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No. 5 Least Expensive: North Carolina

North Carolina car insurance rates

Average rate: $1,010

Average rate for the top-selling vehicle in the country first quarter of 2017 F-150 XL: $903

Average rate for the top-selling SUV in the country first quarter of 2017 Nisan Rogue S: $1,020

Average rate for the top-selling sedan in the country first quarter of 2017 Toyota Camry LE: $1,071

This is North Carolina’s third time in the top five of least expensive states for car insurance; however, the last time the state appeared in the top five was 2013. 

A couple of reasons for the inexpensive rates in the Tar Heel State:  it’s mostly rural -- thus less congestion and accidents -- and has a competitive auto insurance market that offers plenty of discounts for drivers.

Strict state regulations, however, play a key role in keeping car insurance costs low. Car insurance companies must have rates approved by the state department of insurance. The North Carolina Department of Insurance (DOI) can cap what insurance companies charge for auto insurance. This differs from some other states, such as Connecticut, that allow insurers to file and put rates into effect immediately without any oversight or approval from state regulators.

Next year we’ll see how North Carolina fares on our list as rates are about to increase. The North Carolina Rate Bureau, which represents the auto insurance companies in the state, requested an average increase of 13.8 percent for car insurance. The North Carolina DOI didn’t approve that increase but did sign off on a “mild” increase of 2.2 percent that will start on Oct. 1 and will be in effect for two years. The NC Rate Bureau agreed not to request any other rate filings during this time. The rate hike was allowed because of items that are pushing rates higher across the nation -- more people on the road (due to cheaper gas prices), accidents on the rise (particularly distracted driving incidents) and higher medical and auto repair costs.

North Carolina’s average rate of $1,110 is 23 percent lower than the national average.

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