It’s been more expensive to fill up your gas tank in North Carolina in the past two years, and now, it may be even more expensive to insure the vehicle you drive. How much more? How about 28.4%?

That is the amount the North Carolina Rate Bureau is requesting with the N.C. Department of Insurance. 

The average cost for car insurance in the state is $1392 for annual coverage, which is below the national average of $1771 per year for full coverage, according to A rate increase of 28.4% would bring the cost up to $1787 or a monthly rate of $118 to 148.92.

In a press release, Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey announced that the request for an overall average statewide increase in private passenger auto insurance rates would become effective on Oct. 1 if approved. 

The N.C. Rate Bureau represents the auto insurance companies in the state and is not a part of the N.C. Department of Insurance. By law, the bureau must submit auto rate filings with the department annually by Feb. 1.

While such a significant increase is not likely, an increase of some type is likely.

According to a report from research firm ValuePenguin, rates are expected to increase by 8.4% across the U.S.

NC’s insurance rates low by comparison

North Carolina ranked 44th in the nation, according to the report. Michigan had the highest cost at $4788 for the year, and Vermont had the lowest at $1104. Overall, the state fares pretty well for drivers.

Experts list a return to normal driving patterns before the pandemic began as one of the reasons for the uptick. Labor shortages and supply chain issues in the auto industry are causing the cost of replacing and repairing vehicles to go up. An increase in accidents, which leads to an increase in claims, is another. Finally, due to rising medical costs, auto insurance companies have to pay more for accident-related injuries.

Causey said in the release that he and his department staff would thoroughly review the filing and determine whether the requested increase is justified based on the submitted data. If the department does not agree with the requested increase, it can negotiate a settlement or call for a hearing.