Everything You Need to Know About Auto Insurance in South Carolina

South Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. Its name comes from King Charles I of England and Carolina, which means “land of Charles.” The state is home to several important cities, including the capital city Columbia and the popular tourist destinations of Charleston and Myrtle Beach. There you can enjoy the beautiful beaches or delve into the natural beauty of places like Congaree National Park. South Carolina offers a diverse range of attractions for tourists to discover.

In addition to its beautiful cities and natural attractions, South Carolina is also known for its rich history. This region has historic sites like Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired, and plantations that showcase the state’s past agricultural industry. Another popular destination for history enthusiasts is Charleston, where visitors can see well-preserved architecture and historical landmarks, like the Old Exchange Building.

If you’re ready for more top-notch vehicle protection, InsureOne’s experienced agents will help you find the best rates in SC.

How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in South Carolina?

South Carolina drivers enjoy car insurance rates that are below the national average. With an average annual cost of $1,532 for full coverage and $524 for minimum coverage, South Carolina drivers are paying less compared to the national averages of $2,014 and $622, respectively.

This cost difference can be attributed to the lower incident rates in South Carolina’s rural counties, which experience less congestion. So, South Carolina drivers can take advantage of these lower rates and potentially save on their car insurance premiums.

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What Does Full Coverage vs Minimum Liability Mean? 

Auto insurance options can vary widely, with two of the most common being full coverage and minimum liability. Full coverage typically encompasses a combination of collision, comprehensive, and liability coverage. Liability coverage safeguards you financially in case you cause an accident and damage someone else’s property or cause them injury.

Collision coverage can help pay for repairs or replacement of your own vehicle, no matter who is at fault in a collision. In contrast, comprehensive coverage is designed to protect you against non-collision related incidents such as theft and natural disasters.

Another possibility is minimum liability insurance, which only provides the bare minimum coverage required by law. Typically, this type of coverage includes liability protection that covers others if you cause an accident, but not your own vehicle.

It’s important to consider all available protection options and choose a policy that provides adequate coverage for your personal needs and budget.

Affordable Car Insurance Rates Comparison by Cities in South Carolina

Here is a comparison table of the average monthly premiums paid by drivers in different cities across the South Carolina:

City Full Coverage Insurance Liability Insurance Coverage
Charleston $164 $59
Columbia $177 $57
North Charleston $177 $64
Mount Pleasant $173 $60
Rock Hill $159 $56
Greenville $156 $57
Summerville $184 $68

We arrive at our average auto insurance costs by using a male driver, aged 30 with a clean driving record. Minimum liability is the state-required minimum. Full coverage is a 100K/300K/100K policy. Your costs will be different and based on your individual factors.

How Much Money Can Bundling Car and Home Insurance Save You in South Carolina?

Combining your auto and home insurance policies through bundling is both a convenient and cost-effective way of reducing your annual premium. By bundling your car and home insurance together, you can enjoy the convenience of having a single policy and potentially save money.

In fact, on average, South Carolina inhabitants can save $383 annually or 8% off the entire premium cost by opting for this bundling option. This means that by consolidating your insurance policies, you can not only simplify your coverage but also lower your overall costs. So, consider bundling your auto and homeowners insurance to enjoy these benefits.

What Types of Auto Discounts Are Available in South Carolina?

Insurance companies usually offer an assortment of driving discounts, with the good driver discount being one of them. This discount may reduce your insurance rate if you maintain a clean driving record, with no traffic tickets or violations for a specified period of time.

Moreover, some other discounts that can help you in reducing your annual premium are:

  • Multi-car
  • Anti-theft
  • Paperless billing
  • Low mileage
  • Good student
  • Loyalty
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South Carolina Car Insurance Laws

South Carolina has a 25/50/25 minimum mandatory liability coverage requirement. The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that drivers have a certain level of financial protection in case they are involved in an accident and are deemed at fault.

Drivers in this state should always carry proof of their liability coverage, as law enforcement officials may request to see it during a traffic stop or following an accident. Failure to carry the minimum required coverage or provide proof of it can result in several penalties.

Understanding the minimum mandatory liability coverage requirement in South Carolina is essential to ensure compliance with the law and to have financial protection on the road. Here’s a closer look at what this means.

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What Are the Mandatory Car Insurance Requirements in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, there are mandatory monetary limits that insurance companies must pay if their policyholder causes a crash. These limits are set at 25/50/25, which means the following:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident

Furthermore, South Carolina drivers must have uninsured motorist coverage as part of their insurance requirements:

  • $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for uninsured motorist coverage

What Is the Penalty for Driving Without Insurance in South Carolina?

Driving without car insurance is considered a serious offense in South Carolina. The penalties for uninsured driving can cause both financial and legal troubles that can significantly impact one’s driving record and criminal history.

If caught driving without valid insurance for the first time, you may be required to pay an uninsured motorist fee of $600 if coverage is not restored, face up to a $200 fine, receive 30 days in jail, or both, along with a daily $5 fee for each day without insurance. Moreover, your license and registration may be suspended until you provide proof of car insurance (SR-22), and to reinstate them, you may have to pay up to $400.

In case of a second offense, the same penalties and fees are to be followed as the first offense, without any options for flexibility on fines or jail time. A second offense is considered a misdemeanor, permanently recorded on your criminal record.

For a third offense, the above fees and penalties still apply, but the jail time is even more severe — ranging from 45 days to six months.

Therefore, it is crucial to carry valid insurance in South Carolina to avoid any legal or financial consequences.

What Factors Does South Carolina Law Allow in Determining Your Premiums?

State law allows insurance companies to calculate your premium based on several metrics. Some of the top deciding factors are:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Location
  • Vehicle type
  • Driving record

Here’s What You Need to Know When Driving in South Carolina

South Carolina follows a fault-based system when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. This means that the party responsible for the accident, known as the at-fault party, is legally obligated to provide compensation to the victims. To fulfill this obligation, drivers in South Carolina are required by law to carry a minimum level of insurance coverage.

If you have been a victim of a motor vehicle accident in South Carolina, you have the right to seek compensation directly from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Additionally, you may also have the option to file a personal injury lawsuit to pursue further compensation.

To ensure you choose the best course of action and receive the compensation you deserve, it is advisable to consult with an experienced injury lawyer who can guide you through the process.

What Is Driving Like in South Carolina

According to a recent study conducted by ConsumerAffairs, South Carolina’s roads have been ranked as the 14th worst in the United States. The study utilized various metrics, including the expenditure per mile of roadway, the percentage of poor roads, and the annual number of fatalities resulting from motor vehicle accidents, to determine this ranking.

It is important to note that some of the worst roads in the state are located in larger cities, such as Columbia, Charleston, and Greenville. Therefore, it is advised to exercise extra caution when driving in urban areas.

How Many Car Accidents Happen in South Carolina?

In 2021, there were 1,112 traffic fatalities in the state. This chart shows the number of deadly accidents in different cities and counties across South Carolina that same year.

Cities and Counties Fatal Crashes in 2021
Columbia 22
Aiken 4
Myrtle Beach 12
Greenville County 72

Source: United States Department of Transportation

How Many Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Are in South Carolina?

In 2019, South Carolina ranked 28th nationwide in terms of uninsured or underinsured motorists, with 10.9% of drivers in the state lacking adequate coverage. This alarming percentage highlights the significant number of drivers in the state who are at risk of being financially unprotected in the event of an accident.

It underscores the crucial importance of having comprehensive car insurance coverage not only for individual drivers, but also for anyone else who may be involved in a potential accident.

Get the Best Car Insurance in South Carolina Today

At InsureOne, we are dedicated to assisting with all your auto insurance requirements. Save time by acquiring a swift quote online today. Or, if you prefer a customized service, visit one of our offices. Additionally, you can directly reach out to us at (800) 836-2240.