Average cost of car insurance in South Carolina for 2021

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In South Carolina, the average cost of car insurance is $558 per year for minimum state liability coverage while full coverage is $1,512 annually. South Carolina law requires drivers to carry state minimum liability limits to register and drive a car on the roads. As the second-highest state for car crash fatalities, drivers in South Carolina should consider purchasing enough coverage to protect them and their families financially in the event of an accident.

When purchasing car insurance in South Carolina and other states, price is often a deciding factor in choosing the right car insurance company. By shopping for several quotes with different insurance companies, drivers can determine which company offers the broadest coverage for the best price.

How much does car insurance cost in South Carolina?

The price each driver pays for car insurance rates in South Carolina is determined by a number of factors. Which ZIP code you live in, your age, driving record, make and model of the vehicle and coverages needed all matter when purchasing car insurance. Rates for South Carolina are just below the average cost of car insurance in the U.S., which is $565 for state minimum liability coverage and $1,674 for full coverage per year.

South Carolina car insurance rates by company

As you can see by the table below, the cost of auto insurance in South Carolina varies by carrier, even when using the same driving profile. When trying to find the best and cheapest car insurance in South Carolina, shopping for multiple quotes is usually the easiest way to find a company for your car insurance needs.

Car insurance company Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
American National $227 $505
Geico $396 $1,203
Auto-Owners $424 $1,342
Allstate $433 $1,379
Travelers $460 $1,141
USAA $507 $1,447
Southern Farm Bureau $568 $1,391
Nationwide $585 $1,326
Progressive $598 $1,404
State Farm $616 $1,457
Farmers $1,138 $2,781
American Independent $1,472 $4,292

South Carolina car insurance rates by city

To give an idea of how car insurance costs differ by city in South Carolina, we analyzed quotes from the top 20 cities in the state by population. The table below outlines the average annual premium for full coverage and the percentage difference based on the state average of $1,512 per year.

City Average annual premium for full coverage % difference from state average annual premium
Columbia $1,547 2%
Charleston $1,626 8%
Greenville $1,410 -7%
North Charleston $1,617 7%
Summerville $1,555 3%
Florence $1,680 11%
Rock Hill $1,514 0%
Spartanburg $1,392 -8%
Myrtle Beach $1,428 -6%
Anderson $1,328 -12%
Lexington $1,451 -4%
Greer $1,307 -14%
Mount Pleasant $1,512 0%
Aiken $1,284 -15%
Sumter $1,633 8%
Fort Mill $1,372 -9%
Conway $1,664 10%
Goose Creek $1,537 2%
Easley $1,295 -14%
Greenwood $1,310 -13%

South Carolina car insurance rates by age

Car insurance rates also change by age, with younger, inexperienced drivers paying the most for auto insurance. In South Carolina, drivers in the 50- and 60-year-old age group pay the least amount per year for car insurance on average.

Age Average annual premium in South Carolina
Age 16* $2,140
Age 18 $5,331
Age 20 $3,726
Age 25 $1,920
Age 30 $1,626
Age 40 $1,542
Age 50 $1,379
Age 60 $1,350
Age 70 $1,479

*16 year old calculated on parent’s policy disclosure

South Carolina car insurance rates by driving record

No matter what state you live in, cheap car insurance rates are easier to find for drivers without tickets and accidents on their driving record. Drivers in South Carolina with a speeding ticket pay on average 19% annually more than drivers without a ticket. If you get into an at-fault accident, you will see on average a 42% increase in your auto insurance premiums. Getting a DUI in South Carolina will cause rates to go up by about 70%.

Driving incident Average annual full coverage premium in South Carolina % increase of average annual premium
Speeding ticket $1,806 19%
Accident $2,156 42%
DUI $2,566 70%

How to save on car insurance in South Carolina

When shopping for car insurance in South Carolina, there are a few ways you may be able to save on coverage costs. Finding affordable auto insurance rates may be harder if you have a ticket, accident or DUI on your record, but using these tips may help you get cheaper coverage too:

  • Do an annual review: If you have not reviewed your car insurance policy within the last year, you could be leaving valuable savings on the table. Review your policy with your insurance agent to make sure you only have coverages you need and nothing you do not.
  • Get multiple quotes: If you do not want to change coverage but want more affordable car insurance rates, shopping around for quotes and switching carriers may be the way to go. Compare the same coverages with all companies to know which one offers the best rates for the coverage you need.
  • Increase a deductible: The higher your deductible is, the lower the car insurance rate, but that does not mean it is the best option for everyone. If you choose to go with a higher deductible, make sure you can pay the full amount out-of-pocket in case you have to file a claim in the future.
  • Know rates before you buy a car: One mistake people can make when purchasing a new car is focusing only on the monthly car payment and not factoring in the cost of car insurance. When shopping for cars, get quotes to compare different makes and models to determine what you can truly afford.
  • Take advantage of discounts: Most car insurance discounts are stackable so the savings can really add up if you qualify for several. By bundling auto and home, allowing the insurance company to track your driving habits and paying in full, you may be able to reduce your car insurance rates to save more money.

Frequently asked questions

Who has the cheapest car insurance in South Carolina?

Rates for car insurance vary by carrier and individual driving profiles. To find the cheapest car insurance options in South Carolina for your specific needs, shop with several companies to compare quotes with the same coverage.

How much is car insurance per month in SC?

On average, drivers in South Carolina pay $126 per month for full coverage car insurance. For drivers with state minimum liability coverage, the average driver pays $46.50 per month. These rates are based on a driver with a clean driving record and may be different from the rates you are offered by South Carolina auto insurance companies.

Do you need car insurance in South Carolina?

Yes, South Carolina requires drivers in the state to carry minimum liability car insurance coverage. Drivers must carry at least 25/50/25, which is $25,000 per person for bodily injury, $50,000 for all people for bodily injury and $25,000 for property damage liability. Auto insurance companies are required to offer the same limits for uninsured motorist coverage but you are not required to buy it.

Is SC a no-fault car insurance state?

No, South Carolina is an at-fault car insurance state, meaning fault is determined based on the circumstances of the accident. Whoever is deemed at fault is responsible to pay for the other person’s injuries and property damage which is why drivers are encouraged by licensed insurance agents to purchase as much auto insurance coverage they can afford.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Age: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the ages 18-60 (base: 40 years) applied.

Incident: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket, single DUI conviction and lapse in coverage.