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Compare car insurance in South Carolina

Get the cheapest car insurance in South Carolina for 2021

South Carolina drivers pay an average of $1,227.54 per year for car insurance according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), that’s about $102.30 per month. South Carolina drivers pay about 7% more than the countrywide national average of $1,189.64.

The NAIC takes into account all car insurance policies within the state such as drivers who select only state minimum coverage, as well as policies that include various levels of comprehensive and collision coverage. Because car insurance rates are influenced by personal factors, you could find yourself paying significantly less.

South Carolina car insurance quick facts

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Minimum liability requirements


Average annual car insurance cost according to the NAIC


At-fault state

In at fault states, the driver who caused the accident pays for damages.

South Carolina state minimum car insurance requirements

Drivers in South Carolina are required to carry a minimum amount of liability coverage to legally drive. You may see it written as 25/50/25, but we’ll break down what that means.

    Bodily Injury Liability

    South Carolina bodily injury liability

    • $25,000 bodily injury liability per person
    • $50,000 bodily injury per accident

    South Carolina requires $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person and $50,000 of bodily injury per accident to legally drive. That’s right in line with what most states across the US require for this coverage.

    This means $25,000 is the most your insurer will pay for a single person injured by you in an at-fault accident. And $50,000 is the maximum amount your insurer will pay if there is more than one person injured by you in an at-fault accident. Any costs outside of your bodily injury limit are required to come out of your pocket.

    Property damage liability

    South Carolina property damage liability

    • $25,000 property damage liability

    South Carolina requires drivers to carry $25,000 of property damage liability to legally drive. This is the highest required property damage limit, but fairly common among the states.

    This means $25,000 is the maximum amount your car insurance company will pay towards damages you cause to another person’s car or property, such as repairs to a car, fence or building. You’ll have to pay out of pocket for any costs beyond your property damage liability limit.

    Uninsured or underinsured motorist

    South Carolina uninsured motorist

    • $25,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
    • $50,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
    • $25,000 uninsured property damage liability

    South Carolina requires all drivers to carry $25,000 of uninsured motorist bodily injury per person, $50,000 of uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident and $25,000 of uninsured property damage liability to legally drive. Near half of the states across the US require some sort of uninsured motorist coverage, though some other states let you opt-out.

    This coverage protects you if you get hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver. It pays for damages to your car or medical bills for you and your passengers.

    Finder tip: South Carolina state minimum coverage isn’t enough

    These state-mandated requirements are the lowest amount of coverage you need to legally drive in South Carolina, but may fall short if you’re in a major accident. To avoid high out-of-pocket costs after an accident, consider raising your liability limits by balancing coverage, your budget and what you can afford to pay out of pocket for specific damage.

    7 factors that affect car insurance rates in South Carolina

    Factor / How it affects your rates

    Age. The older you are and the longer you’ve been behind the wheel equates to lower rates. The drivers who pay the highest premiums are teen drivers and drivers in their early 20s. In South Carolina, this is true regardless of location or insurer.

    Gender. Generally speaking, men will pay more for car insurance than women. Women typically drive less, drive slower and stay closer to home when they do hit the road, and so experience fewer road-related events. Overall, men pay approximately 5% more than women for car insurance annually.

    Location. Where you live in South Carolina is a consideration when calculating insurance rates. While it’s typical for drivers in larger cities to pay higher premiums than those in smaller centers, it’s not necessarily the case in the Palmetto state. Studies show that drivers in Summerville — with a population of slightly over 53,000 people — pay higher rates than those located in the capital city of Columbia, population 133,500.

    Hilton Head Island pay the lowest premiums in the state at approximately $1,360, 13.5 % lower than the statewide average rate of $1,576.

    Driving record. Your history on the road greatly affects your insurance rates. And keeping your record clean is one of the main ways drivers can control how much they’ll pay — the cleaner your record, the lower your premiums.

    Generally, drivers with no infractions pay about $1,540. Those with speeding violations will pay on average $1,820 — 17% more than those with a clean record. Drivers with one car accident pay even more at $2,210, and those with a DUI may the most at $2,230 annually.

    Vehicle and mileage. Your car model and series level combined with how much you drive will affect your insurance rates in South Carolina. High-powered and high-performance vehicles, and vehicles with aftermarket modifications will cause your insurance to spike.

    Typically, drivers who drive less in South Carolina will pay lower rates than those who travel the distance. Interestingly, in South Carolina, drivers who are on the road for 6,000 miles a year pay around $1,500 annually. But drivers who travel double the miles a year pay only a marginal difference of $1,540, on average.

    Credit score. The Insurance Information Institute states there is a strong correlation between lower credit scores and higher insurance claim submissions. A good credit rating and better can net you the lowest car insurance rates.

    Studies show that drivers in South Carolina with good credit can get rates on average around $1,540. Those with fair credit rank at $1,830 annually, and drivers with poor credit scores are assessed to pay approximately $2,600 per year.

    Coverage. The more coverage you have, the more protected you’ll be — and the higher the premiums you’ll pay. And the minimum coverage required in South Carolina is likely not enough to cover everything in the event of a collision, and you could pay for expenses out of pocket.

    South Carolina rates for low coverage average out at $1,420 and medium coverage sits at $1,540, whereas high coverage premiums ring in at $1,690.

    Most popular South Carolina auto insurance companies list

    CompanyDirect premiums written (billions)Market share
    State Farm$982,28122.5%
    Liberty Mutual$220,6025.10%
    Southern Farm Bureau$142,6263.30%
    Auto-Owners Insurance$87,4012%

    Which city has the cheapest car insurance in South Carolina?

    Of South Carolina’s largest cities, Simpsonville has the cheapest rates and Lexington has the most expensive car insurance rates. Lexington drivers could face rates seven times more than Simpsonville drivers.

    Car insurance quotes in Summerville

    CompanyAnnual car insurance rate

    Car insurance quotes in Rock Hill

    CompanyAnnual car insurance rate

    Car insurance quotes in Goose Creek

    CompanyAnnual car insurance rate

    Car insurance quotes in Simpsonville

    CompanyAnnual car insurance rate

    Car insurance quotes in Lexington

    CompanyAnnual car insurance rate

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    Can I get SR-22 insurance in South Carolina?

    Yes, you can get an SR-22 in South Carolina, which is a document your insurance company files with the state that proves you have the minimum liability coverage needed to get behind the wheel. You might need this kind of coverage if you’ve gotten a DUI or if you’re caught driving without the minimum car insurance required by the state.

    Bottom line

    To best protect yourself, your vehicle and others on the road in South Carolina, you’ll want to find a car insurance policy that works for your needs and your budget. The good news is that you have a lot of options, and by shopping around and comparing rates, you’re sure to find a terrific value.

    To learn more about these topics, from state laws and requirements to discounts and savings, read our comprehensive guide to car insurance.

    Frequently asked questions about car insurance in South Carolina

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