North Carolina's automobile insurance

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North Carolina motorists have some of the lowest insurance rates in the nation. In 2012, on average, North Carolina motorists paid $707 for liability, collision and comprehensive coverage. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, this was the second lowest insurance rate on the East Coast (Maine had the lowest) and the eighth lowest in the nation. The national average annual price for automobile insurance was $907.

One of the reasons that North Carolina's insurance rates are so low is the State's unique regulatory system. North Carolina is the only state that still regulates insurance companies and requires them to agree on industry wide rate increases and decreases.

The regulatory system was created to help small insurance companies. The smaller companies did not have the resources to make accurate estimates on whether a driver would be safe or risky. Part of the regulation also created a large insurance pool, called the North Carolina Reinsurance Facility, through which insurance companies share the risk on claims for drivers they would rather not insure. The drivers in the pool are charged the highest rates for insurance coverage, but the high rates are not enough to cover the costs to operate the Reinsurance Facility. To make up the difference, other drivers have to pay a $17 surcharge per car.

Requests to reform the regulatory system

Some argue that the regulatory system is suppressing insurance rates and good drivers are paying more to subsidize bad drivers. These opponents of the regulatory system are pushing for reform that would allow insurance companies more freedom to set their own prices.

Others, including Nationwide Insurance, oppose the idea of allowing companies more price setting power. They argue that increasing insurance costs for more risky drivers will only increase the number of uninsured motorists. More uninsured motorists will inevitably equate to more injury and damage costs that will eventually be added to insured driver's rates. North Carolina's system keeps rates low and ensures that more people have automobile insurance. The more drivers that are covered, the more compensation there is available to accident victims.

Have you been injured in an accident?

Contact an experienced car accident attorney if you, or someone you love, has been injured in a car accident. An experienced attorney knows how to deal with insurance companies and can assess whether you can be compensated for your injuries. Contact a lawyer today to learn more about your rights.