If you’re planning to buy a car in the Palmetto State, you’ll need to have it properly insured. The state of South Carolina has minimum requirements for bodily injury liability, property damage liability, and other insurance, so it’s important to know what you’ll need to legally drive.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at auto insurance requirements in South Carolina, check the best-rated insurers in the state, and help with choosing automobile coverage for your car.
South Carolina Car Insurance Minimum Coverage
As is the case with most states, South Carolina has mandated that drivers and vehicles must be insured at certain minimum amounts. In the event of an accident, you’ll need to be covered for property damage and bodily injury. Here are the specific minimum requirements for South Carolina car insurance:
- Bodily injury coverage must be maintained at $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
- Property damage liability insurance must be held for a minimum of $25,000 per accident.
- You must also carry uninsured motorist insurance. This covers you in the event that you’re in an accident with someone who is not insured. The minimum requirements are the same as those above: bodily injury at $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident and property damage at $25,000 per accident.
These are just the minimum requirements. Car insurance in South Carolina can also include more coverage, such as comprehensive, collision, and even roadside assistance.
The Cost of Car Insurance in South Carolina
On average, you can expect to pay approximately $1,360 per year for your car insurance in South Carolina. It is on par with the average cost of insurance in the United States, so it’s considered affordable for most.
The price of your insurance will vary depending upon the coverage you want for your car and the provider you choose to go with. You may be assessed a higher premium if you’ve had accidents or violations, if you’re unmarried, if your credit is poor or if your car is more expensive to insure.
It's all about weighing up the risk and creating a relative premium cost. The greater the risk of you being in an accident and requiring extensive payouts from the insurer, the higher your car insurance premiums will be.
To keep your costs down, consider bundling your auto insurance with your renters or home insurance. You can also mention affiliations with organizations to your insurer. Universities and groups like AAA often partner with insurance companies to offer discounts.
Young drivers typically pay a lot more than experienced drivers, as they carry a much greater risk. Statistically speaking, young drivers are much more likely to be involved in accidents and to receive violations. Be sure to ask your representative if driver’s education or other programs will help bring the cost of insurance down.
Choosing South Carolina Car Insurance
As you research car insurance options in South Carolina, you’ll discover that there is no small number of insurers who want your money! There are dozens upon dozens of car insurance companies that will insure in your state, so which one should you choose?
Don’t simply consider the cost of your insurance when choosing a provider. Instead, do research online and ask people you trust about their experience. The cheapest insurance company isn’t always the best. After all, when you need insurance you want a responsive provider.
South Carolinians have ranked the top five insurance companies based on service and cost. They are as follows:
- Auto-Owner’s Insurance
- State Farm
These are some of the biggest car insurance companies in the United States and they also provide the most complete and affordable insurance coverage in South Carolina.
Choose an insurance option that works for your lifestyle. You may choose to cover your vehicle through your financial institution or your employer, for example.
Remember to ask about discounts available to you, and about any “extras” you may wish to carry such as coverage for a rental vehicle in case of an accident.
South Carolina Car Insurance Lapse
It is imperative that you carry vehicle insurance in South Carolina. Should your coverage lapse, the DMV will be notified. At that point, you have 20 days to prove you’re covered. If you don’t, your driving privilege will be revoked, your tags will be seized and your registration will be suspended.
In addition, you may be responsible for fines up to $400 to reinstate full driving privilege. In short, don’t make the mistake of allowing your insurance coverage to lapse in SC. It’s very expensive to regain your privileges, not to mention extremely inconvenient.
Conclusion: South Carolina Car Insurance
South Carolina, like most states, requires that each driver and vehicle registered in the state is covered by insurance. You may choose to purchase the minimum insurance or add a few “extras” to your policy. Regardless of what you decide, it’s critical that you keep your vehicle insured to avoid penalties and fines.