Driving in South Carolina can be a beautiful experience, especially with cheap car insurance in SC. With the ability to afford insurance for your vehicle, you can explore the various trails, rivers, and parks with your friends and family.
As a driver, it’s likely that you’re already encumbered by paying for gas and your car notes. Why should you also have to pay a lot of money for insurance? In this guide, we explore how you can find cheap car insurance in South Carolina, as well as what is required of every driver to use a car within the law.
South Carolina Minimum Coverage
No matter where you live in the United States, there are minimum requirements that you need to follow when it comes to signing up for your insurance policy. Some states have higher coverage minimums than others, and South Carolina is one of the states that require more than others.
Drivers will be responsible for having bodily injury, property damage liability, and two types of uninsured coverage.
In an accident where you are found at fault, you will be responsible for the medical costs associated with injuries to the other party.
In South Carolina, drivers are required to have $25,000 per person per accident and $50,000 per accident. Without bodily injury, you’re not only failing to meet legal minimums, but you will also have to pay for any health-related costs out of your own pocket.
Another form of coverage that is necessary if you are found at fault is property damage. This will cover repairs to the other party’s vehicle(s) as well as any other structures that are damaged as a result of the accident.
Drivers need a minimum of $25,000 per accident for property damage liability in South Carolina.
Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury
If you are in an accident with someone who does not have insurance, you will want to have uninsured motorist bodily injury. In South Carolina, you will require a $25,000/$50,0000 policy for uninsured motorist bodily injury.
Uninsured Motorist Property Damage
Similar to uninsured coverage for bodily injury, you are also required to have uninsured coverage for property damage at a total of $25,000 with a $200 deductible.
Opting for minimum coverage is a great way to make sure that you have everything you need to drive legally and safely. However, in an accident, the costs are sure to total more than 25/50/25. It’s highly recommended that you opt for more insurance to lower your out-of-pocket costs or to eliminate them entirely.
South Carolina Average Premiums
It’s highly likely that most drivers in SC will be paying far less than the national average for insurance. On average, drivers will be responsible for paying $1,257 annually for car insurance in the state.
However, the premiums vary greatly. Some drivers may pay over $1,408, whereas others might pay around $1,000.
When determining your insurance premiums, there are many factors considered ranging from your age to where you live. Focusing on these traits can help you to lower your premiums without having to shop around for another insurance provider. However, it’s still recommended that you compare three to four quotes from different providers.
- GEICO: $632 annually (minimum coverage)
- Farm Bureau: $1,083 annually
- State Farm: $1,364 annually
- Nationwide: $1,449 annually
Additional Insurance Coverage Options
As earlier mentioned, it’s recommended that you opt for additional coverage outside of the state required minimums. This helps to make sure that your vehicle is protected regardless of the circumstance, so you have peace of mind.
From theft to weather, there’s plenty of add-ons to choose from. Some of the most recommended additional insurance coverage options include:
Emergency Roadside Assistance
Being stuck in the middle of nowhere with a broken down vehicle or a flat tire is quite the nuisance. With emergency roadside assistance, you will have a mechanic dispatched to your location to either repair or tow your vehicle at no cost to you.
After dealing with a mechanical issue with your vehicle, it’s likely it will have to stay at the shop for repairs. With rental reimbursement, you can easily rent a car and have your out-of-pocket expenses reimbursed through your insurance.
Theft, vandalism, and weather events are three unpredictable issues you may encounter. With comprehensive coverage, repairs or replacement of your vehicle will be covered through your insurance.
Cheap Car Insurance in SC: Determining Factors
When searching for quotes, every driver is analyzed uniquely. This is why everyone will have a different insurance premium, as their individual traits will calculate the total cost of their insurance.
The most looked at determining factors of cheap car insurance include:
By far, the easiest way to find the cheapest insurance is to maintain or achieve a clean driving record. This means that you will want to avoid or remedy speeding tickets, DUIs, or any other traffic infractions.
The cleaner your record is, the less at risk you will be in regards to your insurance provider.
In South Carolina, insurance providers consider your credit history as well. An individual with a poor credit history is likely to lapse on their insurance payments, which results in higher premiums. Prior to signing up for insurance, it’s best to rectify any outstanding debts.
If you or anyone in your family has or is currently serving in the military, this could be a significant way to experience savings.
USAA is known to have the most competitive car insurance rates as well as ample benefits. Their insurance is only available to active military members, veterans, and their families.
The Best Insurance Companies in South Carolina
Now that you are aware of the cheapest insurance companies in the state, it’s time to consider the best insurance companies. From customer service to policy add-ons, there are several factors that influence the best insurance providers.
In South Carolina, the best insurance companies include USAA, Southern Farm Bureau, and State Farm.
Car Insurance Laws in South Carolina
Being aware of the car insurance laws of the state you are in will help to make sure you are never caught without insurance. The most important car insurance laws to know include:
Uninsured Motorist Fee
If you are uninterested in signing up for insurance, there is a second option available to you in South Carolina, known as the uninsured motorist fee. This $550-per-year fee allows you to legally drive without insurance, as long as you meet the requirements.
However, in an accident, you are personally responsible for all damages and expenses.
Lacking Proof of Insurance
If you are ever pulled over and cited for driving without insurance or proof of insurance, it’s highly likely that your license will be suspended. You will also be responsible for paying a $550 reinstatement fee for your license and be required to have an SR-22 for three years.
Digital Proof of Insurance
As a novel update to insurance law, drivers are allowed to display electronic proof of their insurance via a tablet or smartphone. Many insurance companies have a mobile app that you can download so that you can easily access your proof of insurance.
There are plenty of options for cheap car insurance in SC, especially if you’re a good driver with a stellar credit history. Shopping around for different quotes is by far the best way to find the most competitive rates that fall within your budget.