If you are a driving consumer living in the Tar Heel State, you may be interested in how to find the lowest auto insurance rates in North Carolina. Most consumers are looking for a good deal on inexpensive car insurance that provides just the right coverage for their particular needs. But where should you begin your search?

Fortunately for consumers, the North Carolina Department of Insurance has a number of resources available that can help, including a number of publications available through their website. For overall information on buying auto insurance, refer to the Consumer Guide to Automobile Insurance. For comparing rates, we’ve chosen Rate Calculation Service section of the North Carolina Department of Insurance site.

When you’re shopping for the lowest auto insurance rates in North Carolina, keep in mind that state requirements are for minimum coverage of $30,000 for bodily injury for each person, $60,000 for total bodily injury for all persons in an accident, and $25,000 for property damage (known as 30/60/25).

How Rates are Determined

Auto insurers use a number of factors to determine the rate they’ll quote you for automobile insurance. These include your driving record, which is the biggest factor considered, where you live, the type of automobile you’re trying to insure, and how you use your vehicle.

Calculating Rates

The Rate Calculation Service offered by the North Carolina Department of Insurance can serve as a guide when you are shopping for auto insurance. Note that, in most cases, your actual premium will be higher or lower than the calculation results because what is quoted are base rates on behalf of all licensed automobile insurance companies in the state. Your actual rate will depend upon the various factors used in underwriting, as well as any applicable discounts the insurer offers.

How to use the Rate Calculation Service – Enter the appropriate information where requested: year/make/model of vehicle; use (1A-pleasure; 1B-driven to work or school 10 miles or less one-way; 1C-driven to work or school 10 or more miles one way; 3-auto used for business; 1AF-farm auto); garage territory (location where you primarily keep your vehicle); deductible amounts for comprehensive and collision; replacement coverage (if desired); towing and labor coverage (if desired); rental reimbursement (if desired), and whether your vehicle has airbags, antilock brakes or anti-theft device (which may result in a discount for your premium).

Enter all the information for vehicle one and add a driver, if necessary. Proceed to the discounts section and enter any applicable discounts. Then proceed to input policy information (effective date, coverage requested, etc.), and then select “Price Policy” to continue. The Premiums page will display the base rate quotes.

Sample Premiums

The first example is a 2009 Cadillac CTS four-door sedan, 1C, 27703 zip code, garaging territory 13 (Durham, Durham County), $250 deductible for comprehensive and collision, no coverage requested for replacement, towing and labor, or rental reimbursement, dual airbags, antilock brakes and anti-theft device. Married, age 36, driving 20 years, homeowner, has current auto policy for 10 years, 10 years loss-free, credit union mass market, no company car. Effective date, coverage (30/60/25, $1,000 medical, 30/60/25 uninsured motorist, no coverage underinsured motorist. The annual premium for this scenario from the North Carolina Rate Bureau Voluntary is $1,111.66.

The next sample scenario is a 2009 Acura 3.2CL two-door coupe, 1B, 28287 zip code, territory 52 (Charlotte, Mecklenburg County), $250 deductible (Comp./Coll.), no other coverages except $25 towing and labor, no airbags, ABS or anti-theft device. Single, age 25, driving 9 years, good student discount, none (owns with insurance), 5 years with current insurer, 9 years loss-free, no company car, same coverages as first scenario. The annual premium here is $1,214.64.

One final example is a 2011 Ford Explorer SUV, 1C, 27402 zip code, territory 14 (Greensboro, Guilford County), same coverages and safety equipment as scenario one. Married, age 42, driving 26 years, homeowner, 12 years with current insurer, 5 years loss-free, company car, same coverages as first and second scenario. This time, the annual premium is $997.08.

Use the Rate Calculation Service to help you find the lowest auto insurance rates in North Carolina.

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