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Overpaying on car insurance?

All You Need To Know About Auto Insurance in Wilmington NC

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Image via Flickr by wuestenigel

Over 90% of Wilmington, North Carolina, households are car owners. Drivers on the lookout for affordable auto insurance in Wilmington, NC, have many insurers to choose from. Finding the right car insurance policy can save drivers thousands of dollars per year. Insurers adjust their premiums according to the applicable risk level. Shop around with different insurers to find the best rates for your age, marital status, and driving history.

Average Cost of Auto Insurance in Wilmington, North Carolina

Auto insurance in Wilmington, North Carolina, is well below the national average. North Carolina rates for liability-only coverage are approximately $955 while the nationwide average hovers around $1,548. Auto insurance in Wilmington, NC, is higher than the cheapest North Carolina cities because of repair costs and accident mortality rates. Still, Wilmington auto insurance is lower than car insurance rates in Newell or Charlotte, where drivers could pay up to $1,300 per year. Drivers looking for the absolute lowest coverage should take a look at Erie, which offers annual rates as low as $344.

Full coverage is more expensive than minimum coverage. Minimum coverage doesn’t include comprehensive and collision insurance. In fact, drivers pay up to $800 more to get full auto insurance in Wilmington, North Carolina, which is almost double the cost of a minimum insurance package.

The insurance companies with the lowest auto insurance in Wilmington are Farm Bureau, State Farm, and Erie. Take a look at insurance companies’ responsiveness and customer service departments too. A quick response time can make a huge difference when you’re filing an insurance claim after a car accident.

Even your zip code can affect how much you pay in insurance premiums. Insurance companies analyze the crime rates and the number of uninsured drivers within a particular neighborhood before setting insurance rates.

Age and Wilmington Auto Insurance Premiums

Drivers in their 50s and 60s pay lower auto insurance premiums than drivers in other age brackets. Teenagers pay the highest rates until they reach their 20s, which is when their insurance premiums drop by around $1,122. This is because teens are new drivers and don’t have as much experience as older drivers. A 30-year-old driver may pay half the insurance premiums that a teenage driver does.

Teens who get into accidents or have speeding citations pay additional insurance premiums. To avoid high insurance assessments, teenagers can share insurance coverage with their parents until they get old enough to take advantage of the lower rates.

Wilmington, North Carolina Auto Insurance for Married Couples

The insurance rate gap between married couples and single drivers is relatively small at only $6, but single drivers still pay more than couples do. Insurance statistics show that married couples are less likely to get into accidents, so insurers set car insurance premiums accordingly.

How Driving History Affects Auto Insurance in Wilmington, North Carolina

The best way to lower your auto insurance rates is to avoid accidents and tickets. Having a clean driving record reassures insurance companies that you’re unlikely to have an accident. Here is a list of events that drive up auto insurance premiums:

  • DWIs
  • At-fault collisions
  • Reckless driving tickets
  • Speeding citations

Insurers use low auto insurance rates as an incentive for drivers who maintain a clean record. A reckless driving conviction can make premiums go up by $845 annually. Similarly, previous collisions make insurance premiums jump by 53%. Speeding tickets don’t have the same consequences as at-fault accidents, but the 34% auto insurance rate increase will make drivers think twice about exceeding speed limits.

The most severe penalty is for a DUI or DWI conviction. Drivers with just a single DUI conviction could spend more than $5,000 per year on auto insurance in Wilmington, North Carolina. A DUI conviction will cause an insurance company to consider a driver high-risk because drivers who drink could cause fatal accidents.

Wilmington Auto Insurance and Your Credit Score

Credit scores affect more than your ability to get a loan. North Carolina has not yet passed legislation to stop auto insurance companies from discriminating against customers on the basis of their credit scores. The auto insurance rate discrepancy between drivers with a “very poor” credit rating of 300-579 and an “exceptional” rating of 800-850 is 42%. If you have a poor credit score, improving your credit rating to “fair” is the most effective way to save money on auto insurance in Wilmington. Insurers reward such drivers by cutting an average of $405 from their annual car insurance costs.

Minimum North Carolina Car Insurance Requirements

It is illegal to drive an uninsured vehicle in North Carolina. There are minimum insurance requirements for these three risk categories:

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
  • Bodily injury coverage
  • Property damage coverage

Property damage coverage must be at least $25,000 per accident. That’s the amount that an insurance company must pay when the policyholder causes an accident resulting in damage to another’s property and is ruled to be liable. Property damage insurance also covers any subsequent lawsuits.

In contrast, bodily injury coverage has to be $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident. Insurers sometimes use the term “30/60” coverage. Bodily injury coverage may also be used to pay for the costs of civil or criminal proceedings after the accident.

Coverage for uninsured or underinsured motorists is a special type of insurance coverage for drivers who get into accidents with uninsured individuals or drivers whose insurance doesn’t meet the North Carolina minimum standards.

More importantly, drivers must be able to show proof of insurance in the following cases:

  • Car accidents
  • Vehicle registration renewal
  • Law enforcement request

Minimum car insurance may not be enough to cover damage resulting from serious accidents. Drivers who can afford it should opt for full coverage to protect themselves and their wallets. Lessors and lenders may actually require drivers to get full coverage before signing a lease or loan agreement.

Ultimately, car insurance rates are in the hands of the insurance providers. Choosing the right auto insurance in Wilmington, NC, is about studying each insurer’s discounts and rate increases. Contact each insurer directly to get auto insurance quotes specific to your circumstances.

FIXD Research Team

At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.

We’re here to help you simplify car care and save, so this post may contain affiliate links to help you do just that. If you click on a link and take action, we may earn a commission. However, the analysis and opinions expressed are our own.

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About the Author

FIXD Research Team

FIXD Research Team

At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.

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