Best Car Insurance in South Carolina

Last Updated on February 2, 2021

Car insurance is expensive in South Carolina. In fact, South Carolina is one of the top 10 most expensive states for car insurance.

The average driver in South Carolina pays around $1,802 per year for full coverage car insurance. That’s significantly higher than the nationwide average, as the average American driver pays around $1,350 per year for full coverage car insurance.Best Car Insurance in South Carolina

Fortunately, you can find plenty of good-value car insurance providers in South Carolina. Here’s our ranking of the best car insurance in South Carolina.

Table of Contents

Top 10 Auto Insurance Companies in South Carolina

Drivers in South Carolina have plenty of options for car insurance, including nationwide insurance companies and smaller, independent firms. Here are the best car insurance companies in South Carolina along with the average premiums they charge:

  1. USAA: USAA is frequently one of the cheapest auto insurance companies in South Carolina and other states. The company restricts membership to military personnel and their families. However, if you qualify for USAA, then you could pay just $921 per year for full coverage car insurance, nearly $1,000 less than the statewide average.
  2. GEICO: GEICO charges around $1,221 per year for full coverage car insurance in South Carolina, making them one of the most competitively-priced insurers in the state. GEICO is America’s second-largest insurance company, and they’re known for offering competitive prices in virtually every state.
  3. State Farm: State Farm charges drivers an average of $1,254 per year for full coverage car insurance in South Carolina, making them very competitive with GEICO. State Farm is America’s largest insurance company, and South Carolina drivers can expect all the amenities of a large, nationwide insurer.
  4. American National: American National has a strong presence in some states, including South Carolina. Drivers can pay as little as $1,092 per year for full coverage car insurance with American National, although the average American National policyholder pays slightly more than the three companies above.
  5. Travelers: Travelers offers competitive car insurance premiums throughout the state, charging drivers around $1,298 per year, on average. Travelers is a large and well-known insurance company available in every state.
  6. South Carolina Farm Bureau: South Carolina Farm Bureau is a member of the Farm Bureau network. Like other Farm Bureau companies, South Carolina Farm Bureau advocates for farmers across the state while also providing insurance products and services. Expect to pay around $1,333 per year with South Carolina Farm Bureau.
  7. Allstate: Allstate is a large insurance company with a strong presence in urban areas and rural areas of South Carolina. Allstate charges drivers $1,367 per year, on average, in South Carolina.
  8. Auto-Owners: Auto-Owners is not as well-known as its competitors above, although the company continues to insure thousands of drivers across South Carolina. South Carolina drivers pay around $1,421 per year for full coverage car insurance with Auto-Owners.
  9. Nationwide: Nationwide ranks similar to Progressive on our list of the best car insurance companies in South Carolina. Nationwide charges around $1,542 per year for full coverage car insurance in South Carolina. They’re not as cheap as competing companies above, although the company maintains reasonable prices and strong claims satisfaction across the state.
  10. Progressive: Similar to Nationwide, Progressive charges around $1,556 per year in South Carolina. However, they’re surprisingly affordable in certain urban areas of the state, so check Progressive to see if they outrank competing options above.

South Carolina Insurance Requirements

South Carolina’s Department of Insurance requires drivers to maintain a certain minimum amount of liability insurance to legally drive. If you are caught driving without insurance in South Carolina, then you will face penalties.

South Carolina requires drivers to carry the following minimum insurance limits:

  • $25,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per person
  • $50,000 of bodily injury liability coverage for all persons injured in one accident
  • $25,000 of property damage liability coverage
  • $25,000 of uninsured motorist bodily injury liability coverage per person and $50,000 per accident
  • $25,000 of uninsured motorist property damage liability coverage per person

Auto insurance companies are also required to offer you underinsured motorist coverage in South Carolina, although you are not required to take this coverage.

Overall, South Carolina has similar car insurance limits to most other states, although the limits are slightly higher.

As with all other states, South Carolina does not require drivers to maintain collision coverage or comprehensive coverage. However, your lender may require you to carry collision and comprehensive coverage.

Some insurers express this policy as a 25/50/25 plan because it gives you $25,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per person, $50,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per accident, and $25,000 of property damage liability coverage.

Driving Without Insurance in South Carolina

Like most states, South Carolina requires drivers to carry insurance to legally drive. If you cause an accident without insurance, or if a police officer catches you driving without insurance, then you could face penalties.

The penalties for driving without insurance in South Carolina vary depending on whether this was your first, second, or third offense:

First Offense: $550 uninsured motorist fee, $100 to $200 fine, up to 30 days in prison, additional $5 per day penalty for lapsed coverage, suspension of driver’s license and registration, $200 reinstatement fee, and SR-22 requirement.

Second Offense: $200 fine, additional $5 per day penalty for lapsed coverage, up to 30 days in prison, suspension of driver’s license and registration, $200 reinstatement fee, SR-22 requirement, and other possible fines and penalties.

Third or Subsequent Offenses: Additional $5 per day penalty for lapsed coverage, 45 days to 6 months in prison, suspension of driver’s license and registration, $200 reinstatement fee, SR-22 requirement, and other possible fines and penalties.

You could get caught driving without insurance in South Carolina if you are pulled over by a police officer. Or, you could cause an accident while driving without insurance.

Expect to pay much higher rates for car insurance after being caught driving without insurance. Car insurance companies raise rates as high as 50% or more for your first offense. For second offenses and beyond, they could cancel your policy altogether.

Car Insurance in South Carolina with DUI

A DUI leads to higher insurance rates in every state, including South Carolina. If you were convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) in South Carolina, then you need to compare insurance quotes to get the best plan. Some insurers are more forgiving towards DUIs than others, including:

  1. GEICO: $1,021 per year
  2. USAA: $1,034 per year
  3. South Carolina Farm Bureau: $1,222 per year
  4. Progressive: $1,298 per year
  5. American National: $1,309 per year

All prices assume you’re buying a minimum liability insurance policy (not a full coverage plan).

Car Insurance in South Carolina with At-Fault Accidents

Causing an accident in South Carolina will cause car insurance premiums to rise (unless you have accident forgiveness). However, some companies treat driving record less seriously than others. Consider the following car insurance companies in South Carolina if you have an at-fault accident on your record:

  1. State Farm: $1,456 per year
  2. GEICO: $1,483 per year
  3. Allstate: $1,566 per year
  4. Progressive: $1,662 per year
  5. USAA: $1,700 per year

All prices assume full coverage car insurance with collision and comprehensive coverage.

Car Insurance in South Carolina with Speeding Tickets

Speeding tickets raise insurance premiums. However, some South Carolina insurers ignore a single speeding ticket, while others raise rates substantially for speeding tickets. The best insurance companies for drivers with speeding tickets in South Carolina include:

  1. USAA: $928 per year
  2. GEICO: $1,029 per year
  3. Nationwide: $1,038 per year
  4. Allstate: $1,046 per year
  5. State Farm: $1,162 per year

Car Insurance in South Carolina for Young Drivers

As a young driver, you’re riskier to insure than any other driver on the road. Statistically, you’re more likely to cause an accident than drivers of any other age group. However, some insurers welcome young drivers to balance out the pool. Consider requesting a quote from the following insurers if you’re under age 25:

  1. USAA: $1,531 per year
  2. South Carolina Farm Bureau: $1,689 per year
  3. GEICO: $1,709 per year
  4. Nationwide: $1,721 per year
  5. State Farm: $1,789 per year

Car Insurance in South Carolina with Poor Credit

South Carolina, like most states, allows insurers to consider credit scores when calculating premiums. If you have an average or good credit score, then you should pay competitive rates for car insurance. Drivers with bad credit scores, however, will pay much higher rates. Make sure you choose a company that values credit score less than others:

  1. GEICO: $1,709 per year
  2. USAA: $1,512 per year
  3. Progressive: $1,728 per year
  4. State Farm: $1,899 per year
  5. Nationwide: $1,989 per year

SR-22 Insurance in South Carolina

If you are convicted of a serious driving offense in South Carolina, then you may need SR-22 insurance. The South Carolina DMV will notify you of any SR-22 requirements.

Some drivers require SR-22 insurance after an insurance lapse. If you let your car insurance lapse, for example, then you may have driven uninsured. This is considered high-risk driving behavior, and you may need SR-22 insurance.

Other South Carolina drivers require SR-22 insurance after a DUI/DWI, an at-fault accident, or after multiple serious driving offenses.

SR-22 insurance is not technically insurance: it’s a certificate verifying you have insurance. The SR-22 certificate verifies you meet minimum insurance requirements in the state of South Carolina.

Any insurer can provide you with an SR-22 certificate. However, prices vary widely. Expect to pay much higher rates for SR-22 insurance in South Carolina from all insurance companies. Compare rates to ensure you’re getting a good deal on your SR-22 insurance.

Conclusion: How to Find the Best Auto Insurance in South Carolina

There’s no secret to finding the best car insurance in South Carolina: just compare as many quotes as possible.

Some insurers welcome young drivers or high-risk drivers, for example, because their higher rates help balance out the insurance pool. Other insurers exclusively market themselves to safer, older, and experienced drivers.

To find the best car insurance company in South Carolina for your unique needs, compare quotes online today.