Getting a South Carolina car insurance quote today, is the first step for you to get full coverage while you drive. The best part is that you can start right away with the form above. Enter your zip code, select an insurer and then fill in the requested information. It really is that simple to shop for auto insurance online.
Getting and comparing multiple quotes remains the only way to truly shop for auto insurance. However, what if you want to know more about South Carolina car insurance itself. Well fortunately, we have included some of the more important information drivers in The Palmetto State should know about their insurance policies. Keep reading to find out more.
Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements In South Carolina
Auto insurance in South Carolina is regulated at the state level. This means the state government creates the laws, rules and regulations that both insurance companies and drivers must follow. One of the key things to know, is that most drivers are required to buy liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage.
Currently South Carolina follows the 25/50/25 rule. This means you’ll need at least the following:
- $25,000 per person bodily injury liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage;
- $50,000 per accident bodily injury liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage;
- $25,000 per accident property damage liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage.
You can learn more about what each type of insurance covers, from the Department of Insurance’s What is auto insurance page. Who gets what is an important thing to know about the different types of coverage. Liability insurance pays other drivers, if you’re at fault in an accident. Uninsured motorist coverage pays you, if you get in an accident with an uninsured driver who is at fault in an accident.
You should be aware that you are not personally financially protected for your own costs, if you cause an accident. Therefore you may strongly want to consider buying additional insurance such as collision (pays for damage to your car in an accident), comprehensive (pays for damage to your car from theft, natural disasters, etc.) and medical payment coverage (pays for your own medical costs, hospital bills etc.).
To learn more about your insurance options and how they may affect you financially, you need to get in contact with a licensed South Carolina insurance agent or company. If you don’t already have a company, then you should use our free car insurance quote feature above, to find one.
South Carolina State Auto Insurance Laws
The auto insurance laws of South Carolina are constantly changing. Given this situation, you should always check with your insurance company or agent before making any changes to your policy. You can learn about Your Auto Insurance Rights from the South Carolina Department of Insurance’s overview of South Carolina’s auto insurance laws brochure. You can also get in contact with the Legal Division to ask questions and find information to specific issues you may be having.
The main thing to know about South Carolina’s auto insurance law, is that the state is a tort liability state, more commonly known as an at-fault state. This means the not-at-fault party can make claims against the at-fault party in an accident. Liability insurance is designed to protect the at-fault party from having to pay the costs of an accident out of pocket.
You should also know that the state uses comparative negligence when deciding the at-fault status of drivers in an accident. Partial fault can be found in an accident. Your payments and ability to collect will reflect the degree to which you are found to be at-fault.
One relatively recent South Carolina law makes it a relatively unique state for auto insurance purposes. The state has an optional $550 Uninsured Motorist Fee. If you opt to pay is fee, you have the privilege of no longer being legally required to purchase liability insurance. However, you are still 100% liable for all costs in an accident that you cause.
Moreover, not all drivers qualify for the program. Those who have to file SR-22 insurance forms are automatically barred. Also those with violations in the past 3 years including (but no limit to): disobeying a traffic device or signal, racing, three or more moving violations, reckless driving, DUIs and many more can not join the program. To learn more about what you need to qualify and read all the violations that disqualify you, see Form DMVB-18.
It should be noted that all drivers who qualify to pay the uninsured motorist fee, could most likely get basic liability and uninsured motorist coverage for less than the fee itself. Thus, it makes no sense to opt to pay it, as it offers no protection. You are in effect paying the government for the privilege of having less financial protection. A really terrible deal!
Finally, you should know that you can’t just unilaterally drop your insurance even if you file form DMVB-18. Whenever you are operating your vehicle you must be able to show proof of insurance and/or financial responsibility. You face severe penalties if you are caught driving uninsured. They can include anything, from paying a fine, to having your license plate suspended, to losing your right to drive altogether.
Therefore, always carry your insurance card while driving or otherwise operating your motor vehicle. For that matter make sure you fully follow all of South Carolina’s auto insurance laws. If you are ever unsure about something, get in contact with the South Carolina Department Of Insurance and/or your licensed insurance agent/company.
South Carolina Car Insurance Companies
You have a large number of insurers to pick from in South Carolina. For a complete list of licensed companies that operate in the state, you’ll have to do a company search. For an easier method why not get a free auto insurance quote here and find companies who want to offer you their best deals.
Your other choice is to visit the following members of the Insurance Information Institute. They include many of the largest insurance companies in the state.
Kemper Corporation (formerly Unitrin)
If you are having issues or problems with your existing South Carolina car insurance policy, you may want to consider filling out a consumer complaint form and submitting it to the Department of Insurance. They may be able to help in a variety of ways including arbitration in extreme cases.
Finally, if you find that no insurance company wants to take you, you might want to look to the Associated Auto Insurers Plan of South Carolina. It helps drivers who can’t buy insurance on the open market find an insurance company to take them.
Average South Carolina Auto Insurance Rates
South Carolina drivers, on the whole, don’t have particularly high or low auto insurance rates. According to the Insurance Information Institute the state was the 22nd most expensive in 2008. Average premiums that year were $751, about $40 less per year than the US average.
CarInsurance.com also claims the state’s rates are a little below average. Their online quote index for 2011 claims the average quoted premiums for SC are $1,367 per year compared, to the US average of $1,446. Keep in mind these are quote averages, not what people have actually bought.
While knowing the average rate paid by all consumers is interesting, it is not particularity helpful. Getting an instant car insurance quote is the most accurate way of getting information about how much you’re likely to pay. However if you would prefer not to get a quote today, you can have a look at the Auto Premium Comparison Guide from the state’s Auto Insurance Brochures for a rough idea of how much you should be paying given your circumstances.
South Carolina Car Accident Statistics
South Carolina has a relatively high number of accidents given its size. In 2008, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety reported that there were 107,252 collisions in the state, which resulted in 46,925 non-fatal injuries and 921 deaths.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) can help put these numbers in perspective. In 2009 the state recorded 894 traffic fatalities, which meant there were 1.82 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. The rate for the US that year was 1.14. This means South Carolina has a fatality rate that is 60% higher than the national average.
The NHTSA also reports that the following counties each recorded more than 40 fatalities in 2009: Horry County, Greenville County, Charleston County, Berkeley County, Richland County and Orangeburg County. For more about how you can be a safer driver, have a look at the Office of Highway Safety.
Getting South Carolina Car Insurance Quotes Online
Looking at South Carolina car insurance online can help you find many insurance companies in just a few minutes. There is no need to waste precious moments when it comes to finding and buying insurance thanks to these sites. A South Carolina car insurance quote provides you with useful information about what types of policies are out there, that fit your budget.
Make sure you select an auto insurance policy that will fit your lifestyle today and that will keep you financially protected. Don’t always go with the cheapest insurance quote as you have to balance quality, protection, company reputation and price together. Still, it all begins with your free online South Carolina auto insurance quotes. Just enter your zip code:
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