With one of the lowest average insurance costs in the US, North Carolina’s Safe Driver Incentive Plan may be the direct factor in this lower cost. Considering the state’s highway fatality rates are higher than the national average and they are not in the bottom 10 states for uninsured motorists, the SDIP may be directly credited for keeping insurance low in the state.
Fault Claim Options
North Carolina is an “at fault” insurance state allowing its citizens multiple options when attempting to reclaim expenses from an auto accident. Drivers that are involved in an accident have a few options at their discretion. As the state requires all drivers to be financially responsible in case of an accident and the easiest way to do so is by having insurance coverage, more than 90% of the states motorists do carry auto insurance. If you are involved in an accident, you may be able to claim your own insurance to recover the medical and property costs.
If there is a minor accident, your best option may be to settle directly with those involved, especially for accidents without injuries and damages under $1000. Settling without insurance adjustors or court costs can save you money.
However, in the cases of significant injury or property damage you may want to make a third-party claim directly against the person at fault’s insurer to recover the expenses from them. In this manner your own insurance premium is unlikely to rise due to making a claim. In third-party claims however you still need to be aware of the ‘contributory negligence’ rule that may keep you from getting a settlement.
The last option is recovering expenses through a civil lawsuit. These lawsuits and insurance settlements are complicated with the state’s comparative fault rule and you should ensure you have a proper attorney.
Most North Carolinians meet their driving financial responsibility with auto insurance coverage as it is the easiest option. However it is not the only option. Over 90% use the mandatory minimum insurance coverage amounts as laid out below. Yet you can also satisfy this requirement by the following:
A bond provided in the right amount
A certificate of deposit of money or securities
Or a certificate of self-insurance, supplemented by an agreement that the self-insurer will pay the same amounts as required by an insurer in the same situation.
Insurance minimums in the state are higher than average and include:
$30,000 for a single person accident
$60,000 for a multiple person accident
$25,000 for property damage as a result of an accident
Uninsured motorist coverage in the same amounts as above
These financial minimums responsibility are enforced through a measure requiring continuous insurance coverage. If your coverage lapses, or any of the other measures fail to be kept current you may suffer a license plate revocation.
Not all expenses in an accident are covered by these minimum coverages. Most motorists would be well served by getting more than the minimum coverage as well as two optional coverages offered in most states. These optional coverages include collision and comprehensive that cover expenses for your own damages or vehicle due to accidents, theft, or vandalism.
Safe Driver Incentive Plan
This plan could be construed as quite a punishing way to ensure motorists strive for quality driving without infractions. In this plan the state of North Carolina punishes drivers that get demerit points for traffic violations by mandating a certain insurance premium increase for receiving demerit points. If you receive just 1 demerit point, your insurance premium could increase by as much as 30%.
There are rules on which traffic violations result in SDIP points that can affect your insurance premiums. Yet the more points you receive the more your insurance increases could be. So driving safely without traffic violations can result in real perks for good drivers in North Carolina.