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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

25/50/25

Average annual car insurance cost according to the NAIC

$1,277.54

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 the required coverage written as 25/50/25, but we’ll break down what that means.

    Bodily Injury Liability

    Bodily injury liability: 25/50

    • $25,000 for injuries to one person
    • $50,000 for injuries to multiple people per accident

    These dollar figures mean that $25,000 is the most your insurance company will pay for a single person that you injure in an at-fault accident. And $50,000 is the maximum your insurer will pay for more than one person that you injure. Any costs outside of this coverage will come out of your pocket.

    Property damage liability

    Property damage liability: 25

    • $25,000 to pay for someone else’s car or property damage

    This coverage means that $25,000 is the maximum amount your car insurance company will pay toward damages that you cause to another person’s car or property. Example include repairs to a car, fence or building.

    This is the highest required property damage limit, but fairly common among the states.

    Uninsured or underinsured motorist

    Uninsured/underinsured motorist: 25/50/25

    • $25,000 for injuries to one person in your car
    • $50,000 for injuries to multiple people in your car
    • $25,000 for your car damage by an uninsured driver

    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.

    Nearly half of the states across the US require some sort of uninsured motorist coverage, though some other states let you opt-out.

    Optional coverage to consider in South Carolina

    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.

    CoverageDescriptionConsider this coverage if
    Higher liability coverage limitsPays for someone else’s property damage or medical bills if you cause an accident
    • State minimum liability coverage won’t completely replace someone’s car or pay legal costs.
    • You have many assets.
    CollisionIf you want your vehicle’s damages to be covered in the event of a car accident, look into collision coverage.
    • You commute to work.
    • You drive in heavy traffic
    • You don’t have the funds to replace/repair your car suddenly.
    • You have a car loan and your lender requires it.
    ComprehensiveStep in when theft, storm damage like tornadoes or hurricanes, or animals strikes occur. Without this coverage, unpredictable events like these aren’t covered, and you’d be left to pay for the damages.

    Also, South Carolina sees 282 thefts per 100,000 people, as reported by Statista.

    • Severe weather rolls through your area.
    • You heavily rely on your vehicle.
    • You don’t have extra cash to cover costly repairs or replace your car.
    • You live in an area with a high theft rate.
    • You’re financing and your lender requires it.

    Cheapest rates by age in South Carolina

    You’ll pay a pretty penny for your own car insurance policy if you’re a young driver under 25. USAA may the best deal in this age group.

    USAA also offers the lowest rate for other ages, although you may want to cross-check with Progressive and Geico.

    AgeAllstateProgressiveGeicoUSAA
    16-24$239.74$239.26$280.02$224.73
    25-34$213.03$178.44$169.07$152.06
    35-44$169.59$166.17$155.84$151.53
    45-54$171.93$144.04$134.88$111.99
    55-64$154.80$130.67$118.43

    Cheapest rates by gender in South Carolina

    Costs between men and women don’t differ much in South Carolina. In this sample, Progressive offers the lowest rate to men, while USAA gives the lowest price for women.

    CompanyAllstateProgressiveGeicoUSAA
    Men$187.60$163.81$171.33$164.40
    Women$199.99$161.04$184.02$155.75

    Sample rates in South Carolina from major car insurance companies

    Progressive’s and USAA’s rates stay neck and neck in South Carolina. You may want quotes from both companies to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

    We base this cost information on sample quotes from Savvy.

    CompanyAllstateProgressiveGeicoUSAA
    Rate$194.36$162.55$177.67$160.08

    7 factors that affect car insurance rates in South Carolina

    Factors are characteristics specific to you that car insurance companies use to set how much you’ll pay for car insurance. The less risky each of your factors is the less you pay, the riskier you are the more you’ll pay. We’ll break down South Carolinian’s rating factors to keep in mind.

    FactorHow it affects your rates
    Age

    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

    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

    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.

    Vehicle and mileage

    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

    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

    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.

    Driving Record

    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.

    Do I need SR-22 insurance in South Carolina?

    South Carolina can require a driver with serious violations to file an SR-22, 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 may be required to file an SR-22 if you’ve gotten a DUI or if you’re caught driving without the minimum car insurance required by the state. Your SCDMV will let you know if it’s required to reinstate your license. Typically, South Carolina requires SR-22 drivers to maintain the coverage for a minimum of three years, but this can depend on the offense. Learn more about SR-22 insurance in South Carolina.

    Top 10 auto insurance companies in USA that serve South Carolina

    We’ve pulled the top 10 companies by market share that offer coverage in South Carolina according to S&P Global. Compare top companies by three major rating agencies along with our overall score.

    • Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating measures how a business interacts with its customers, with the highest rating being A++.
    • J.D. Power determines customers’ overall satisfaction with their car insurer’s price, billing, claims and customer support. The higher the J.D. Power score out of 1,000, the better.
    • NAIC complaint index shows how a company’s number of complaints compares to similar companies of its size. Scores lower than 1.00 show the company receives less than the average number of complaints, and scores above 1.00 show more complaints than average.
    • Finder’s score shows you an overall look at the company by taking into account scores from each of these agencies as well as the coverage and discounts each company offers.
    Provider
    BBB Rating
    JD Power Rating
    NAIC complaint ratio
    National market share %
    Finder score
    Go to site
    State Farm
    A+
    847/1000
    1.93
    16.2

    ★★★★★ 4/5

    Read review

    Geico
    A+
    832/1000
    1.42
    13.6

    ★★★★★ 4/5

    Read review

    Progressive
    A+
    830/1000
    1.05
    13.3

    ★★★★★ 4/5

    Get Quotes
    Allstate
    A+
    827/1000
    2.71
    10.4

    ★★★★★ 4/5

    Read review

    USAA
    A+
    884/1000
    1.9
    6.3

    ★★★★★ 4/5

    Get Quotes
    Farmers
    A-
    820/1000
    1.64
    4.9

    ★★★★★ 4/5

    Read review

    Liberty Mutual
    A+
    827/1000
    2.2
    4.7

    ★★★★★ 4/5

    Get Quotes
    Nationwide
    A+
    814/1000
    2.08
    2.3

    ★★★★★ 4/5

    Read review

    Travelers
    A+
    820/1000
    3.28
    2

    ★★★★★ 4/5

    Read review

    Kemper
    A+
    784/1000
    6.42
    1.5

    ★★★★★ 3/5

    Read review

    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
    Allstate$2681
    Farmers$7393
    Metromile$1764
    SafeAuto$1184
    Progressive$2215

    Car insurance quotes in Rock Hill

    CompanyAnnual car insurance rate
    Allstate$2304
    Farmers$7009
    Metromile$1573
    SafeAuto$1146
    Progressive$1962

    Car insurance quotes in Goose Creek

    CompanyAnnual car insurance rate
    Allstate$2681
    Farmers$7317
    Metromile$1764
    SafeAuto$1250
    Progressive$2222

    Car insurance quotes in Simpsonville

    CompanyAnnual car insurance rate
    Allstate$2520
    Farmers$6462
    Metromile$1510
    SafeAuto$1069
    Progressive$1882

    Car insurance quotes in Lexington

    CompanyAnnual car insurance rate
    Allstate$2518
    Farmers$7635
    Metromile$1684
    SafeAuto$1148
    Progressive$2390

    Compare car insurance providers in South Carolina

    Name Product Gap insurance Homeowner discount Telematics Has an app? Available states
    AARP Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford
    Yes
    Yes
    TrueLane®
    No
    All 50 states
    Enjoy low rates for mature drivers, plus perks like new car replacement and lifetime repair guarantees. Only for drivers over age 50.
    The Zebra
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    All 50 states
    Progressive
    loan/lease coverage
    Yes
    Snapshot
    Yes
    All 50 states & DC
    Discover coverage that’s broader than competitors, valuable discounts up to 30% off and perks like shrinking deductibles that reward no claims.
    Pretected
    Yes
    Depends on provider
    No
    No
    All 50 states
    Get your most compatible insurance options via a "smart matching" method aimed at finding you value.
    USAA
    No
    Yes
    SafePilot
    Yes
    All 50 states & DC
    Affordable car insurance with highly rated customer service. Only available to military members and veterans and their family.
    Branch
    Yes
    No
    Yes
    Yes
    AZ, CO, IL, IN, MD, MO, OH, OK, TX and WI
    Benefit from this online-based startup’s steep savings and convenient online quotes and claims.
    Quinstreet - Insure.com
    Quinstreet - Insure.com
    Yes
    Depends on provider
    Depends on provider
    Depends on provider
    All 50 states
    Savvy
    Yes
    Depends on provider
    No
    Yes
    All states & DC
    Get quotes in 30-seconds from 100+ companies, and save an average of $800 or more per year. Requires online login to your existing insurance.
    Liberty Mutual
    Yes
    Yes
    RightTrack
    Yes
    All 50 states & DC
    Earn free accident forgiveness after five years claims-free and customize your policy anytime.
    Elephant
    loan/lease coverage
    Yes
    No
    No
    GA, IL, IN, MD, OH, TN, TX, VA
    Get a great deal online with steep discounts and some of the highest liability limits available.
    Allied
    Yes
    Yes
    Nationwide SmartRide
    No
    AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MD, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NM, NC, ND, OH, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI& WY
    Finding the right auto insurance doesn’t have to be confusing. Allied Insurance has a network of independent agents to help you get customized coverage for your unique needs.
    AAA
    Yes
    Yes
    No
    Yes
    Alaska, Arizona, California, Montana, Nevada, Utah & Wyoming
    Member benefits extend beyond car insurance to offer discounts, bike coverage and more. For drivers in Alaska, Arizona, California, Montana, Nevada, Utah & Wyoming.
    Sigo Seguros
    Sigo Seguros
    No
    Yes
    No
    Yes
    Texas
    Sigo Seguors is an online-based car insurance company catering to the Spanish-speaking community. Texans can get a free quote and sign up online in minutes.
    Commercialinsurance.net
    Commercialinsurance.net
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    All states except AK & HI
    loading

    Compare up to 4 providers

    In South Carolina, the driver at fault pays for damage

    South Carolina is an at-fault state, which means that the driver who caused the car accident pays for the damage. Your insurance company and legal authorities will determine who’s at fault, based on the accident details.

    However, South Carolina also considers whether both drivers are partially at fault under a modified comparative fault law, according to the legal website Nolo. Under this law, both drivers are assigned a percentage of fault. Drivers with less than 50% of fault can get reimbursed for their damage from other drivers.

    For example, if you’re 80% responsible for an accident, your insurance will pay 80% of the other driver’s damages. However, since you’re more than 50% at fault, the other driver isn’t required to pay for your damages.

    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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