Why Is Car Insurance so Expensive in South Carolina?
You would think a larger state with a high population would have higher rates than a smaller state like South Carolina, but you would be wrong.
While there are affordable policy options, South Carolina’s insurance rates are staggering compared to other states of similar size. South Carolina ranked as one of the 25 most expensive to insure a vehicle in, and some cities within the state are more expensive than others. One study found that South Carolina was 88% more expensive than North Carolina.
Even if you live in a state like South Carolina, where the rates are high, you can take action to lower your premiums and save. Also, you need to understand the factors that often increase rates in the state, and contribute to the higher premiums for that state overall.
What Factors are Increasing the Average Premium in South Carolina?
Certain factors will cause higher insurance premiums, and these factors are more prevalent in South Carolina compared to other states; hence, why they rank more expensive.
Age and How it Impacts Your Insurance Premium
When you get older, your insurance premiums can increase too. Likewise, teen drivers will pay more for insurance than a driver in their mid-30s. When you get past 60, you see your premiums slowly increase again. South Carolina does have a lot of young drivers, which means teens are more likely to have higher premiums in the state than neighboring ones.
Gender Plays a Role Too
Just like age, your gender will play a role in your premium. Gender is not as big of an impact, but when you combine all other factors, gender can push your premium higher than someone else. Males pay more on average than females far insurance, regardless of where they live. This is because insurance companies feel male drivers take more risks and are more likely to be involved in an accident than their female counterparts.
Marital Status and Insurance Premiums
Did you know that being married will decrease your insurance premiums while being single can make you pay more each year? Married drivers in South Carolina pay less for insurance than single drivers, and divorced drivers pay more too in South Carolina compared to other states.
Credit Score – the Better the Credit, the Lower the Premium
Residents in South Carolina carry a lower credit average than similar-sized states, which may be another reason that it has higher premiums. When you have poor credit, insurance companies see you as a risk, which means they will increase your annual premium to make up for that risk. When you have good to excellent credit, however, your insurance company rewards you with better premiums.
Comprehensive Insurance Premiums and the Risk of Storm Damage
South Carolina is on the coast, and it is also hit regularly by tropical storms and hurricanes, which means more vehicle owners will file comprehensive claims throughout the year. Because of this risk, the insurance companies operating in the state will have higher averages for comprehensive coverage to anticipate those other comprehensive claims filed each year.
According to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, the state is one of the most vulnerable to severe storms and damage; thus, a significant factor in why the state sees higher insurance premiums than others.
Number of Vehicle Thefts in the State Play a Role Too
The number of vehicle thefts in South Carolina also plays a role in determining premiums, and if you live in one of the areas with a higher chance of vehicle theft, you may notice you pay even more for your insurance. According to The State, the risk for a vehicle left in South Carolina is incredibly high. The Columbia Police Department handles over 1,000 thefts per year alone.
Can You Save on Insurance Even if You Live in South Carolina?
You do not have to be a statistic, and you can certainly save on your annual premiums even when you live in a state like South Carolina.
Some ways to lower your premiums include:
- Taking advantage of usage-based programs. Most insurance companies offer discounts for usage-based monitoring. See if your insurance company will let you do one of these usage-based tests to lower your premiums.
- See if you can unlock more discounts with multiple policies. Most insurance companies reward customers who carry various policies with them. Therefore, see if you can combine renters, homeowners, and other policies in with your auto insurance to get a discount.
- Make sure your information is updated. Ask your insurer to update your miles driven annually, credit score, and driving record to see if you can save. Some insurance companies are not as diligent about refreshing user data, which means you may have a discount waiting, but you need to request it.
- Shop around for a new insurance company. Some insurance companies will not penalize you as much just because you live in South Carolina. If you find that your existing auto insurance premium is draining the bank, shop around and see if there are providers in the area who can save you more on your annual premium.