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South Carolina Auto Insurance

South Carolina auto insurance requires several coverage minimums to legally operate a vehicle in the state. As a tort liability state, one driver is always determined to be at fault in the event of an accident and they are held liable for any damages caused, including both medical expenses and property damages.

However, due to the large number of drivers who choose to operate a vehicle without the required liability coverage, the State also requires additional protection for when these people cause accidents and cannot compensate the victim.

The three required types of coverage that all South Carolina motorists must purchase are:

  • Basic liability coverage
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury protection
  • Uninsured motorist property damage coverage

South Carolina Auto Insurance Coverage

South Carolina auto insurance mandates liability coverage limits of at least 15/30/10. This simply means that if a driver carrying this minimum liability coverage caused an accident, their insurance would pay up to $15,000 per person injured, up to $30,000 for all who are injured, and $10,000 for any property damages.

The uninsured motorist protection protection has the exact same limits as the required liability coverage. All drivers are legally required to purchase at least 15/30 in uninsured motorist bodily injury protection ($15,000 per person, capped at $30,000 for all persons) and $10,000 in uninsured motorist property damage coverage.

It is very important to note that these minimums are rarely adequate coverage. A serious accident can easily exceed these limits and the at-fault driver will be responsible for any damages over their coverage levels.

Also, these minimums provide nothing in property protection from an at-fault accident. To insure your vehicle in the event that you cause an accident, or to cover it for weather-related damage and vandalism, you would need to purchase collision and/or comprehensive coverage.

South Carolina Auto Insurance Costs

In a recently-conducted survey, the average driver spent $744 per year on South Carolina auto insurance. This ranked South Carolina 26th out of all the states for amount of money spent on coverage. South Carolina drivers spent an average of $451 for liability coverage, $252 for collision coverage, and $161 for comprehensive coverage.

How Premiums are Calculated

Determining individual auto insurance premiums in South Carolina involves numerous variables and very complex formulas. The most important factor, however, is the amount of risk associated with a driver. Some of the risk factors are not within the control of the motorist, such as their age, their gender, and even the area where they live. Other factors, however, can easily be influenced by the driver's choices and their behavior, so they can be manipulated to influence auto insurance rates.

The individual risk characteristics that all companies will look at when determining your rates include:

  • Your age
  • Your gender
  • Your marital status
  • The type vehicle you driver
  • Your driving record
  • The amount of miles you drive in an average year

Some additonal factors that may be considered and are becoming more and more popular as a means of determining rates are:

  • Your credit history
  • Your occupation
  • Your level of education
  • Your grades, if you are a student

South Carolina Auto Insurance Companies

Even though most South Carolina car insurance companies use similar methods of determining rates, even slight variations in the formulas can have drastic effects on your bottom line. In order to get low rates, you should compare multiple auto insurance companies when selecting coverage.

Make sure to ask about any discounts the carrier offers, as you may very well be eligible for one based upon your credit rating, your occupation, or some other affiliation or membership that you hold.

Additional Information and Resources for South Carolina Motorists

For more information on South Carolina auto insurance, to get official company ratings, or to check a company's claim history, contact the South Carolina Department of Insurance.

South Carolina Department of Insurance
300 Arbor Lake Drive
Suite 1200
Columbia, SC 29223
Phone: (803) 737-6160

For other South Carolina Insurance Resources, See:

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