where car insurance rates are 28 percent lower than the national average.3 Whether you’re a young driver, a homeowner, a low-mileage driver, a rideshare driver or something else, State Farm will probably have a discount or coverage option for you.

ProsWho It's Best For
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    New car owners
  • con
    Military members, veterans and their families

Improve Your Rates and Driving Habits

State Farm’s Drive Safe and Save behavior-based driving program can help you save on car insurance regardless of your age, driving history, credit score or other factors that impact premiums. You get a discount just for signing up for the program, and you can earn up to 30 percent off your premiums by completing the program.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Download the app in the App Store or on Google Play or by texting “SAVE” to 42407.
  2. Follow the app’s step-by-step instructions.
  3. Complete the setup after State Farm sends you a Bluetooth beacon.

The app will record your driving habits and calculate your driving score every six months. To get a good score, make sure you’re not accelerating or speeding, slamming your brakes or turning too sharply. Additionally, the app will track how many miles you drive. State Farm recommends driving fewer than 7,500 for personal usage to receive a low-mileage discount.


North Carolinians drive over 11,000 miles per year on average, which is about 2,000 more miles than the average American (9,336 miles).4 If you’re anywhere close to driving 7,500 miles per year, you should reach out to your local agent to see what kind of low-mileage discounts are available to you.

Stay Protected While Ridesharing

If you drive for a rideshare service, such as Uber or Lyft, you’ll need additional rideshare coverage to stay protected for every portion of your drive.

Rideshare companies provide insurance only after you’ve accepted a ride or while you’re transporting a passenger and your personal insurance won’t cover you because you’re technically working. So, if you get into an accident while your rideshare app is on and you’re waiting for a request or driving to pick up a passenger, you might have to pay for the damages or injuries without help from a provider. Rideshare insurance will fill that coverage gap so you’re protected during every segment of your drive.

Affordable Insurance for Young Drivers

State Farm’s Steer Clear safety program is a great opportunity for young drivers to improve their driving habits and save on car insurance in the process. All you have to do is speak to your agent, download the app and complete all the program requirements within six months. The Steer Clear program is broken down into four parts:

  1. Course training: The training aspect of the program consists of five online learning modules that include lessons, videos, quizzes and driving scenarios.
  2. Driving practice: The app has to track you for at least five hours of driving practice across 10 separate trips.
  3. Mentor log: Family or friends can help instruct you and provide feedback through the mentor log.
  4. Certification: When you’ve completed the program, send your certificate to your agent and allow them to integrate your savings. You can save up to 20 percent off your premium by completing the program.

In North Carolina, like in most states, young drivers tend to pay more for premiums because they’re likely to get into more accidents and receive more traffic violations on average. Here’s how teen drivers compare to the rest of the state concerning motor vehicle accidents in 2020. Keep in mind that teens make up about 2 percent of all drivers in North Carolina (226,448 teen drivers out of 12.19 million drivers total), so the crash rates for teens are much higher than other age groups.

Drivers and percentage of crashes Total crashes Speeding-related crashes Distracted driving-related crashes Lane departure-related crashes Alcohol-related crashes
Teen drivers (ages 15-19) 42,489 3,174 8,223 9,348 1,080
All drivers 247,241 18,340 44,128 64,705 11,475
Teen percentage 17% 17% 19% 14% 9%5
2. Best Auto Insurance for Active Military and Veterans in North Carolina - USAA

What We Like Most:

  • Cheapest rates for teens on a family policy or on their own
  • Special discount for teens transitioning off their parents’ policy
  • Strong customer service and claims process

With more than 100,000 active duty military members/military families and nearly 750,000 veterans, North Carolina is home to the fifth-largest military population in the country.6 If you are part of the North Carolina military community, consider USAA for auto insurance. USAA offers some of the most competitive rates in the auto insurance industry and ranks the highest on several third-party rating systems, including J.D. Power and AM Best.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    Military members, veterans and their families
  • pro
    People stationed in USAA-approved locations
  • pro
    People who want to store their vehicles for long periods of time
  • pro
    People with classic cars
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    Non-USAA members
  • con
    Electric car and hybrid car owners

Store and Save With USAA

If you’re deployed overseas or in a different state, you can keep your vehicle in North Carolina and save with a USAA storage discount. Here are the three main saving opportunities USAA offers for deployed military members.

Discount Maximum saving percentage Eligibility requirements
Garage storage discount 15% You can earn this discount by storing your vehicle on a military base (must have comprehensive insurance).
Low-mileage discount Varies based on how much you drive You can earn a discount by keeping your mileage under 7,500, 5,000 or 2,500 miles (good for members coming in and out of North Carolina between deployments).
Storage discount 60% Keep your vehicle in storage while you’re deployed to be eligible for the storage discount.

International Availability

Although deployed military members don’t have the luxury of bringing their families overseas with them, military members stationed overseas can get approval for their families to join them.7 If you and your family are stationed in one of the below international locations, transferring your insurance will be simple and seamless with USAA.

  • Azores
  • Belgium
  • Cuba
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Guam
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • United States Virgin Islands
  • United Kingdom

Excellent Third-Party Ratings

Third-party rating systems ensure auto insurance providers are managing their finances in a competent manner and upholding their service standards. USAA is consistently ranked among the best in the auto insurance industry for customer service, financial security, claims satisfaction and more:

  • AM Best rating: AM Best, which rates the financial security of insurance companies, awarded USAA an A++ (Superior) rating. An A++ rating is the highest-possible AM Best score.
  • Standard & Poor’s (S&P): S&P assesses auto insurance risk levels. It gave USAA a rating of AA+, which is the second-highest rating.8 This is a good indication that USAA will repay its debts with little risk of default.
  • J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study: J.D. Power scores auto insurance providers by customer satisfaction. In 2022, It gave USAA an 890 out of 1,000 for customer claims satisfaction, which outranks every insurance company on our list, making it a top 10 provider in the U.S.
3. Best Auto Insurance for High-Risk Drivers in North Carolina - Direct Auto
Direct Auto Logo

What We Like Most:

  • Low rates for high-risk drivers
  • Can pay in cash locally
  • Save money by bundling with life insurance

If you’re a new driver, a teen driver or someone with a history of accidents, it might be difficult for you to find car insurance at an affordable rate. In some cases, auto insurance providers aren’t even willing to insure you as a high-risk driver because of the financial risk it would entail. Direct Auto helps fill this gap by offering specialized car insurance catered to high-risk drivers, with 30 offices in North Carolina.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    People with DUIs on their records
  • pro
    Teen drivers
  • pro
    People with multiple vehicles
  • pro
    Good students
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    Safe drivers
  • con
    Military members (the Direct Auto military discount is not available in North Carolina)

Tailored for High-Risk Drivers

North Carolina ranks average or slightly below average on several categories that car insurance providers consider when assessing your risk level as a driver. Below, we’ll look at some of the most common background categories car insurance providers leverage to determine your rates and eligibility.

Category North Carolina average National average
Percentage of fatalities from alcohol-impaired drivers 30% 30%
Motor vehicle fatality rate (per 100,000 population) 15 129
Percentage of people who always wear their seat belts 84% 90%
Credit score 707 71410

Insurance providers may also consider you a high-risk driver if you fall into one of the following categories:

  • Haven’t had coverage in the past six months
  • Received your license recently
  • Drive an expensive vehicle
  • Teen driver
  • Have a history of claims and/or a bad driving record

Direct Auto will not only insure you if you’re a high-risk driver, but it can bring your car insurance costs down with sizable discounts and a dedicated team to walk you through the process.

Ample Discounts

Direct Auto offers one of the longest lists of discounts among any provider, small or large. You can earn savings of up to 20 and 25 percent in multiple categories, which is more than most large providers offer. Here are a few of its largest discounts:

Type of discount Requirements Maximum savings percentage
Previous coverage discount If you’ve had coverage for at least 6 months prior to applying for Direct Auto insurance, you could be eligible for this discount. 25%
Multiple vehicle discount You could earn a quarter off your premiums by insuring multiple vehicles. 25%
Policy renewal Renew your policy within seven to 10 days of its expiration date and you could qualify for this discount. 20%
Vehicle equipment Installing or already having a vehicle with an antitheft system, antilock brakes, stability control or other approved vehicle equipment could qualify you for this savings. 10%
Safety driver tracking program You can acquire this discount by signing up with Direct Auto’s DynamicDrive program. 10%
Accident prevention course The accident prevention course requires you to complete a qualifying accident prevention class within the past 36 months. 10%
Multipolicy discount Bundle your auto with motorcycle insurance and/or commercial auto insurance to gain this discount. 10%
Good student You need a B average or to be in the top 20% of your class to qualify for this discount. 10%
Safe driver If you haven’t gotten into a traffic violation or accident in 36 months, you could be eligible for this saving. 10%

Several Coverage Options

In North Carolina, you need minimum liability (bodily injury and property damage coverage) as well as uninsured motorist coverage to drive legally. However, to be safe on the road, you will often need more than the minimum requirements. With Direct Auto, you can extend your limits and integrate several add-ons and other insurance types into your plan. Here’s what Direct Auto offers if you’re looking to bundle and add additional coverage:

  • Collision coverage: Collision coverage pays for damages if your vehicle is on the receiving end of another vehicle, object or hit-and-run accident.
  • Comprehensive coverage: Often referred to as “other-than-collision coverage,” comprehensive insurance helps pay for damages outside of collisions. This might include theft, vandalism, fires, weather damage, accidents with animals (like deer), damage from rocks being picked up on the road and other noncollision damages.


According to State Farm’s 2022 annual study, North Carolina is considered a high-risk state for animal collisions. Every one out of 77 claims will involve an animal collision, making it the 17th highest in the country for animal collisions.

  • Medical payments coverage: MedPay will help pay for some medical, hospital and funeral expenses, regardless of who’s at fault in an accident. MedPay will follow you, so you get the coverage whether you’re driving, sitting as a passenger in a friend’s car, on a walk or on public transportation in and outside of North Carolina.
  • Roadside assistance: Direct Auto’s roadside assistance offers 24-hour coverage for car breakdowns, towing services, flat tires, essential auto fluid deliveries and other roadside emergency-related incidents.
  • Rental reimbursement: If you get into a covered accident, Direct Auto will reimburse you for some of the rental costs while your car is in the shop.
4. Best Auto Insurance for Homeowners in North Carolina - Allstate

What We Like Most:

  • Three ways to earn a student discount
  • Pay-per-mile option for drivers with low mileage
  • No waiting period to purchase accident forgiveness

Allstate is the fourth-largest auto insurance provider in the country and the sixth-largest in North Carolina. On top of being one of the oldest and most recognizable providers in the country, Allstate offers one of the most sizable bundling discounts for homeowners. A high claims satisfaction score, seamless mobile app features and a wide range of coverage options put Allstate in our top picks for North Carolinians.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
  • pro
    Low-mileage drivers
  • pro
    Good students
  • pro
    People with new cars
ConsWho It's Not Best For

Big Savings for Homeowners

If you’re a homeowner, you can benefit from the highest home bundling discount on our list: up to 25 percent. Bundling makes it easier to manage your various policies from the same Allstate account and the deal applies to renters insurance and condo owners, as well. Here are all the ways you can bundle with Allstate:


North Carolina’s homeowner rate reached 66 percent in 2022, which is slightly higher than the national average, according to U.S. Census data.

Several Mobile App Features

Access customer service support and several seamless features with Allstate’s mobile app. It took us only a few minutes to download the app and create our account. From the dashboard, we could easily view our policy, pay bills and upload a digital ID. Here’s what else we could do with the Allstate app:

  • QuickFoto Claim: Upload photos of damages so you can file claims through the app directly.
  • Drivewise: Allstate’s Drivewise program tracks your driving, provides key driving insights and rewards you for exhibiting safe habits on the road. On top of that, it comes with Crash Detections features, which can send for help if you’re in a crash. Drivewise is a separate app for iOS users; however, it’s part of the Allstate Android app.
  • Roadside assistance: Have a problem on the road? You can request roadside assistance through the app. Allstate’s roadside assistance service is available to anyone, not just Allstate insurance customers.

The app has a 4.8 out of five-star rating on the App Store and a 3.9 on the Google Play store.

Robust Discounts

Wondering how else you can save on your car insurance? Take a look at Allstate’s robust set of discounts and talk to your agent about what other savings you might qualify for:

  • Safe driver discount: Complete a defensive driving course and stay accident-free for six months and you could be eligible for this discount.
  • Vehicle equipment discount: You can earn this discount by installing or already having safety features in your vehicle, such as antilock brakes or adaptive headlights.
  • New-car discount: If you’re the first owner of a new vehicle and your car is either the current-year model or the last-year model, you could qualify for this discount.
  • Smart student discount: Are you a student or a parent of a student? You can bring your premiums down in the following ways:
    • Maintain a B average or a GPA of 2.7 or above.
    • Store your vehicle 100 miles away from where you attend school.
    • Complete the teenSMART driver education program.
  • FullPay discount: You can save on your premium if you pay your policy in full or have made all your payments on time for the past year.


  • Proprietary data: Over the past 20 years, has collected millions of data points on car insurance companies that have had the most success insuring drivers across each state, including North Carolina. We’ve analyzed that data to narrow down the best service providers in North Carolina based on insurance rates, discounts and more.
  • Government data: At, we look at only the most credible state and federal entities for our facts, figures and research, including North Carolina-specific data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S Census, local departments of motor vehicles and other government sources.
  • Public studies: Third-party ratings and studies help customers and industry leaders keep track of the credit ratings, customer service scores and financial strength of insurance companies. We look at third-party studies from organizations like the Better Business Bureau, J.D. Power, Moody’s, AM Best, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and S&P Global, among others, to find the most accurate ratings on insurance providers.
  • Expert institutional guidance: Last but not least, is backed by insurance industry expert Paul Ford. Ford is the president of insurance services at Centerfield,’s parent company. Ford’s decades of insurance-related experience informs our guides and research, providing us with the expert guidance we need to improve our recommendations, information and assessments of car insurance companies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need coverage for a rental in North Carolina?

Yes, you need insurance when using a rental in North Carolina. However, all rental cars already come with the state minimum coverage, so you don’t necessarily need to purchase additional coverage unless you want extra protection.

Will I still be insured if I move my car from North Carolina to another state for college?

If you have a nationwide provider, then you will maintain your coverage when you move out of state. Your rates may change based on where you move (some states are more or less expensive than others for car insurance).

Is North Carolina a no-fault state?

No, North Carolina is an at-fault state, also known as a tort state. In at-fault states, the driver who caused the accident will be responsible for covering the other party’s losses.

North Carolina follows a pure contributory negligence law, meaning you won’t be able to receive any compensation from the other driver if your negligence contributed in any way to the accident. Even if you were one percent at fault in an accident, you wouldn’t be able to receive any payment from the other party in a civil suit.

What are the minimum liability limits in North Carolina?

The minimum car insurance requirements in North Carolina are as follows:

  • $30,000 for bodily injury liability coverage per person
  • $60,000 for total bodily injury liability (when two or more people are injured in an accident you caused)
  • $25,000 for property damage liability

You must also get uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage with the same liability limits.


  1. North Carolina Property and Casualty – Other Private Passenger Auto Liability Business. North Carolina Department of Insurance. (2021, Dec 31).

  2. Insurers Struggle to Manage Expectations in Auto Claims Process as Repair Times Increase, J.D. Power Finds. J.D. Power. (2022, Oct 27).

  3. 2019/2020 Auto Insurance Database Report. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (2023, Jan).

  4. Highway Statistics 2020. U.S. Department of Transportation. (2021, Oct).

  5. NORTH CAROLINA 2020 TRAFFIC CRASH FACTS. North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles. (2023).

  6. Governor Cooper Declares May Military Appreciation Month in North Carolina. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper. (2021, May 17).

  7. The Finer Points of Moving Overseas, Part I. (2023).

  8. A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of USAA, Its Subsidiaries and USAA Capital Corporation. AM Best. (2023).

  9. Traffic Safety Facts 2020 Data. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2022, Apr).

  10. What Is the Average Credit Score in the U.S.? Experian. (2023, Feb 24).