Navigating the intricacies of auto insurance can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially when each state has its unique set of rules and regulations.
Understanding NC auto insurance requirements is essential for residents who own a car in North Carolina.
The state requires drivers to carry a minimum amount of bodily injury, property damage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
This post will discuss some of North Carolina’s applicable auto insurance laws and what happens when you’re involved in an accident.
Mandatory NC Auto Insurance Requirements
Motorists must comply with the North Carolina insurance law, which states all registered vehicles must maintain continuous liability insurance coverage from a licensed provider within the state.
North Carolina car insurance minimums are as follows:
- $30,000 for bodily injury (one person);
- $60,000 for bodily injury (two or more people in one accident); and
- $25,000 property damage.
Uninsured (UM) coverage is also mandatory in North Carolina and is typically bundled with your liability coverage.
This policy applies if you’re in an accident with an uninsured driver or if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run.
Driving without insurance can lead to severe repercussions. Penalties include fines, license revocation, and potential jail time for repeat offenses.
What Does Liability Insurance Cover?
Liability coverage will pay for the other party’s injuries and property damage when you’re at fault for an accident. Possible claimants include other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, or cyclists. It’s important to remember that this coverage doesn’t extend to your own injuries or damages.
You would need Med Pay coverage to present a claim to your insurance company for your medical bills. However, Med Pay does not cover fault-based damages, such as pain and suffering.
Understanding the Importance of Adequate Coverage
While NC auto insurance laws only require you to carry minimum coverage amounts, purchasing higher limits is better. Should you be responsible for a catastrophic accident, minimum limits will not cover the other party’s damages. This means they might pursue a lawsuit against you directly to recover additional compensation. If there are discrepancies about who’s at fault, evidence such as police reports, photographs, and witness statements become important. Hiring a competent North Carolina car accident lawyer is crucial when facing a liability dispute.
Filing a North Carolina Car Insurance Claim
You can initiate a claim with your insurance company for property damage to your vehicle and your insurance company will later seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s insurer. If you believe the other driver is responsible for the accident, you can also file a claim directly with the other driver’s insurance.
If you sustained personal injuries in the accident, and the accident was not your fault, you can initiate a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. The insurance company will investigate your claim to determine who is at fault and how much your case is worth. When you have a lawyer representing you, we will handle all communication and negotiations with the other party. If a settlement agreement is not reached, filing a lawsuit on your behalf might be necessary. Filing a lawsuit might also be required if negotiations take so long that your claim is approaching the statute of limitations deadline—which is typically three years from the accident date.
Contact a North Carolina Auto Accident Lawyer
If you have questions about North Carolina auto insurance laws or pursuing a third-party liability claim or underinsured motorist claim for your injuries, contact the Law Offices of Naomi Ellis, PLLC. We have years of experience dealing with insurance companies and know the nuances of North Carolina car insurance rules. We can help you seek justice and pursue the maximum compensation. Contact our office today to learn more.