Scroll down for current facts, stats, state laws, local rates and handy tips for finding low cost car insurance in South Carolina. Securing the perfect premium package is easier than it looks.
South Carolina Minimum Liability Coverage
The minimum required amount of coverage per vehicle in South Carolina is 25/50/25. This is a kind of shorthand among insurance professionals meaning that every driver in South Carolina must purchase no less than $25,000 in coverage against injury to the driver, $50,000 against injury to others involved in the accident, and $25,000 in coverage against property damage.
Still, experts at the Insurance Information Institute insist that the minimum amount of insurance really needed for coverage to pay the actual costs of an auto accident is $100,000 in Personal Injury Protection (also known as PIP) and $300,000 in per-accident protection. Uninsured Motorist Insurance (UMI) is also recommended. South Carolina has a relatively high rate of uninsured vehicles (about 19%).
Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in South Carolina
The penalty for getting caught driving an uninsured vehicle in South Carolina is a fine of up to $200, and/or up to 30 days in jail for first and second offenses. Drivers convicted of third or subsequent offenses within a five year period face anywhere from 45 days to six months in jail, not to mention bigger fines. Reinstatement costs and higher annual premiums also apply.
Auto Insurance Rates in South Carolina
South Carolina car insurance premiums are just about average. The average annual premium for car insurance in South Carolina was $1,353 in 2016. This closely resembles the national average of $1,347.
Low Cost Car Insurance Programs in South Carolina
South Carolina vehicle owners can further reduce car insurance costs by paying annual premiums in one lump sum each year, rather than month by month. Another cost-cutting technique is accepting an increased deductible (the out-of-pocket expense paid by a driver before insurance kicks in). Some drivers lower their premiums by improving their credit scores, or even by relocating to a zip code where the rates are cheaper.
Overall, the best way to save big on auto insurance is to qualify for every available discount. Discounts available in most states include Good Driver discounts, Good Student discounts, Senior Citizen discounts, Safe Vehicle discounts, Multiple Policy discounts and Multiple Auto discounts, among others.
Obtaining Auto Insurance Quotes in South Carolina
According to online consumer reviews, South Carolina’s most popular providers of auto insurance are Liberty Mutual, Allstate, Farmers Group, Travelers Insurance and State Farm. On the other hand, many South Carolina drivers opt for locally grown carriers like Direct General. To obtain free auto insurance quotes, call local agents, ask for free quotes, and compare rates. Qualify for as many discounts as possible. It’s that easy.
South Carolina Car Insurance
This post covers everything you need to know about South Carolina car insurance.
Simply scroll down to review South Carolina income stats and poverty rates, statistics on South Carolina drivers, and South Carolina zip code info. Study car insurance quotes from eight different South Carolina neighborhoods, ranging from the cheapest to the priciest premium rates in the state. You might be surprised how much premium rates can differ not only between states, but also between zip codes within the same state. The reasons why are mentioned below, as this page features the four priciest and the four cheapest zip codes (on average) in the state of South Carolina to buy car insurance.
Find out how drivers in South Carolina can minimize the cost of their car insurance premium rates. Learn of all the types of car insurance South Carolina drivers need. Just for fun, scan a selection of outdated South Carolina traffic laws that actually still exist. Also check out a list of the largest car insurance companies in South Carolina, along with a list of the largest car insurance companies in America.
This information will benefit any driver who is thinking about purchasing a South Carolina car insurance policy.
South Carolina Car Insurance Statistics
As of 2016, the estimated population of the state of South Carolina was nearly 5 million. The state’s average population density is about 155 people per square mile. The median age of South Carolina residents is about 39 years.
As of 2015, the poverty rate in South Carolina was about 16.6 percent, quite a bit higher than the national average poverty rate of 13.5 percent. Yet, South Carolina’s unemployment rate is currently around 4.3 percent, which is right around the national average unemployment rate of 4.4 percent.
Recently, the Insurance Research Council conducted a study of South Carolina drivers, which determined that only about 7.7 percent of vehicles on South Carolina roads are uninsured. Compared with other states, South Carolina has one of the lowest percentages of uninsured vehicles in America.
Drivers in South Carolina sometimes wonder about the statewide “average” annual premium rate for South Carolina car insurance. According to data, the statewide “average” annual premium rate for a car insurance policy purchased in the state of South Carolina was about $1,260 as of March 2017. Compare this figure to the national average car insurance rate for the same time period, which was about $1,355.
However, statewide averages are inaccurate, to say the least, and they offer no info pertaining to your personal premium rates on auto insurance. Your premium rates will depend largely on your personal demographics, combined with the demographics of your particular South Carolina zip code.
The 10 Largest South Carolina Car Insurance Companies
Shown below is a detailed list of the ten largest car insurance companies in South Carolina. These companies are ranked by annual written premiums, which indicates their total market share within the state of South Carolina.
|Market Share (%)
|State Farm Group
|Allstate Insurance Group
|Berkshire Hathaway Insurance
|Progressive Insurance Group
|Liberty Mutual Insurance
|SC Farm Bureau Group
|Auto Owners Insurance Group
It seems that State Farm holds the largest number of car insurance policies in the state of South Carolina, claiming nearly a quarter of the total market share. Still, there are many major South Carolina car insurance companies you can choose from, as well as many smaller, regional carriers. There is really no such thing as The One Best South Carolina Car Insurance Company.
For those who are curious, the ten largest car insurance companies in America, according to a study from insure.com, are Allstate Insurance, State Farm Insurance, Geico, Progressive Insurance, Nationwide Group, AAA, Liberty Mutual Insurance, 21st Century Insurance, GMAC, and AIG, in that order. These car insurance companies were similarly ranked by the annual dollar amount of premiums written, which provided an indication of each company’s total market share.
Cutting Costs on South Carolina Car Insurance
Among states, South Carolina ranks 29th in average annual premium rates on car insurance. This is not so bad, but drivers in South Carolina still have many ways to cut the costs of their personal car insurance premium rates even further.
One important step in the process is to read recent consumer reviews of different South Carolina car insurance companies. Researching independent car insurance company reviews should give you some idea of which car insurance company suits your personal needs. Auto insurance companies tend to be competitive, with slight variations in their offers and discounts. Remain aware that all insurance companies receive customer complaints. Focus on the nature of the complaints. From reading reviews, you might derive some idea of the company’s reputation.
Now draw up a list of some of your favorite South Carolina car insurance companies. Visit the website of each company on your list, and compare online quotes for several zip codes. For instance, you can type in both the zip code where you live and the zip code where you work. Also, be sure to check the company discounts page on every website you visit.
Comparing quotes and grabbing all available discounts is sure to save you money on South Carolina car insurance rates.
What Types Of Car Insurance Do South Carolina Drivers Need?
The state laws for minimum liability limits on South Carolina car insurance policies require at least $25,000 in bodily injury protection for each person injured, at least $50,000 in coverage per accident, and at least $25,000 insurance against the cost of property damage.
Also required for South Carolina drivers are the same liability limits in uninsured / underinsured motorist protection (UMI). South Carolina has comparatively few uninsured drivers, but because of the low state minimum requirements, even vehicles that do have insurance are all too often underinsured.
Still, even with the required UMI, state minimum liability limits on car insurance are often found to be too low to cover the cost of real auto accidents.
That’s why United States insurance experts recommend that all drivers in America purchase more than the minimum amount of auto insurance required by the state. Analysts suggest coverage amounts of $100,000 for personal injury liability protection, $300,000 insurance against bodily injury to others, and at least $50,000 insurance to cover the cost of property damage.
South Carolina drivers who wish to have additional coverage can also buy comprehensive and collision insurance. These coverages will pay the cost of vehicle repairs when your car is damaged by collisions, animal strikes, falling objects, weather conditions, wildfires, floods, vandalism, and car theft, among other vehicular catastrophes.
Odd and Outdated South Carolina Traffic Laws
- In South Carolina, it is illegal to make a U-turn within 1,000 feet of an intersection.
- Also in South Carolina, it is illegal for railroad companies to let their trains scare horses.
- If your vehicle approaches a four-way intersection in the state of South Carolina, you must stop 100 feet before the intersection and fire a gun into the air, in order to warn the horses.
- In Charleston, South Carolina, it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle on King Street (which is now one of the city’s main roads).
- In Greenville, South Carolina, the legal drinking age on the Furman University campus is 60 years. (Apparently, only tenured professors are allowed to get drunk.)
- In Hilton Head, South Carolina, carriages may not be driven on sidewalks.
- Also in Hilton Head, it is illegal to leave large quantities of trash in your vehicle.
Best And Worst Zip Codes For South Carolina Car Insurance
The annual premium rates on South Carolina car insurance policies run a vast range between zip codes within the state of South Carolina. Allendale has the highest average car insurance rate in the state. Seneca has the lowest.
Premium rates on auto insurance are affected not only by your driving record, but also by the demographic features of your zip code, such as population density, unemployment rates, median income levels, poverty stats, median resident age, crime rates, the percentage of uninsured drivers on the roads, and other details that change between zip codes, even within the same state.
What follows is a list of the four most expensive (followed by a list of the four least expensive) zip codes to buy South Carolina car insurance.
Annual premium rates in the priciest South Carolina zip codes can range from about $1,270 to about $1,840.
This zip code, located about 150 miles west of Charleston, is home to fewer than 5,000 people. The population density is very low here. However, the unemployment rate and the poverty rate are both quite high. Unemployment is more than six times the state average of 4.3 percent. The poverty rate is almost twice the state average of 16.6 percent.
This part urban, part rural zip code, less than five miles southeast of Allendale, is also home to fewer than 5,000 people. Again, the population density is very low, but the unemployment and poverty rates are well above the state average.
The population density is low in this Hampton County neighborhood, as is the population of less than 300. The unemployment rate is below the state average, although the poverty rate is a bit above the state average.
Another 5,000 people live in this Hampton County zip code, just a few miles north of Scotia. The unemployment rate here is more than twice the 4.3 percent state average. The poverty rate is also higher than the state average of 16.6 percent.
Compare the above information to the list shown below. These are the four least expensive zip codes (on average) in the state of South Carolina to buy auto insurance, where annual premium rates can range from about $800 to about $1,360.
This Oconee County zip code is home to more than 12,000 people. The population density is low. The unemployment and poverty rates are only slightly above the state average.
City-data gives no information regarding this South Carolina zip code, which is located in Oconee County, just a few miles west of Seneca. However, this neighborhood is one of the four cheapest zip codes to buy South Carolina car insurance.
Only about 100 people live in this rural neighborhood. The population density is quite low, although the poverty rate is above the state average.
This zip code is home to just over 11,000 people. The unemployment rate and the poverty rate are both above the state average in this area. However, the population density is relatively low.
Altogether, the state of South Carolina maintains 534 zip codes spanning 46 counties that contain 376 cities from Abbeville to York, and every municipality in between. There is definitely a difference in premium rates between the cheapest zip codes and the priciest zip codes to buy South Carolina car insurance.
Look up your own South Carolina zip code. Find out how much money you can save on car insurance in the state of South Carolina.