Almost all of the states in the U. S. require their drivers to carry car insurance. South Carolina is no exception. When you get caught operating your motor vehicle without the proper insurance coverage it can lead not only to violations, but also huge out of pocket expenses to cover any of the associated costs after a road traffic accident. So don’t disregard this essential component of your life as a driver. Make sure you learn more about how the South Carolina car insurance laws work. To get even more info on car insurance, go here.

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Average cost of car insurance in South Carolina

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) claim that the average person pays roughly $794.40 for car insurance in South Carolina each year.

They broke this figure down to:

$495.96 is the average annual liability insurance expenditure.

$242.85 is the average annual collision insurance expenditure.

$165.41 is the average annual comprehensive insurance expenditure.

Young Drivers in South Carolina

Our methodology1 revealed that the Palmetto State offers a young driver with a yearly premium average of:

  • $1486.8 for state minimum coverage2,
  • $2702.8 for basic full coverage3 and
  • $3638.8 for premium full coverage4.

Age is one of the greatest influencers of car insurance premiums. Typically, new and teen drivers all over the country face the highest rates because statistically, they are more prone to getting into accidents. This is why insurance companies regard them as high-risk drivers, which in turn, leads to the considerable gap in pricing.

Female Drivers in South Carolina

In SC, a female driver can expect to pay an average of:

  • $699.2 for state minimum coverage,
  • $1105.2 for basic full coverage and
  • $1500.8 for premium full coverage.

Our case study indicated that the City of Columbia, with an estimated population of 133,803 (2015, latest data5) has one of the best premiums for women. A female driver living here can have insurance for as low as $32 a month.

Senior Drivers in South Carolina

In general, insurance costs increase again by the age of 65. However, we found that senior drivers who keep their record spotless can have the best premiums of all three types of motorists.  Our study discovered that a senior can expect to pay an average of only:

  • $612.4 for state minimum coverage,
  • $1050.4 for basic full coverage and
  • $1418 for premium full coverage.

Older adults can reduce their expenditures even more with the completion of a defensive driving program. They can also save money when they qualify for other discounts available to senior drivers.

Minimum car insurance requirements

Because you don’t want to encounter any legal issue to arise when driving an automobile in SC, make sure you buy and maintain even just the required minimums for both liability insurance and uninsured motorist insurance coverage.

The liability coverage portion of your policy helps pay for bodily injuries as well as property damages or losses you cause other people after a road accident. To ensure you comply with the state regulations, make sure you maintain these coverage minimums: $25,000/person bodily injury (including death) coverage, $50,000/accident total bodily injury/death (for accidents that result in more than a single victim) coverage, and $25,000/accident property damage coverage.

For the uninsured motorist insurance coverage, you need to have, at the very least, these minimums: $25,000/person bodily injury (including death) coverage, $50,000/accident total bodily injury/death (for accidents that result in more than a single victim) coverage, and $25,000/accident property damage coverage.

Although maintaining these lawfully required minimums will no longer subject you to motor vehicle insurance-related violations and penalties, you should still consider expanding your policy. There are several other coverage types you can opt for, including collision coverage, medical payments coverage, comprehensive coverage, rental reimbursement coverage, as well as towing and labor coverage.

Violations and Penalties 

When law enforcement officers catch you in the act of operating a motor vehicle even though you don’t meet the state’s auto insurance laws, you would have to pay $550. Both your license and registration will remain suspended until you make this payment and you deliver proof of insurance.

Driving safety in South Carolina

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 91% of motorists and front-seat passengers in South Carolina wear their seatbelts. This is higher than the 86% national average.

The National Highway Safety Administration shared the results of its driving fatality assessment for SC: 977 casualties occurred in 2015, with 301 of them (31%) involving alcohol impaired drivers.

This has put the overall vehicle occupant death rate in the state at 12.0 per 100,000 residents, as the CDC further reported.

Final thoughts

Ethically speaking, there are two primary reasons you should always have your South Carolina insurance policy up to date. First, is because you are legally required to do so. Second, you want to make sure that you provide the people who might become victims of a car accident you may cause with the compensation they deserve.

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licensed drivers in South Carolina, 2014
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privately insured vehicles in South Carolina

Source: StatistaInsurance Information Institute

1Methodology: To achieve accurate results we obtained estimates for 10 cities in the state: 5 of the largest cities and 5 randomly picked smaller cities. For each city, we collected premiums for 3 levels of coverage: state minimum coverage, basic full coverage and premium full coverage. We used 3 different driver profiles for the case studies. For the young driver profile we used a 20-year-old single male or female with 1 year driving experience. Second, the profile fit that of a 35-year-old married female with 12 years of driving experience. The last profile we used in our studies is a male senior driver who was 68-year-old with 45 years of driving experience. The vehicle we used for all three driver profiles was a 2012 Honda Accord EX.
2State minimum coverage includes the minimum liability insurance limits required in your state but excludes the following:
  • No Collision and Comprehensive Coverage
  • No Towing Coverage
  • No Rental Car Coverage
  • No Full Glass Coverage
3Basic full coverage includes:
  • $50,000 Bodily Injury Liability Per Person/$100,000 Per Accident
  • $25,000 Property Damage Liability
  • $50,000 Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage Per Person/$100,000 Per Accident
  • $25,000 Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage
  • $750 Deductible Collision And Comprehensive Coverage
  • $50 Towing Coverage
  • No Rental Reimbursement Coverage
  • No Full Glass Coverage
4Premium full coverage includes:
  • $250,000 Bodily Injury Liability Per Person / $500,000 Per Accident
  • $100,000 Property Damage Liability
  • $250,000 Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage Per Person / $500,000 Per Accident
  • $100,000 Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage
  • $250 Deductible Comprehensive Coverage And No Deductible Collision Coverage
  • $75 Towing Coverage
  • $30/day Rental Reimbursement, Max Of $900
  • Full Glass Coverage
5Latest data: The U.S. census is conducted every 10 years as per requirement of the United States Constitution. The 23rd edition and the latest data is the 2010 United States Census. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_United_States_Census
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