Car insurance in South Carolina

Getting cheap auto insurance in South Carolina

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You might think that getting car insurance is all the same no matter where you go. But coverage requirements and overall costs can vary a lot based on your location alone, and the level of coverage that works in one state can be entirely different from another.

If you plan to drive in South Carolina, you’ll need to carry a minimum level of liability coverage. You’ll also have the option to carry additional protection on your policy, which might better protect you, your vehicle, your passengers and your fellow travelers on the road. Shopping around may allow you to find insurance cheaper than South Carolina’s average annual car insurance cost of around $1,300.

South Carolina

Car insurance quick facts


Minimum liability requirements


Average annual car insurance cost


Days to update your license

At-fault state

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

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Compare South Carolina car insurance providers

Name Product Roadside assistance New car protection Accident forgiveness Safe driver discount Available states
All 50 states
Get a quote online in minutes and find some of the lowest rates and wide coverage options for almost any driver.
Available in 30 states
Safe, low-mileage drivers could save up to 52% by tracking their driving in the app.
The AARP Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford
All 50 states & DC
Enjoy exclusive savings and benefits designed for drivers over the age of 54.
Liberty Mutual
All 50 states
Build a policy online or with local agent support, with features like better car replacement and accident forgiveness.
All 50 states
Upload your current bill and get 20+ quotes from top brands for the same level of coverage.
All states except AK, DE, HI, MT, NH, VT, WY
Convenient online quotes, coverage and claims for tech-savvy drivers.
All 50 states
Enjoy having your own dedicated agent to help you get the best discounts and coverage.
All 50 states
Choose from add-ons like glass repair services and new car replacement to enhance basic coverage.

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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%

Average car insurance costs in South Carolina

Most drivers in South Carolina can expect to pay about the national average, which was somewhere between $1,200 and $1,300 annually in 2017. This is quite a bit more than in the cheapest state, Maine, where coverage averaged around $900 a year, but it’s much cheaper than Michigan, the most expensive state in the country for auto insurance. Michigan’s drivers paid on average more than $2,300 a year in 2017.

What’s more, your costs are likely to change based on where you are in the state. City driving comes with additional risks for traffic accidents, theft and vandalism. If you live in downtown Charleston or Columbia, you can expect to pay more for your coverage than if you lived in Bluffton or Travelers Rest.

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

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Car insurance quotes in Goose Creek

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Car insurance quotes in Simpsonville

CompanyAnnual car insurance rate

Car insurance quotes in Lexington

CompanyAnnual car insurance rate

State minimum requirements in South Carolina

To legally drive in South Carolina, you’ll need insurance that includes at least:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person.
  • $50,000 total for bodily injury or death per accident.
  • $25,000 for property damage.

When you’re shopping for coverage, you might see these minimums expressed as 25/50/25.

Additional requirements: Uninsured motorist insurance

South Carolina also requires you to carry coverage for uninsured motorists, so that you’re protected in a hit-and-run scenario or a crash with someone who doesn’t have enough coverage. The amounts you’ll need for this coverage are the same as your typical liability insurance: 25/50/25.

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.

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