Car Insurance In South Carolina

Car insurance in South Carolina are notably high, attributed to elevated fatal accident rates, making affordability a challenge. Understanding the factors affecting these rates, the mandatory insurance requirements, and potential discounts is crucial for drivers in the state.

Key Takeaways

  • South Carolina car insurance rates are influenced by the state’s high fatal accident rates.
  • Annual premiums can vary significantly depending on the type of coverage, with averages around $558 for minimum coverage and $1,512 for full coverage.

How Much Is Car Insurance In South Carolina?

Car insurance rates are notably high in South Carolina due to its elevated fatal accident rates.According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), with 19.4 deaths per 100,000 residents, it’s one of the deadliest states to drive in.

How Much Is Car Insurance In South Carolina?

Annual premiums vary significantly based on policy type, averaging $558 for minimum coverage and $1,512 for full coverage. However, these are just averages; additional factors can substantially affect your costs.

For example, drivers in accident-prone zip codes might face higher rates, while those in their 50s typically pay less than younger motorists. Consulting an insurance agent, like Freeway Insurance, can provide quotes that consider all pertinent factors. You might be pleasantly surprised by the affordability of these quotes, even with an imperfect driving history.

Minimum SC Car Insurance Coverage Requirements

South Carolina’s auto insurance mandates require every driver to meet specific minimum coverage limits:

  • Property damage: $25,000 per accident
  • Bodily injury: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
  • Uninsured motorist property damage: $25,000 per accident with a $200 deductible
  • Underinsured motorist bodily injury*: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
  • Underinsured motorist property damage*: $25,000 per accident

*Note: The option to reject underinsured motorist coverages exists.

Furthermore, it’s essential to keep proof of insurance handy in case of a traffic stop and to provide your SC auto insurance details when applying for or renewing your driver’s license.

Car Insurance Coverage Types

There are different types of coverage, including:

Car Insurance In South Carolina
  • Comprehensive Coverage: This covers damages to your vehicle from non-collision incidents.
  • Collision Coverage: It pays for damage to your vehicle when it collides with another vehicle or object, such as a tree or guardrail.
  • Better Car Replacement: In the event your car is totaled, you’ll receive funds to replace it with a model that’s one year newer.

Is There A Good Driver Discount In South Carolina?

There is a good driver discount available for Freeway Insurance customers in South Carolina. This discount is based on your clean driving record and the absence of speeding tickets or moving violations. Additionally, there are other potential discounts, including:

  1. Good Student Discounts: Offered to high school drivers with a B average or better.
  2. Defensive Driving Course Discounts: Available to those who complete a defensive driving course.
  3. Low Mileage Discounts: For policyholders who don’t drive frequently.
  4. Paperless Billing Discounts: Savings for opting for paperless billing.
  5. Bundling Discounts: Discounts for insuring multiple vehicles or policies with the same provider.
  6. Renewal Discounts: Potential discounts upon policy renewals.

To explore your specific discount options, it’s recommended to have a direct discussion with an insurance agent who can help identify all available discounts that apply to your situation.

South Carolina Insurance Laws

South Carolina car insurance laws are essential to ensure financial responsibility, protecting all parties involved in accidents by distributing the risk to well-insured insurance companies.

South Carolina Insurance Laws

Mandatory Car Insurance Requirements

South Carolina, like most states, mandates liability insurance. As an “at-fault” state, the driver causing an accident due to negligence is liable for damages. Minimum liability insurance levels include:

  • $25,000 for bodily injuries per person
  • $50,000 for bodily injuries per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident

However, these are just the state’s minimum requirements. You can opt for additional coverage based on your financial situation.

Carrying proof of insurance while driving is obligatory. Failure to do so can result in a ticket.

Factors Affecting Premiums

Various factors impact monthly insurance costs, including:

  • Personal Information: Age, gender, and marital status influence premiums.
  • Driving Record: Accidents and moving violations lead to higher costs.
  • Vehicle Use: Extensive driving may increase premiums.
  • Zip Code: Premiums vary by accident likelihood in different areas.

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

Penalties for driving without insurance depend on prior convictions:

  • First Offense: Up to 30 days in jail, fines up to $100, and license suspension.
  • Second Offense: Fine increases to $200.
  • Third and Subsequent Offenses: Fine of $500, and 45 days to six months in jail.

If you had coverage but lacked proof when stopped, leniency may apply if you can prove you were insured at the time.

In the past year, the average annual auto insurance costs in South Carolina have risen by $106. On average, a South Carolina driver now pays $1,572 per year or $131 per month for auto insurance. 

South Carolina experiences more pricing volatility compared to national averages, with significant decreases in 2012 to 2013 and the highest increase in 2016 to 2017. Since 2019, the average rate has been steadily increasing.


YearAvg. Annual Premium — South CarolinaYearly Change — South CarolinaAvg. Annual Premium — USYearly Change — US

South Carolina Teen Driver Information And Restrictions

In South Carolina, young drivers can acquire a Class D beginner’s permit at 15 years old, granting them driving privileges from 6 AM to midnight. However, during these hours, a licensed driver at least 21 years old with a minimum of one year’s driving experience must accompany them in the front seat.

From midnight to 6 AM, permit holders may operate a vehicle alone only if a licensed parent or guardian accompanies them in the front seat.

After accumulating 180 days of permit driving, they can progress to a Conditional License upon successfully passing vision and skills tests. This Conditional License permits solo driving during daylight hours and allows a maximum of two passengers under the age of 21.

Without 180 days of permit experience, the same driving time restrictions apply as for permit holders.

Teens become eligible for a regular driver’s license when they reach 17 years of age.


1. I Am A Low-Income Driver. What Can I Do About Getting Car Insurance In South Carolina?

For low-income drivers in South Carolina, securing affordable car insurance is possible through Freeway Insurance. We’re committed to offering the best coverage at the best prices.

If your top priority is minimizing monthly premiums, you can opt for a policy that meets the state’s minimum liability insurance requirements. Yet, consider that full coverage options may surprise you with their affordability.

Full coverage policies become even more cost-effective when you capitalize on the range of discounts provided by Freeway Insurance. These discounts cater to safe drivers, paperless billing enthusiasts, and more. Discuss your situation with one of our agents to discover which discounts suit you.

2. Can An Undocumented Worker Get Car Insurance In South Carolina?

Obtaining car insurance in South Carolina is not an option for undocumented workers due to state law, which bars them from obtaining driver’s licenses. Without a valid license, insurance companies cannot extend coverage.

While some states are exploring driving licenses for undocumented immigrants, such as Nevada’s Driver Authorization Card, South Carolina does not currently provide this alternative.

3. Is It Possible To Get Car Insurance In South Carolina With A Dui Mark On My Record?

Having a DUI on your record may increase your car insurance costs but does not make it impossible to secure coverage. Car insurance remains crucial, especially if you have a DUI conviction.

A DUI conviction places you in the “high-risk” category of drivers, necessitating additional insurance coverage. South Carolina law mandates obtaining an SR-22 to legally drive.

An SR-22 is not an insurance policy, but rather a certification from an insurance company to the state’s department of motor vehicles. It certifies that you have insurance coverage for high-risk drivers. If you fail to make premium payments, your insurer is obligated to notify the state that you are no longer covered.

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