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What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage in North Carolina?

Car insurance is required by almost every state in the country, but in 2019 an Insurance Research Council Report revealed that 12.6 percent of motorists—around one in eight —were uninsured. That's not a comforting statistic for those of us who are on the road regularly. That’s where uninsured motorist insurance comes in; a safety net designed to protect you in the unfortunate event of an accident with a motorist who does not have insurance.

What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Uninsured motorist coverage is a type of auto insurance that steps in to cover medical expenses, property damage, and other losses when you're involved in an accident with a motorist who is uninsured or underinsured. 

In North Carolina, a certain amount of uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory, along with liability insurance.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage in North Carolina

Uninsured motorist coverage in North Carolina covers a number of expenses in the event of a car accident with an uninsured driver.

Bodily Injury Coverage

Uninsured motorist coverage in North Carolina typically includes bodily injury protection, helping pay for medical expenses, rehabilitation, and other related costs if you or your passengers are injured in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.

Property Damage Coverage

This aspect of uninsured motorist coverage can assist in repairing or replacing your vehicle and other property damaged in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist.

Hit-and-Run Incidents

Uninsured motorist coverage often extends to hit-and-run accidents where the at-fault driver cannot be identified or located. This provision ensures that you're still protected even if the responsible party flees the scene.

Stacking Options

In North Carolina, you may have the option to "stack" your uninsured motorist coverage. This means you can combine the coverage limits for each vehicle on your policy, providing additional protection in case of severe injuries or damages.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage Limits

When purchasing uninsured motorist coverage, you'll need to decide on coverage limits. These limits represent the maximum amount your insurance company will pay per person or per accident, and they should align with your individual needs, potential risks, and the amounts required by North Carolina law. 

What Car Insurance Is Required in North Carolina?

In order to drive legally in North Carolina, you will need a certain amount of liability insurance, in addition to uninsured motorist coverage. 

Drivers in North Carolina need liability insurance that meets the 30/60/25 requirements of the state. That means you’ll need:

  • $30,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person
  • $60,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident
  • $25,000 in property damage liability coverage per accident

The requirements for uninsured motorist coverage in North Carolina, are similar, again following the 30/60/25 rule. 

  • $30,000 in uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person
  • $60,000 in uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage per accident
  • $25,000 in uninsured motorist property damage coverage per accident

Penalties for Being an Uninsured Motorist in North Carolina

Driving without insurance is serious offense in North Carolina, and can result in some harsh penalties.


Individuals caught driving without insurance may face fines imposed by the state. The amount of the fine can vary, and it often depends on factors such as prior offenses and the specific circumstances of the violation.

Vehicle Registration Suspension 

North Carolina has the authority to suspend the registration of a vehicle if the owner is found to be driving without insurance. This means the vehicle owner cannot legally operate the vehicle until proper insurance coverage is obtained and registration is reinstated.

Driver's License Suspension

In addition to registration suspension, the driver's license of the individual caught driving without insurance may also be suspended. License suspension periods can vary based on factors such as prior offenses and the duration of the lapse in insurance coverage.

Reinstatement Fees

To reinstate a suspended registration or driver's license, individuals typically need to pay reinstatement fees. These fees can add a financial burden to the already existing consequences of driving without insurance.

Insurance Points

North Carolina uses a point system to track driving offenses. Driving without insurance can result in the accumulation of insurance points, potentially leading to increased insurance premiums. This may also impact future driving privileges.

SR-22 Requirement

In certain cases, individuals caught driving without insurance may be required to file an SR-22 form with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). An SR-22 is a certificate of financial responsibility, and its filing is often mandated for high-risk drivers.

Legal Consequences

Driving without insurance is a legal offense in North Carolina, and individuals may face legal consequences such as court appearances and potential civil liabilities, especially if they are involved in an accident while uninsured.

Recommended Car Insurance in North Carolina

While liability insurance is required to cover bodily injury and property damage that you may cause in an accident, and uninsured motorist coverage protects you if you're involved in a collision with an uninsured driver, these minimum requirements may still leave you vulnerable. 

In addition to uninsured motorist coverage and liability coverage, drivers in North Carolina might also consider:

  • Comprehensive Coverage: Recommended for non-collision incidents like theft, vandalism, or natural disasters.
  • Collision Coverage: Advised to cover repair or replacement costs for your vehicle in case of a collision.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP): Worth considering for medical expenses, lost wages, and related costs for you and your passengers, irrespective of fault.

Final Word: What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, uninsured motorist coverage is more than just a recommended addition to your auto insurance policy—it's a requirement. As you navigate the roads, this coverage provides a layer of protection that can make all the difference in the unfortunate event of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist

If you have questions about insurance requirements or have been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, the attorneys at Van Camp, Meacham & Newman can help you understand your rights and explore potential options for resolution. Schedule your 30-minute initial legal consultation at no cost using the form below, or give us a call today at 910-295-2525.

Van Camp Law Firm in Pinehurst, North Carolina

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