Yes, insurers can use your credit history to calculate your credit-based insurance score. Insurance companies believe there's a strong link between those with low credit scores and the potential for filing claims.
If you qualify, good-driver discounts can substantially reduce your rates. These discounts typically require at least three years of safe driving. Your North Carolina insurance company may offer other discounts to keep your insurance premiums low, such as:
- Alternative Fuel / Hybrid Car Discount
- Anti-Lock Brake Discount
- Anti-Theft Discount
- Accident-Free Discount
- Continuous Car Insurance Discount
- Driver Education Course
- Good Student Discount
- Electronic Funds Transfer
- Electronic Stability Control Discount
- Home Ownership
- Mature Driver
- Multi-line Policy Discount (Home and Auto on the Same Policy)
- New Car Discount
- Organization or Club Membership Discount
- Passive Restraint
- Vehicle Safety
North Carolina was one of the longer holdouts on this issue, but yes, you may now show proof of auto coverage on your electronic mobile device. Ask for an official digital insurance card from your provider.
Whether your insurance lapses because it's canceled or not renewed, your insurance company will notify the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles. Failure to maintain adequate insurance coverage in North Carolina can result in civil and other penalties. The state DMV will tell you what you need to do to reinstate your insurance.
It's illegal to drive in North Carolina with the following BAC percentages:
- .08%+ at 21 years old or older
- .04%+ for commercial vehicle drivers
- .04%+ for prior DWI
Drivers under the age of 21 cannot drive with any amount of alcohol or illegally used drugs in their systems, no matter how small the amount. Any BAC level will result in 30-day pretrial license revocation, and just the smell of alcohol on the breath is enough for a conviction of driving under the influence.
If you're stopped by a law enforcement officer in North Carolina for suspicion of driving while impaired, you'll be required to submit to a breath or blood test, or both. The results of this test can be used in court. If you refuse the test, your license will be immediately revoked for 30 days and an additional one-year revocation will be imposed after you've had the chance to attend a hearing. Even if you're found not guilty of DWI in court, the one-year revocation will stand for refusing the test.
Penalties for driving while impaired in North Carolina vary greatly. There are five levels of misdemeanor driving while intoxicated (DWI), with Level 1 being the most serious and Level 5 being the least serious. Level 1 and 2 drivers are repeat offenders, are transporting children, have had their license revoked, or have hurt someone in a crash. Punishments range from $200 fines and community service to $4,000 in fines and a maximum jail sentence of two years. Habitual DWI offenders can be charged with and convicted of a felony.
Just like a good driving record can earn car insurance discounts for North Carolina motorists, so too can completion of one of the state's Driver Improvement Clinics. Check with your carrier to find out if they offer this benefit; most, but not all, do.
Yes! If your premium has been a financial burden, you have options. Start by shopping around for better rates on the coverage you need. When you've found the best deal, ask your representative about all the discounts you may be eligible for. Also, consider paying upfront instead of monthly for a lower total cost, and opt for a higher deductible in exchange for a lower premium. On an ongoing basis, take care of your credit, as it can have a big impact on your rates.
Yes, North Carolina requires policies with the minimum bodily injury and property damage limits to include uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage helps protect you in the event you're involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.