Best Auto Insurance Rates in South Carolina

On average, your neighbors pay $71 a month.

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Compare Auto Insurance in South Carolina

Car insurance is relatively affordable in South Carolina. Residents pay less than the national average for their policies. But it’s not just about what you pay, it's what you get.

This page will show you which types of coverage are legally required in South Carolina. It also has information about the cost of driving including average rates plus some insights about insurance risks.

Average South Carolina Car Insurance Rates

How much is car insurance in South Carolina? Average insurance premiums here are nearly identical to the national average. On average, the cost of auto insurance in South Carolina is $853.53 a year. The national average price is $889.01.

Prices may vary depending on your zip code and driving history.

South Carolina (SC) Average Annual Car Insurance Rates
Coverage Rates
Liability $527.09
Collision $265.07
Comprehensive $180.94
Total Annual Cost $853.53
Price Per Month $71.12
Source: Facts + Statistics: Auto insurance

The graph below shows the change in average South Carolina rates from 2011 to 2015, the most recent year the data is available. According to the III, South Carolina car insurance rates increased from $748 in 2011 to $853 in 2015, a jump of $105 dollars, or 14.07 percent.

South Carolina average car insurance rates

If you want car insurance in South Carolina that offers reliable coverage at an affordable price, you have to shop around. To do this, you have to compare quotes from multiple insurance companies. But that can be a hassle if you do it on your own. Thankfully, QuoteWizard makes it a lot easier.

We’ll help you by introducing you to a number of top insurance companies. Then you can compare rates and decide which coverage options are the best for your situation. That means less legwork and, better yet, lower costs.

Last year, 49,949 people used QuoteWizard to compare car insurance quotes in South Carolina from multiple companies and find the cheapest rates.

Best Car Insurance Companies in South Carolina

Last year, these were the most common car insurance companies reported by QuoteWizard users living in the state of South Carolina. Out of the 49,949 South Carolina drivers that used QuoteWizard to request insurance quotes last year, 4,234 had no car insurance.

Top 10 Vehicles in South Carolina

These are the most common vehicles owned by South Carolina drivers requesting car insurance quotes through QuoteWizard in the past year.

  1. Ford F150
  2. Honda Accord EX/LX
  3. Chevrolet Silverado
  4. Ford Ranger
  5. Ford Explorer
  6. Toyota Camry LE/XLE/SE
  7. Chevrolet Impala
  8. Ford Mustang
  9. Ford Taurus
  10. Nissan Altima 2.5 S
Get a quote for your vehicle. Request Quote Get a Quote For Your Vehicle

South Carolina State Auto Insurance Laws

Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in South Carolina

Legally all US drivers are required to carry a minimum level of insurance, but those levels vary from state to state. In South Carolina, drivers need to follow what is known as the 25/50/25 rule when it comes to their insurance policy.

This means that any policy must include the following:

  • $25,000 of coverage for bodily injury liability per person
  • $50,000 of coverage for bodily injury liability per incident
  • $25,000 of coverage for property damage liability per incident
  • $25,000 of uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person
  • $50,000 of uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per incident
  • $25,000 of uninsured property damage liability coverage per incident

Remember, you can purchase more inclusive plans that cover more. But if you want the bare minimum required to keep you legal on the road, make sure your policy has the above protection.

Recommended Coverage Levels

South Carolina has a higher than average rate of auto theft. While you might think this only affects the people who had their cars stolen, areas with a high car theft rate have higher insurance premiums for all drivers. And if you only have minimum coverage, you’re not covered in the event of theft. Comprehensive coverage protects your car in the case of theft or vandalism.

Minimum liability insurance covers the other driver’s damages should you have an accident, but it doesn’t do much to defray your expenses after a crash. Also, it’s not hard for the price tag of a serious accident to exceed what minimum liability can pay for. Because of this, we recommend getting:

  • $100,000 Individual Body Injury Liability
  • $300,000 Total Bodily Injury Liability
  • $100,000 Property Damage Liability

Required Proof of Car Insurance

Any time you drive in South Carolina, you must be prepared to show your car insurance identification card to law enforcement upon request. You will get this identification card from your car insurance company when you buy a policy.

The card must include all of the following:

  • Name of the insurance company
  • Policy number
  • Effective date of the policy
  • Expiration date of the policy
  • Description of the year, make, and/or model of the insured vehicles, or the name of the insured driver

Penalties

Failing to maintain proof of insurance is punishable by a fine or jail time, unless a driver has paid the $550 Uninsured Motorist Fee. This fee allows a driver to legally operate a vehicle without insurance in South Carolina. However, you will have no protection of any kind, and QuoteWizard strongly recommends that drivers purchase at least South Carolina’s legal minimum insurance coverage.

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SR-22 Requirements

South Carolina residents that have had their driver’s license suspended due to drunk driving convictions or other violations must provide proof of financial responsibility by filing an SR-22 form. “SR” stands for safety responsibility and it certifies that a driver has the minimum amount of insurance required by state law. 

South Carolina state law requires that an SR-22 be carried for 36 consecutive months. If a driver fails to renew their policy 15 days before expiration, a letter is sent to the state resulting in suspension of their license. Once renewed, the license will be reinstated, but this can be a time-consuming process.

State of South Carolina Traffic Safety Laws

Distracted Driving Laws

South Carolina has no restrictions on using a cell phone while driving, except that all drivers are forbidden to send or receive text messages while driving.

Implied Consent Law

South Carolina’s Implied Consent law requires that any driver submit to testing to determine the alcohol or drug content of their blood, breath, or urine when arrested by law enforcement for suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI). Refuse the test and you’ll face the following penalties in addition to the penalties for a DUI:

  • First Offense: 6-month driver's license suspension
  • Second Offense: 9-month driver's license suspension
  • Third Offense: 1-year driver's license suspension

DUI Law and Penalties

If you operate a motor vehicle in the state of South Carolina with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, you are guilty of Driving While Under the Influence (DUI).

The penalties for a first offense DUI conviction are:

  • Between 48 hours and 90 days in jail
  • A fine of between $400 and $1,000
  • 6-month driver’s license suspension

The penalties for a second offense DUI conviction are:

  • Between 5 days and 3 years in jail
  • A fine of between $2,100 and $6,500
  • 1-year driver’s license suspension
  • Required installation of an ignition interlock device

The penalties for a third offense DUI conviction are:

  • Between 60 days and 5 years in jail
  • A fine of between $3,800 and $10,000
  • 2-year driver’s license suspension
  • Required installation of an ignition interlock device

The penalties for a fourth offense DUI conviction are:

  • Between 1 and 7 years in jail
  • Up to $10,000 fine
  • Permanent driver’s license suspension

Senior Drivers in South Carolina

All drivers are required to renew their driver’s license every 10 years, except for drivers age 65 and older. They must renew their license, and get a vision test, every five years.

Seat Belt Laws

South Carolina requires that everyone age 6 or older in a vehicle must wear a seat belt. Children are required to use approved child seats as mentioned above. The maximum penalty for failing to wear a seat belt is $25 for a first offense.

Vehicles Registered in Another State

When you drive a vehicle in South Carolina that is required to be registered in another state, you must have the type of insurance required by that state. You must be able to provide proof of this insurance to law enforcement upon request.

The Cost of Driving in South Carolina

Average South Carolina Car Insurance Rates

The average cost of car insurance in South Carolina in 2015 was $853.53 compared to a national average of $889.01. South Carolina ranks 20th for insurance expense, slightly below the national average.

Car Insurance Risk in South Carolina

Traffic Fatalities

In 2014, there were 824 traffic fatalities in South Carolina, a 7% increase from the state’s 768 traffic fatalities in 2013. Safety on the road goes a long way, so be sure to buckle up.

Crash Statistics

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety maintains a website with vehicle crash reports here: http://www.scdps.gov/ohs/stat_services.asp

Vehicle Thefts

South Carolina had 12,902 vehicle thefts reported in 2014, a 2.4% increase compared to 2013. In 2014, the vehicle theft rate was 267 per 100,000, a 1% increase from 2013.

The vehicle theft rate in the State of South Carolina is slightly higher than the overall US vehicle theft rate, which was 216.2 per 100,000 in 2014.

Top 10 Most Stolen Vehicles in South Carolina

Some cars are more prone to theft than others, so be sure to check the list below to see if your car is a target on the streets.

Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau - Hot Wheels Report 2014

  1. 2006 Ford Pickup (Full Size)
  2. 1999 Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
  3. 1996 Honda Accord
  4. 2007 Chevrolet Impala
  5. 2007 Toyota Camry
  6. 2000 Honda Civic
  7. 1995 Chevrolet Pickup (Small Size)
  8. 2001 Dodge Pickup (Full Size)
  9. 2002 Ford Explorer
  10. 2000 Ford Crown Victoria

Uninsured Drivers

The percentage of South Carolina residents estimated to be driving without insurance is 7.7%. That ranks South Carolina as #43 among US states and the District of Columbia, much better than average.

South Carolina Insurance Company Market Share

Source: Insurance Information Institute
Rank Market Share Company
1 14.4% Allstate
2 10.3% GEICO
3 9.3% Nationwide
4 8.1% USAA
5 6.8% Progressive
6 4.5% Liberty Mutual
7 3.6% SC Farm Bureau
8 3.5% Travelers
9 1.7% Auto-Owners Insurance Co.

South Carolina Division of Insurance

Website:
South Carolina DoI
Director of Insurance:
Ray Farmer
Insurance Hotline:
(800) 768-3467
Hours (Mon - Thurs):
8 am - 6:00 pm
Friday:
8 am - 5:00 pm

File a Consumer Insurance Complaint

Website:
Complaint Form

Sources:

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