Best Home Insurance in North Carolina 2022
Living in a coastline state like North Carolina, homeowners need to prepare for hurricanes, thunderstorms, tornadoes and more. Fortunately, home insurance can help protect you and your property. Homeowners insurance in the Old North State costs an average of $1,513.98 per year — slightly higher than the national average of $1,213.89.
After researching rates, coverages and services, we've rounded up the best homeowners insurance in North Carolina to help you choose the right carrier.
Best Home Insurance Companies in North Carolina
When choosing our top picks for homeowners insurance carriers in North Carolina, we factored in costs, coverages and overall customer satisfaction. The below premiums are based on home insurance policies with $250,000 dwelling coverage.
Best overall policy
North Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance
Best for membership benefits
Best for military families
*Companies were chosen based on reviews and JD Power scores out of 1,000.
Best Overall Policy: Travelers Insurance
Among the national carriers we've researched, Travelers boasts some of the lowest rates, good customer satisfaction and excellent financial stability. A home policy with Travelers costs, on average, $1,636.86 per year.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners gave Travelers a complaint rating of 0.44 across all its policies (e.g., home, auto, life), which means that Travelers customers file 56% fewer complaints than expected for a company its size. Travelers also has the financial strength to pay out claims.
Discounts: Bundle with another policy; new home; claims-free history; security devices; green home
Best for Membership Benefits: North Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance
North Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance Group (NCFBINS) is an insurance carrier that solely serves North Carolina residents. A NCFBINS homeowners policy costs about $1,503.18 per year and offers among the cheapest rates of the nine companies we surveyed.
Joining the NCFBINS club grants you tons of fun benefits, including discounts on choice hotels, car rentals and prescriptions, competitive rates with NCFBINS' banking and lending partners and more. With offices in all 100 counties, homeowners can easily drop in to receive in-person support and inquire about their home, life, health, farm and business insurance policies.
Best for Military Families: USAA
As a state home to 730,357 veterans (nearly 10% of the adult population) in 2017, USAA can be a suitable home insurance solution for North Carolina's military families. Costing $2,638.96 per year, on average, USAA home insurance is notably higher (74%) than the statewide average.
Still, USAA offers unique benefits to active military that may not be available through other carriers. For example, deployed soldiers enjoy personal property coverage worldwide. Also, deductibles are waived if their military uniforms or equipment is damaged or lost under a covered benefit.
Discounts: Bundle home and auto insurance; home security systems; claims-free history
Cost of Homeowners Insurance in North Carolina
Homeowners insurance in North Carolina costs, on average, $1,513.98 per year, for a home with a $250,000 dwelling value — 25% more than the national annual average ($1,213.89). In our research, we also observed how your premiums can change based on your insurance company, dwelling coverage and county.
Cheapest Homeowners Insurance Companies in North Carolina
We collected 6,000 quotes from nine insurance companies for $250,000 in dwelling coverage and found that many of them charge above the statewide average. Universal Insurance Company of North America offered the cheapest rates, on average, at $1,416.91 per year — 6% below the statewide average. On the highest end was Allstate, charging $3,020.50 per year.
We suspect that as a coastal state, North Carolina's exposure to hurricanes, thunderstorms and other storms is one reason for these higher rates.
Average Annual Premium for $250,000 Dwelling Coverage
Universal Insurance Company of North America
Bankers Insurance Group
North Carolina Farm Bureau
Average Cost by Dwelling Coverage
Dwelling coverage refers to the cost of rebuilding your home and your premiums will increase based on how much coverage you need. SmartFinancial analyzed quotes for policies with $150,000, $250,000, $350,000 and $450,000 dwelling coverage.
At $150,000 dwelling coverage, North Carolinians can expect to pay $992.61 per year, on average. At the higher end, it would cost $2,424.45 per year, on average, for $450,000 dwelling coverage. Generally, the cost of home insurance increases by about $400 to $500 at each coverage level.
Average Cost by County
We surveyed home insurance quotes across 91 counties and found a wide range in annual premiums with notable deviations from the annual average. Homes in Graham County returned the cheapest quotes, costing just $754.74 per year — 50% below the statewide average. Our research showed Carteret County as the county with the most expensive rates, costing, on average, $3,433.09 per year.
SmartFinancial's research accounted for only 91 out of the 100 counties in North Carolina. The average figures listed below are only a sampling and there may be premiums outside the ranges for counties not listed. Actual rates will vary per person.
Average Annual Premium
Homeowners Insurance Coverages in North Carolina
Most standard homeowners policies (HO-3) will protect your home from numerous perils, including fire, windstorms, falling objects and more. However, coverage against earthquakes and floods will require homeowners to buy a standalone policy — something worth considering in a coastal state like North Carolina.
Below, we've summarized the basic coverage options plus some optional protections worth buying.
If your home is damaged by a covered loss (e.g., fire, windstorm, theft, falling objects), dwelling coverage covers the repair/rebuild costs.
Similar to dwelling coverage, except it extends to structures not attached to your home, such as fences, detached garages and sheds.
Covers your personal belongings (e.g., furniture, clothing, belongings) if they are damaged or stolen under a covered claim. Reimbursement is typically at actual cost value (item's value after depreciation) up to the coverage limits).
Your legal costs are covered under personal liability coverage. This usually kicks in when somebody suffers bodily injury or property damage while on your property.
If your home is temporarily inaccessible due to a covered claim (e.g., your home is being repaired after a fire), your insurer will cover additional living expenses, such as meals and hotel bills.
Medical payments (for others)
Pays for medical expenses related to when other people (excludes yourself) are injured while on your property.
Flood (separate policy)
Covers flood-related damages to your home. Flood insurance is not included in a standard homeowners insurance policy, so you'll need to buy a standalone policy.
What North Carolina Homeowners Need To Know
Besides being vulnerable to flooding as a coastline state, North Carolina homeowners must also prepare for tornadoes, wildfires and other natural disasters.
More than half the state, about 66% of North Carolina's counties, have been declared as flood disaster areas. Those living near the shoreline are especially vulnerable to flooding. Residents in mountainous areas are also at risk for flash floods plus landslides, uprooted trees, and falling boulders — all commonly associated with hurricanes.
North Carolina's peak season for tornadoes is March through May. Tornadoes often occur with minimal warning and can be highly destructive. Just as recent as February 2021, a tornado swept 21 miles across southwestern Brunswick County, resulting in multiple damaged homes and fatalities.
In 2021, 2,801 fires burned across 8,422 acres in North Carolina. If you're settling down in a mountainous, rural or forested area, your home's vulnerability to wildfires can increase. Fortunately, fire damages are covered under basic homeowners insurance but you'll want to double-check with your insurance carrier, especially if you're in a high-risk area.
How To Find Home Insurance in North Carolina
Fortunately, home insurance is easy to find in The Old North State, but finding the right carrier is a little more complicated. Our research showed that national carriers, like Allstate and Nationwide, tended to charge higher rates. Local and regional carriers, like North Carolina Farm Bureau, may offer cheaper rates, serving homeowners who put affordability as their top concern. Comparing home insurance rates from multiple carriers is the best way to find the lowest rate.
Flood damages and losses are not covered under standard homeowners insurance policies. You can typically buy flood insurance in one of two ways:
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)-approved insurance agent.*
Private policy with your private insurance company (if offered).
*Rates on NFIP-backed flood policies are fixed and will not vary between agents but private policies are often cheaper. Keep in mind that it typically takes 30 days for your flood coverage to activate, and you will not be covered during this waiting period.
North Carolina Home Insurance FAQs
What is the average cost of homeowners insurance in NC?
Homeowners insurance in North Carolina costs, on average, $1,513.98 per year for $250,000 dwelling coverage. This is 25% above the national annual average ($1,213.89).
How much is monthly homeowners insurance in NC?
Home insurance in North Carolina costs, on average, $126.17 per month for $250,000 dwelling coverage.
What is the cheapest homeowners insurance in NC?
Our research showed that Universal Insurance Company of North America offers the cheapest homeowners insurance in North Carolina, costing, on average, $1,416.91 per year.
Are you required to have homeowners insurance in North Carolina?
There is no law requiring homeowners to carry home insurance in North Carolina, unlike auto insurance. However, your mortgage lender will likely require that you buy home insurance if you're financing the purchase of your home with a mortgage loan. Even if you enjoy full ownership of your home, home insurance can offer some financial relief if your property is damaged.
What does homeowners insurance cover in NC?
Most homeowners insurance policies in North Carolina provide coverage for your dwelling and additional structures (e.g., fences, sheds), personal belongings (e.g., furniture, clothes), personal liability (injuries to visitors) and additional living expenses if your home is temporarily unavailable if damaged and undergoing repairs. Flood and earthquake insurance are optional coverages you must purchase as a standalone policy.
Get Matched With the Best Home Insurance in North Carolina
Choosing the right homeowners insurance can help North Carolina homeowners stay diligent in protecting their homes from hurricanes, tornadoes and more. If you want to do more shopping beyond our top recommendations, SmartFinancial can help by comparing rates from 200+ insurance partners. Enter your zip code below and answer a few simple questions to get matched with the right policy for you for free.
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