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NC Has Lowest Auto Rates; Highest Moving Violation Premium Penalties

 North Carolina has the cheapest auto insurance rates in the country, according to a new national study conducted by insuranceQuotes.com. Laura Adams the senior analyst for the study says the state has a highly competitive market in which insurers vie for customers by trying to keep their rates below the cap set by North Carolina’s insurance commission.

On the down side, Adams says they found that North Carolina is at the bottom of the list when it comes to offering drivers low-mileage discounts—there are none. All other states reward policyholders for driving fewer miles. But North Carolina insurance officials say unlike some states, drivers aren’t penalized for high mileage either.

The study also revealed that North Carolina is at the top of the list for the amount drivers’ premiums go up after getting a moving violation from speeding or not wearing a seat belt to a DUI.

“Getting a DUI in North Carolina is extremely expensive,” Adams said. “So, that low rate you start with may not be the rate you end up with if you get a moving violation in North Carolina.”

Adams says nationwide only 16 percent of consumers ask about lower rates offered for certain jobs, like teachers, accountants and nurses, viewed as safer drivers by some insurance companies.

“Consumers are leaving a lot of discounts on the table, particularly in North Carolina where they offer the most and biggest variety of discounts,” Adams said.

Most major insurers also offer lower discounts to married couples and for being a good high school or college student—all offered in North Carolina.

“If you are making a B average or better you can get a substantial discount and in some cases it can be as high as 20 percent. This is a great discount for parents of teenager drivers who are the most expensive policyholders out there,” Adams said.

All it takes is submitting a report card or transcript to an insurer annually to get the discount but Adams says only 20 percent of students of all ages have asked about the discount.

Gwendolyn is an award-winning journalist who has covered a broad range of stories on the local and national levels. Her experience includes producing on-air reports for National Public Radio and she worked full-time as a producer for NPR’s All Things Considered news program for five years. She worked for several years as an on-air contract reporter for CNN in Atlanta and worked in print as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun Media Group, The Washington Post and covered Congress and various federal agencies for the Daily Environment Report and Real Estate Finance Today. Glenn has won awards for her reports from the Maryland-DC-Delaware Press Association, SNA and the first-place radio award from the National Association of Black Journalists.