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General North Carolina Insurance Guidelines
North Carolina currently requires that all drivers be covered under liability insurance. Proof of insurance must always be accessible in the vehicle.
Minimum Liability Coverage in North Carolina
North Carolina's minimum liability amounts are as follows:
- $30,000 bodily injury per person
- $60,000 total bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 total property damage per accident
These are only the minimum requirements set by the state. Experts advise protecting your assets by getting more coverage than the state-mandated minimums as these limits tend not to keep pace with the ever-increasing costs of car repairs and medical bills. Most drivers also add collision and comprehensive coverage to their policies to cover possible damage to their own cars as well.
Penalties for Driving Without Insurance
The penalties for driving without insurance in North Carolina are:
- If coverage lapses, driver will need to be recertified and pay $50 within the 10 day period
- If driver does not respond, they will lose license plates for 30 days, and need to pay a penalty fee, processing fee and plate fee to get license reinstated
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Some states require drivers to carry UM/UIM, or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage protects a driver if they get in an accident where the other party does not have auto insurance. North Carolina requires UM/UIM coverage. The minimum UM/UIM coverage amounts for North Carolina are required at the same level as the liability coverage you maintain.
Some states have “No-Fault” laws where a policyholder will be reimbursed by their insurance company without proof of fault, and restricted in the right to seek reimbursement through the court system for losses caused by other parties. North Carolina is not a “No-Fault” state.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Some states have Personal Injury Protection or “PIP” regulations requiring drivers to carry PIP insurance. This is an extension of auto insurance that covers medical expenses, lost wages and/or other damages. North Carolina does not require drivers to purchase PIP insurance.
SR-22 Requirements for North Carolina
An SR-22 form is a vehicle liability insurance document to be filed with a state’s DMV as proof that a driver has the minimum required liability insurance coverage for that state. SR-22 filings are usually only required to reinstate driving privileges after an offense such as a DUI conviction, uninsured auto accident or driving without insurance. North Carolina does not require an SR-22 filing for driver’s license reinstatement.
North Carolina DUI Laws
It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in the United States with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) level of 0.08% or higher. All states have driver licensing laws that state that a licensed driver has given implied consent to a field sobriety test and/or method of determining BAC. This means that a driver is required to take such tests if a law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds for administering one, with automatic penalties for refusing to comply. If BAC is determined to be above the legal level a driver will be penalized in various ways. The first DUI offense penalties for North Carolina are:
- 1 year license suspension
- Mandatory substance abuse treatment
Special Insurance Regulations for North Carolina
North Carolina was one of the first states in the country to mandate liability insurance coverage on motor vehicles. For as long as your vehicle is registered, you will need to maintain and carry proof of insurance when operating the vehicle. Acceptable forms of proof of insurance include your company name and policy number, if you're providing insurance for yourself, or an insurance certificate from a company licensed to do business in North Carolina.
Additional Information on Insurance for North Carolina
For more information, please contact North Carolina Department of Insurance: 1-800-546-5664 or visit their website at www.ncdoi.com.
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