The average cost of car insurance varies state-by-state, but based off Bankrate’s research of average rates by various providers in South Carolina, drivers in this state can expect to pay around $529 a year for minimum coverage, and $1,427 yearly for full coverage.
Compared to other states, these are not the most competitive, nor the steepest rates in the nation.
South Carolina drivers pay more than other states for a few reasons. First and foremost, it has a lot of licensed drivers crowding the roads; 3,683,824 according to the Federal Highway Administration’s latest report. And with so many drivers on the road, there are a high corresponding number of traffic fatalities each year. In 2018 alone, South Carolina lost 1,036 people to roadside collisions. It should come as no surprise then that there were a total of 142,406 auto insurance claims in that year as well. However, finding competitive rates in South Carolina is still possible if you research options and compare quotes.
The Cheapest Car Insurance in South Carolina
Finding the cheapest car insurance in South Carolina often boils down to which national company offers the best discounts. Smaller companies are sometimes able to compete, but more often than not they can’t compete with the prices of a national provider nor the savings they offer via discounts. This is the case with South Carolina.
On average, the following five companies offer South Carolinians the lowest annual premiums:
|Car Insurance Company||Average Annual Premium for Minimum Coverage||Average Annual Premium for Full Coverage|
Because of its size, Geico is able to offer the cheapest auto insurance in South Carolina for basic liability, even aside from its extensive list of discounts. With discounts, many people will see the above numbers go down even further, since Geico’s discounts offer significant savings. For example, if you insure multiple vehicles through Geico, you can save up to 25% on your premium. Have a full-front seat air bag system in your car? You could save an additional 40%. The list of available discounts is extensive, and can give you a good idea what to expect based on what you’ll qualify for.
Allstate is a national company that consistently receives positive ratings from companies like J.D. Power (an independent company that measures customer satisfaction). This is a significant advantage, in conjunction with all of the ways you can lower your premium with Allstate. One of those options is to join Allstate’s Safe Driving Club. Through the Safe Driving Club, Allstate analyzes your driving habits and will provide a monthly discount based on positive driving data.
Although Auto Owners may not be as well known as some of the other companies on this list, it’s certainly worth consideration. Auto-Owners offers a host of discounts to help you save on your auto insurance, but the ones that stand out the most revolve around students. If you or your student maintains a ‘B’ average, you could save up to 20% each month. Sign up for the teen monitoring discount and Auto Owners will give you a discount each month, based on GPS-tracked safe driving practices
USAA is only available to active and retired military members, as well as their immediate family. If this applies to you, you’re in luck. USAA is considered to be one of the best insurance companies in the nation. It offers extremely low premiums to its members, and consistently scores top marks in J.D. Power studies.
The only downside to USAA is that it doesn’t offer that much in the way of discounts, but the ones it does offer are easily obtainable and highly applicable to military personnel. USAA offers a few discounts that help out service members who are currently deployed. For example, if your car is garaged, you can save up to 15% on a comprehensive policy.
Travelers may be the highest when it comes to basic liability rates, but it’s the lowest when it comes to average full coverage premiums. In addition to competitive full coverage rates, Travelers also provides numerous discounts to leverage for even more savings. Many of the discounts are standard, but a few that stand out as unique.
For example, if you have no gaps in your insurance, Travelers will give you a 15% discount. Hybrid vehicle drivers may also qualify for special discounts. Another noteworthy discount is the IntelliDrive Program, which uses a smartphone app to monitor your driving behavior. After 90 days of consistent use Travelers will give you a discount up to 20%, depending on your driving practices.
Affordable Coverage for South Carolina Drivers
The minimum amount of liability South Carolina drivers need is 25/50/25. This represents the following:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury/death
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury/death
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
The question every South Carolina driver needs to ask themselves is what level of coverage is enough. Unfortunately, it’s quite easy to end up in a situation where minimum coverage is inadequate. For example, a new Ford 350 XLT costs around $45,000, brand new. If you were to total such a truck, that would leave you responsible for the remaining $20,000. Your insurance company would pay $25,000 (minus your deductible) and you would be expected to pay for the remaining amount out-of-pocket.
It’s generally recommended to purchase as much liability as you can comfortably afford.
How to Get Cheap Car Insurance in South Carolina?
The best way to find cheap car insurance in South Carolina is to first shop around. Insurance companies all utilize different pricing algorithms, which is why it’s so common to get entirely different quotes from two companies.
After you received multiple quotes, you’ll next want to compare the discounts that each offers. Take note of the ones that are applicable to you, and calculate how much of an impact they would have on your premium. If the provider doesn’t advertise how much you would save with a particular discount, contact an agent to find out.
Another option to lower your premium is to opt for a higher deductible. The key drawback to this is that you would receive less of a payout if and when you get into an accident, plus you would have to be prepared to cover more costs up front out of your own pocket. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to have some money set aside in savings if you choose a high deductible.
Lastly, keep in mind that your credit score often plays a role in the pricing of your premium. This is because there is a historical correlation between people with lower credit scores having more accidents and receiving more speeding tickets. In most states that factor in credit, if you raise your credit score, the cost of your auto insurance can be reduced.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best car insurance in South Carolina?
The Best Car Insurance in South Carolina depends on the priorities of each driver. Researching options, comparing quotes and discovering discounts are all ways to find the best provider for you.
What is the average cost of car insurance in the U.S.?
According to the Insurance Information Institute’s last study (2017), the average annual cost of basic liability in the U.S. was $611.12. In South Carolina, it was $645.39 a year, making it the 16th most expensive state in the country.
Is South Carolina a no-fault state?
No, South Carolina is not a no-fault state, which is why every driver should strongly consider purchasing more than basic liability.
Does South Carolina have a lot of uninsured drivers?
Not compared to the rest of the country. As of III’s last study, South Carolina only had an uninsured rate of 9.4%.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 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 cleaning 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 sample drivers own a 2018 Honda Accord, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes may be different.