North Carolina Raises Auto Liability Coverage Minimums for 2025

The new coverage requirements will place the state's among the highest in the U.S., and are projected to raise rates 5% for some drivers.

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North Carolina is set to raise its minimum automobile liability coverage requirements starting Jan. 1, 2025, following the enactment of Senate Bill 452 in October 2023 -- the first change in the state's minimum coverage requirements in 25 years.

The new law increases the required coverage from 30/60/25, in place since 1999, to 50/100/50, meaning drivers must have $50,000 per person injured, $100,000 per accident, and $50,000 for property damage. This adjustment places North Carolina among the few states with such high minimums, joining Maine, Michigan and Alabama, which also require 50/100 coverage. No other state demands more than $25,000 for property damage.

The National Law Review noted that this adjustment aims to better protect individuals involved in accidents, ensuring more comprehensive financial coverage. However, this change will result in higher auto insurance rates, with an estimated 5% increase, translating to approximately $50 more per year for some drivers, according to WRAL TV news.

The law also modifies the state's uninsured motorist coverage. Starting in January 2025, insured drivers injured by uninsured motorists will be able to collect the full limit of their uninsured motorist policy in addition to the payout from the at-fault driver's liability coverage. Previously, insurers could deduct the at-fault driver's liability amount from the uninsured coverage payout.

However, the new law includes specific parameters for payouts. According to the Ward & Smith law firm, uninsured motorist coverage will not automatically pay out the policy limit. Insurers will consider present and future medical expenses, lost wages and other related costs when determining the payout.

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