All North Carolina drivers must carry a minimum level of car insurance to drive legally in the state. However, sometimes drivers do not have enough insurance.
What happens if someone without enough insurance causes a car accident?
North Carolina minimum insurance requirements
If you register a vehicle in North Carolina, you must purchase continuous liability insurance from a company licensed to do business in the state. Your policy must satisfy the minimum requirements for liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage:
- $30,000 per person bodily injury coverage
- $60,000 per accident bodily injury coverage
- $25,000 property damage coverage
Drivers who fail to purchase adequate coverage face a $50 penalty for a first violation, a $100 penalty for a second and $150 for each lapse after that.
What happens when someone does not have enough insurance
If a driver is 100% at fault for an accident in North Carolina and that driver does not have enough insurance to fully cover the other party’s damages, the injured party must turn to their underinsured coverage to pay the rest.
The coverage that the at-fault driver has will be primary, meaning that it will pay first. If your claim exceeds the limits of the at-fault party’s policy, your policy will pay for the remaining damages up to the limits of your underinsured motorist coverage. However, this coverage only applies to injury claims. If the other party does not have enough property damage coverage, you must use your collision coverage, pay the remainder out of pocket or attempt to recover it from the at-fault party.
With the rising costs of medical care and vehicles, it may become increasingly common for accident claims to exceed the minimum coverage requirements.