Best Motorcycle Insurance in North Carolina
Out of eight insurers that met The Simple Dollar’s minimum requirements, I found only three that directly offer policies in NC. When I got quotes, they ranged from $193 (compared to Florida where some riders can get insurance for $35 a year) all the way up to $600. What I learned is this: Progressive is the best motorcycle insurance company in the state thanks to a strong combination of coverage options, customer support tools, and excellent financial stability.
The Best North Carolina Motorcycle Insurance
North Carolina Motorcycle Insurance Reviews
How I Found the Best Motorcycle Insurance in North Carolina
I like to ask two main questions when considering any type of insurance policy. First, does the company have the policy options and tools to serve me well? Second, does the company have the financial stability to pay my claims? The best motorcycle insurance in NC needed to be strong in both categories, so I started my search with a list of eight companies that have excellent marks — just like in The Simple Dollar’s national motorcycle insurance review.
Specifically, I sought out companies with financial strength rating of “A+” or higher from A.M. Best and Standard & Poors, along with a set of basic “must have” coverages: medical payments, property damage liability, uninsured motorist, liability, collision, and comprehensive coverages. (Both A.M. Best and Standard & Poors are global leaders in assessing the overall performance of an organization or company.) I also evaluated each company on discounts, claims, and my overall experience with the quote process. And to help hone in on the best insurance for riders of all ages, I got quotes for two fictional personas. One was a 26 year old married homeowner with 7 years of riding experience, and the other was a 55 year old married homeowner with 25 years of experience.
And to take it one step further, I had a chat with Bob Mihalko (the manager of a local dealership) to learn about the most popular rides in the state. I settled on a 2010 Harley-Davidson Softail Fat Boy and got two different quotes for each persona: one for state-minimum coverage, and one for my recommended coverage. Finally, I crunched the numbers, focusing heavily on cost, but also considering other factors like available discounts, online quote tools, claims process, and coverage options).
In the end, I found out that age made little difference in premium cost with Progressive, while Geico gave a huge discount for age and experience. I also discovered that Nationwide wouldn’t give an online quote to someone under the age of 37. Here’s how my quotes stacked up:
My Annual Premiums for State-Minimum Coverage (30/60/25)
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My Annual Premiums for Upgraded Coverage (50/100/25)
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How much coverage do I need in North Carolina?
North Carolina has some of the most strenuous motorcycle insurance laws in the country. All NC riders are required to have insurance. But while most states simply require liability insurance, North Carolina takes it a step further and tacks uninsured motorist coverage on as a requirement as well. The liability requirements are $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident for personal injuries. And $25,000 in liability insurance for property damage is also required. The minimum limits for uninsured motorist are the same as liability. Both are usually referred to as 30/60/25.
While the state-minimum insurance is more robust than many states, I still recommend opting for more than the minimum. When gathering quotes for my recommended coverage, I went with $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident for personal injury, and $25,000 for property damage. I used those limits for both liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. In addition I chose to include comprehensive and collision.
My decision to go with higher limits for liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is based one major statistic: in 2013, the average cost of an incapacitating injury from a crash was $74,900. Whether you hurt someone in an accident, or someone hurts you and doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the medical bills (or any insurance at all), you need insurance to save you from some serious debt.
I recommend purchasing at least 50/100, if not 100/300 due to the increased risk that comes with riding a motorcycle — riders aren’t as protected on motorcycles as they are in a car. Between 2004 and 2013, 184 motorcycle riders were killed in North Carolina according to a report published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The bottom line is this: don’t skimp on uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Why few companies offer motorcycle insurance in North Carolina
It all boils down to the fact that the state sets the minimum requirements for motorcycle insurance so high. Since the state requires all riders to carry uninsured motorist coverage, the risk of huge payouts is too great for many companies to justify doing business in the state.