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Major Requirements for Car Insurance in North Carolina
Each state law governing car insurance requirements is different, but they all serve one purpose. Auto insurance state laws are meant to ensure that the motoring public has at least some minimum financial protection in the event they are involved in an accident. Before the 1980s, auto insurance was not a mandatory requirement in the U.S. Motor vehicle operators involved in an accident would try to reach a settlement among them. If one party happened to have some insurance coverage then he would be able to offer some amount of financial help to both himself and the other party.
It became obvious that this practice could not continue. North Carolina was one of the first states to implement mandatory liability insurance for all registered motor vehicles in the state. The state's laws stipulate that insurance should only be obtained from a licensed provider, and motorists must have their proof of insurance in their vehicle at all times. Proof of coverage can be:
* The FS-1 or Certificate of Insurance issued by the insurance company.
* The policy number along with the name of the insurance provider.
In the event that there is a lapse in a motorist's insurance coverage, the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) must be notified by his insurance company. Failure on the part of the motorist to comply with the law will result in a 30-day suspension of his license. In order for his license to be reinstated, the driver would have to pay a number of fines that can amount to over $200, along with the completed FS-1 form.
The information below shows the mandatory North Carolina auto insurance minimum requirement.
* Bodily Injury liability: $30,000/$60,000
* Property damage liability: $ 25,000
* Medical coverage : Not required
* Combined Underinsured / Uninsured motorist bodily injury: Not required
* Medical payments: Not required
* Collision: Not required
* Comprehensive: Not required
The Importance of Added Auto Insurance in North Carolina
Added insurance is like the wool to a sheep in cold winter. Without its coat of wool the sheep would freeze to death in the winter season, as its shorn skin with little hair, could offer it very little protection against the harsh weather. Added insurance does the same for motorist. It offers financial protection when they have to face the harsh realities of a car accident, the resulting injuries, damages and possibly death. Car theft is another financial factor that added insurance protects the motorist against.
Collision and comprehensive insurance coverage covers those eventualities and more. Comprehensive insurance is also referred to as Other than Collision Coverage. A motorist can never foresee what may beset him in life as a motor vehicle operator, so it is best to be prepared. Here is a North Carolina car insurance rating scale that shows the most common added coverage used by car owners in the state.
Bodily Injury liability: $100,000/$300,000
Property damage liability: $ 50,000
Medical coverage : $100,000/$300,000
Combined Underinsured / Uninsured motorist bodily injury: Not required
Medical payments: $2,000
Collision: 250 deductible
Comprehensive: 0 deductible
A simple comparison between the state's minimum requirement scale, and the most commonly used added insurance coverage scale, will reveal just how significant basic added coverage can be. As the needs of a motorist change (e.g. expanding family) so will his premium. He may find it necessary to have his insurance provider draft up a North Carolina Car Insurance quote that reflects his present need.
North Carolina Car Insurance Rates
There are several factors that will affect the North Carolina auto insurance rating causing it to increase or decrease. Road conditions and the number of accidents that occur in the state are huge contributory factors. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), indicates that there was a total of $1.5 billion spent as a result of crash-related deaths in North Carolina in one year. Of that total, $18 million was used to cover medical cost, while $1.48 billion went towards covering work loss cost. Motor vehicle occupants accounted for the largest portion of these expenses with a total of $975 million paid out for motor vehicle related deaths.
These are just some of the statistics used by insurance companies to establish North Carolina car insurance rating. Poor road conditions, DUI, talking on the cell phone and eating while driving are some of the regular motorists' actions that results in an accident. Drivers should remember that a clean driver's record is their best option for getting cheap auto insurance in North Carolina. Their actions will eventually reflect in their records and their premium rates. It is best to take responsibility and help save lives while they try to maintain a good record.
Aside from their driving record, motorists should be aware that the premium rate in their North Carolina auto quote will be calculated based on rating factors such as age, type of vehicle, and location. The regulatory body North Carolina Department of Insurance (NCOI) monitors the rating practices of insurance providers in the state. Motorist can go to the state agencies website to check out the legitimacy of any insurance provider. Those searching for cheap car insurance in North Carolina should collect quotes from a few insurance providers before deciding who to do business with.
There are certain vehicles that car thieves favor. Insurance companies consider these a risk and motorists should be aware of this. Here are the ten most stolen cars in North Carolina:
1996 Honda Accord
1995 Honda Civic
1997 Ford F150 Series
1996 Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee
1993 Toyota Camry
2002 Ford Explorer
2001 Ford Taurus
1994 Dodge Caravan
2000 Chevrolet Full Size C/K 1500 Pickup
1996 Ford Ranger
Seat Belt Usage Laws in North Carolina
North Carolina auto insurance state laws stipulates that all occupants of a vehicle including the driver, who are 16 years and older, must wear a seat belt. The NC Child Passenger Safety law specifies security measures for children under age 16 who occupy the front or back seat of a vehicle.
* Children under eight years old and weighing less than 80 pounds should be properly secured by a child restraint device.
* Federally approved booster seats may be used for children in this age group once they weigh 40 to 80 pounds.
* Seat belts can be used for an eight year old child in spite of his weight.
* Seat belts can also be used for children who are 80 pounds, but not yet eight years old.
Drivers are responsible for themselves and child passengers under 16 years. Passengers who are 16 and older are responsible for their own actions. Penalties for not complying with the state's seat belt laws are as follows:
* Drivers and Passengers 16 years and older occupying the front seat
1. Pay a fine of $25.50.
2. Pay the full court cost of $161.00.
3. Driver's license and insurance will not be assessed.
4. The driver will not face conviction for violations regarding children under eight years old, once proof is given at the trial that since the violation charge, a booster seat has been obtained to be used in the car that usually transports the child.
* Passengers 16 years and older occupying the front seat
1. Pay a fine of $25. 50.
The states seat belt campaign was dubbed "Click It or Ticket". Seat belt usage is a primary enforcement law in the state. This means motorists will be pulled over just for seat belt violations. The national statistics on seat belt usage indicate that states where seat belt laws are primary enforcement have a higher compliance rate. The 2009/2010 national statistics indicate a 88 percent compliance rate in these states while there was a 77 percent compliance rate in states where the law was secondary.
A total of 397 motorists died on North Carolina's roads in 2011 as a result of not wearing their seat belts. The police have reported that there has been an increase in compliance since the launch of the "Click It or Ticket" campaign.