Buying home insurance isn't on the top of anyone's list of fun activities, but you can save hundreds by shopping around for the cheapest home insurance rates in North Carolina.
On this page, we'll walk through North Carolina homeowners insurance by coverage level, ZIP code and company. We'll go over how much other North Carolinians are paying for their home insurance and you'll get to see if you're able to save money on your policy by shopping around.
Homeowners insurance: NC average cost by coverage level and deductible, ZIP code and company
On this page, you'll learn:
- North Carolina homeowners insurance rates by ZIP code
- North Carolina home insurance rates by company
- Which insurer offers the cheapest home insurance rates in North Carolina
- Best insurance companies in North Carolina
- North Carolina home insurance rates by company for six coverage levels
- North Carolina home insurance laws
Average homeowners insurance rates in NC
North Carolina's average home insurance rate for $200,000 dwelling coverage that includes a $1,000 deductible and $100,000 liability is $773, which is 37 percent below the national average. That's $456 cheaper.
Before we dive into the local numbers, we should first introduce the basic components of home insurance. A home insurance policy includes coverage for:
- Medical payments
Policies also usually have a set percentage of your dwelling coverage for:
- Other structures -- 10 percent
- Personal property -- 50 percent
- Loss of us -- 20 percent
Liability insurance applies to incidents in which you’re at fault and the result is that a guest in your home or on your property is injured. It covers medical expenses, as well as damage caused to neighbors’ property. Personal liability also covers legal fees if you are sued, as well as any resulting judgments from a lawsuit, up to your policy limits.
Most home insurance policies come with $100,000 in personal liability insurance but this is rarely enough coverage. The cost to defend a lawsuit or to pay for medical expenses for a serious injury can easily exceed that amount. Most experts recommend upping your limits to at least $300,000.
Medical payments also pays for injuries to guests in your home but differs from liability in that it applies to injuries regardless of who is at fault. It is for minor incidents as it comes with much lower coverage limits than liability insurance. Medical payments coverage is typically for $1,000 or $5,000.
Dwelling coverage pays to repair your home. When buying home insurance, you should insure your home based on its replacement cost. That’s the amount you need to rebuild it if damaged or destroyed, and not its market value, which is what you could sell your home for in its current condition. Replacement cost offers more protection because the cost of building a home often exceeds its market value.
When shopping for a policy, you will have to choose a “dwelling coverage” amount. You should select a dwelling coverage limit that best matches the cost to repair damage to your home or rebuild it completely at equal quality — at current prices. You can calculate your replacement cost by using online calculators or hiring an appraiser to give you a replacement cost valuation or by doing it yourself.
When figuring out home insurance coverage, another key part is the deductible. A deductible is what you have to pay if you file a claim. The home insurance company covers the rest of the claim.
Deductibles work this way: Let's say a tree crashes through your house and causes $5,000 worth of damage. You have a $1,000 deductible. You would pay that amount. The insurer then handles the remaining $4,000.
Your deductible influences your premiums. The higher the deductible, the lower the premium. But don't set a deductible so high that you can't afford it if you need to file a claim. Better yet, set aside the deductible amount so you can use it if you must file a claim.
A second way an insurer may figure out a deductible is by a property's value. It works this way: an insurer creates a deductible that's a percentage of the property's value. If your home is worth $300,000 and you have a 2 percent deductible, you would have to pay $6,000 before the insurance company kicked in for the rest of the claim.
North Carolina homeowners insurance rates by ZIP code
North Carolina home insurance costs are much cheaper than the national average and adjacent states: Virginia, Tennessee and South Carolina. That doesn't mean you will find a policy at or below the state average.
An insurer takes into account the home, location, claims history, coverage level and deductible when creating home insurance rates.
Here's a look at the most and least expensive ZIP codes for North Carolina for a policy with $200,000 dwelling coverage, a $1,000 deductible and $100,000 in liability coverage:
Most expensive ZIP codes
- Caswell Beach -- $1,804
- Atlantic Beach -- $1,804
- Harkers Island -- $1,804
- Bogue -- $1,706
Least expensive ZIP codes
- Husk -- $581
- Creton -- $581
- Traphill -- $581
- Ennice -- $581
All four of the most expensive ZIP codes are prime coastal real estate. You might get great views from those homes, but the added risk of living along the North Carolina coast means insurers are likely to charge you more for home insurance.
Meanwhile, all four least expensive ZIP codes are well in-land.
Here are average rates for some of North Carolina’s largest cities:
- Charlotte – $604
- Raleigh – $666
- Greensboro – $612
- Durham – $670
- Winston-Salem -- $611
Now that we've gone over the most and least expensive, let's dive into other ZIP codes. You can enter your ZIP code into the search box at the top of the table below. You'll find the average home insurance rates for your ZIP, as well as the range of what home insurance companies are charging.
Let's walk through an example and enter in 27517, which is Chapel Hill's ZIP code. We'll look to see the average cost for $200,000 dwelling coverage with a $1,000 deductible and $100,000 liability. (You can increase or decrease those amounts to see how those numbers fluctuate.)
The average rate for that ZIP is $609, but you'll see there's a range of $577 to $682 depending on the insurance company. That means by shopping around you might save $100. So, a little bit of research and getting quotes from multiple insurers could be well worth it.
North Carolina home insurance rates by company
It's crucial to shop around for the best home insurance rate, because prices for the same coverage vary by hundreds of dollars. If you don’t compare rates, you could wind up overpaying.
Many factors affect home insurance rates. Among others, the Insurance Information Institute (III) cites the following:
- Your home's square footage
- Building costs in your area, and your own home's construction, materials and features
- Local crime rates
- The likelihood of certain types of disasters, such as hurricanes
So, shop around for the right policy. The III suggests getting at least three price quotes when shopping for coverage, and says that doing so can save you up to hundreds of dollars annually.
III recommends that you get enough insurance to cover the costs to:
- Repair or replace the structure of your home and personal possessions
- Defend yourself against liability costs if someone is hurt on your property
- Pay for a temporary place to live while your home is repaired or replaced
Who has the cheapest North Carolina home insurance?
Below are home insurance rates by company for six coverage sets. Based on our rate analysis, you’ll see Travelers and State Farm, depending on your level of coverage, are the cheapest insurance companies in North Carolina.
Home insurance: North Carolina average rates by company for six coverage levels
|$200,000 dwelling/$1,000 deductible/$100,000 liability||Rates|
|North Carolina Farm Bureau||$758|
|$200,000 dwelling/$1,000 deductible/$300,000 liability||Rates|
|North Carolina Farm Bureau||$762|
|$300,000 dwelling/$1,000 deductible/$300,000 liability||Rates|
|North Carolina Farm Bureau||$1,104|
|$400,000 dwelling/$1,000 deductible/$300,000 liability||Rates|
|North Carolina Farm Bureau||$1,397|
|$500,000 dwelling/$1,000 deductible/$300,000 liability||Rates|
|North Carolina Farm Bureau||$1,751|
|$600,000 dwelling/$1,000 deductible/$300,000 liability||Rates|
|North Carolina Farm Bureau||$2,055|
Shopping for home insurance: Best insurance companies in North Carolina
Shopping for home insurance isn't as exciting as searching for a new car or smartphone, but consumers should treat home insurance shopping just like any other kind.
A good place to start is to think about what kind of coverage and deductible that you want. The higher the deductible, the lower the rates. Then, look for home insurance companies offering policies in your area. You can find a list of North Carolina insurers above. Then, a good place to check the company's reputation is on Insure's Best Home Insurance Companies.
Once you're comfortable with those companies, get quotes from at least three home insurers. Request quotes for the same coverage levels and deductible so you're comparing similar plans. Also, ask about the company's discounts, including bundling home and auto policies.
Remember the cheapest company isn't always the best. Here are how major home insurance companies in North Carolina rank overall for claims handling, customer service, value and renewal recommendation, based on a 2017 survey of 3,160 customers. Scores out of 100.
North Carolina home insurance laws
Now, we all know that flooding can happen along the coast during hurricane season, but flooding also happens well inland and outside of flood zones.
The average home insurance policy doesn't handle flood coverage. So, you need to buy a separate flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or a home insurance company that works with the NFIP.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates that the average flood insurance policy costs about $700. The specific cost depends on the home's risk, type of coverage, amount and deductible. A flood insurance policy can cost less than $200 depending on the situation.
One piece of good news: there's no shopping involved with flood insurance. The rates for your property will be standard regardless of company.
However, if you want a flood insurance plan, don't wait until the last minute. Flood insurance policies usually take 30 days to take effect. You can't wait until a major storm is headed your way to get flood insurance.
Hurricane and windstorm deductibles
Being a North Carolina homeowner, your home coverage might include a hurricane deductible. North Carolina is one of 19 states with hurricane deductibles. A home insurance company may put a hurricane deductible on your home insurance policy if your home is considered risky in a hurricane.
Hurricane deductibles are usually between 1 percent and 5 percent. You would have to pay the percentage if you file a claim; the insurer would pick up the rest of the claim.
Let's take a look at how this would work: Let's say you have a $400,000 home and a 2 percent hurricane deductible. Your home suffers $20,000 worth of damage in a hurricane. You would have to pay $8,000 and the insurer would pay the remaining $12,000 in that case.
Those deductibles are in place to protect the home insurance company. It's a good idea to talk to the insurer to see if there are steps you could take to avoid the deductible. For instance, installing hurricane shutters or taking a similar step might allow you to avoid a hurricane deductible in your policy.
An insurer may also put a windstorm deductible on a policy depending on risk. Similar to hurricane deductibles, windstorm deductibles are usually between 1 percent and 5 percent depending on risk. Also, just like hurricane deductibles, you would need to pay the windstorm deductible if your home is damaged during a storm; the insurer would pay the rest.
What if no insurer will cover me?
If you find no home insurance company will cover your home, there is another avenue, but it does cost more than regular home insurance coverage. The North Carolina Joint Underwriting Association offers the FAIR Plan for homeowners who can't get coverage elsewhere.
The FAIR Plan covers you just like a regular home insurance policy. You're protected against fire, vandalism and other damages.
FAIR Plans cost much more than a regular policy so make sure to exhaust other options before contacting the North Carolina Joint Underwriting Association for a FAIR Plan.
How to file a home insurance claim
Filing a home insurance claim happens to everyone eventually. If you need to file a claim, make sure to contact the insurer as soon as possible. Don't wait until a storm blows over.
Take photos of the damage and write down what happened. You shouldn't make repairs unless it's to prevent further damage. So if a window breaks in a storm, you can board the damage, but don't replace the window until an insurance adjuster checks it out.
You also shouldn't throw out any damaged items. The adjuster will want to see them. If a rug is waterlogged and smells, you can put it in a shed or garage, but don't throw it out.
How to file a complaint
If you're having problems with an insurer, you can file a complaint with the North Carolina Department of Insurance by calling 855-408-1212 or going to the site and filing an online complaint.
You'll want to have the insurance company's name, your policy number, claim number, if applicable, and related documents, such as photos and letters, when you contact the Department of Insurance.