Driving off the lot with your new car, a world of opportunities will appear before your eyes. Perhaps you should explore Ace Basin National Wildlife Refuge or treat the family to a summer vacation on Hilton Head Island. Maybe you just want to decorate your ride for a tailgate party at the next Gamecocks game. But before you hit the road, you need to think about South Carolina insurance.
According to 2017 Federal Highway Administration statistics, South Carolina has more than 4.4 million vehicles on the road. In 2017, more than 100,000 car accidents occurred in The Palmetto State, resulting in 925 fatalities and nearly 40,000 injuries. It makes sense to protect yourself with car insurance, and South Carolina law requires you to carry minimum amounts of coverage.
Before shopping for South Carolina insurance, seek guidance from experts such as the Insurance Information Institute, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and the South Carolina Department of Insurance.
- Compare insurance costs between makes and models when you buy a new car.
- Find out what insurance South Carolina requires. For financed vehicles, check with the lender about insurance requirements.
- Ask your agent if you can bundle your home or renters insurance with car insurance to get lower rates on both coverages.
- Ask a lot of questions about deductibles, limits and what each policy covers when you talk to agents.
- Search the National Association of Insurance Commissioners database to see if the company holds a valid license before you buy a policy.
These tips can help you find an auto insurance policy that works for you.
Best car insurance companies in South Carolina
Every year, J.D. Power & Associates studies the car insurance market to find the best companies. Using a 1,000-point system, J.D. Power rates companies based on six categories and compiles a list of top companies in each U.S. region. In its 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study the top five South Carolina auto insurance companies included:
|Insurance Company||Average annual premium for full coverage||JD Power score|
Although USAA received all 5- and 4-star ratings, it does not qualify for the J.D. Power rankings, because it only offers insurance to military members and veterans and their families. Nonetheless, if you or a family member are in the military, you might want to look at what USAA has to offer.
Like the other insurance companies on our shortlist, Allstate offers some of the best car insurance policies in South Carolina. Its variety of coverages can be bundled for additional discounts. Allstate’s website is a great resource for younger drivers in South Carolina because of the company’s user-friendly website providing articles, tutorials, and videos on how insurance works. In addition, policyholders can manage their policies and file claims through an Allstate agent or by using the website or mobile app.
Auto Owners is another regional insurance carrier servicing the state. As the name suggests, it’s one of the top car insurance companies in South Carolina for auto owners in search of good coverage. You’re not limited to vehicle policies — Auto Owners Insurance also offers renters insurance and homeowners insurance. When you bundle more than one policy with Auto Owners, you can maximize the savings on all policies.
Geico may be the best car insurance in South Carolina for drivers on a budget. You can estimate your monthly payments and how much car insurance you can afford using the coverage calculator. Geico’s discounts include multi-vehicle coverage, customer loyalty, good student and 10 percent off for switching to Geico.
Progressive is another option for low-cost auto insurance in South Carolina. What makes Progressive unique is its broad reach — the statewide insurance carrier is willing to take on drivers other companies may consider high-risk. Policyholders can sign up for the Snapshot program to improve their standing with Progressive and save on their insurance. By downloading and installing the mobile app, you can let Progressive can monitor driving habits and adjust premiums for good driving habits.
In addition to excellent online and mobile tools, State Farm has local agents who can help you with one-on-one service for your personalized policy. There are several opportunities to save with generous discounts, like up to 25% off for a good student discount. It also offers South Carolina drivers affordable car insurance rates to help keep the cost of monthly bills low.
Average car insurance cost in South Carolina
Drivers enjoy some of the cheapest car insurance in South Carolina when compared to the national average. While North Carolina drivers pay just $1,427 for the average full coverage policy annually, the average cost of car insurance in the U.S. is $1,738 per year.
|Average annual premium for minimum coverage in South Carolina||Average annual premium for full coverage in South Carolina|
How to get the best car insurance
There are some things you can do to find the best car insurance in Pennsylvania for you.
- Evaluate your needs: Get lots of quotes from as many insurance companies as possible. Consider dropping some coverages on older vehicles, like collision and comprehensive insurance, to save money. Check your credit score and ask an agent how your credit might affect your premium.
- Consider state factors: According to the South Carolina Department of Insurance, state law requires drivers to carry bodily injury of $25,000 in bodily injury per person and $50,000 per accident. property damage liability policies of $25,000 in bodily injury per person, and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage of $25,000 for bodily injury of one person, up to $50,000 per accident and $25,000 in property damage liability.
Car Insurance Discounts in South Carolina
Ask agents about discounts such as these to reduce your insurance premium.
|Discount||Allstate||Auto-Owners Insurance||Geico||Progressive||State Farm|
|Automatic payment/paperless billing||X|
|Defensive driving course||X||X|
|Low annual mileage||X||X||X|
|Occupational or organizations||X|
|Safe driver/accident free||X||X||X||X||X|
Frequently asked questions
What car insurance do I need in South Carolina?
The state of South Carolina requires that all drivers have at least liability insurance of 25/50/25. This means you have enough insurance for $25,000 per person injured in an accident, $50,000 maximum per accident and $25,000 for property damage if you’re at fault in an accident.
What’s the difference between liability and full car insurance?
South Carolina only required liability, which pays for damages and injuries to others. Full coverage is optional. It includes coverage for your vehicle, yourself and your passengers, regardless of whether you cause an accident or your car is damaged other ways, such as from a fire or flooding.
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 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 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.