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|South Carolina Stats||Details|
|Miles of Roadway||76,301|
|Most Popular Vehicle||F150|
|Uninsured % / Underinsured %||9.40%|
|Total Driving Related Deaths||Speeding: 416
|Full Coverage Average Premiums||Liability: $527.09
|Cheapest Provider||State Farm Mutual Auto|
South Carolina, or “The Palmetto State”, is home to a little over 5 million people. Named in honor of King Charles I of England, South Carolina has a rich Antebellum and Civil War history. When it comes to what South Carolina is known for, South Carolina bases its staples and economy on farming, trade, and tourism.
A state known for its palm trees brings up a comparison for auto insurance: sometimes you are not able to see the forest for the trees.
For help with navigating through this forest, we have put together this guide, full of every piece of auto insurance information you can think of: coverage and rates, auto insurance providers, state laws, and more.
Want to start comparing rates and saving money? Start today with just your ZIP code.
Table of Contents
So much information out there about auto insurance coverage and rates.
Read on, for we have put all the information together in a nice, neat package for your convenience.
An organization known as the Insurance Information Institute says that South Carolina ranks 37th in the nation for people who are not insured. This puts it between the states of Iowa and Connecticut. About 10 percent of the entire state of South Carolina is driving without auto insurance.
Minimum coverage for auto insurance in South Carolina require that you carry liability insurance, which covers you in the event you are in an accident and there are bodily injuries or property damage.
South Carolina is an at-fault state. This means that the person who was at fault in the accident is the one who has to pay for any damage or injuries sustained.
In South Carolina, you are required to carry at the very least the minimum amount of liability auto insurance coverage:
This minimum liability coverage is known as 25/50/25.
If stopped by a police officer, you must show your proof of insurance, as required by state law. South Carolina does have electronic means of checking your registration as well. What a police officer is not authorized to do is to stop you specifically to check and see if you are insured.
It only takes minimum coverage to avoid these penalties. These costs can vary from state to state.
Something to know: if you are an uninsured motorist in South Carolina, you may be eligible to apply for an Uninsured Motorist Fee that allows you to drive and operate an uninsured vehicle while on South Carolina roads.
According to the South Carolina Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Act, the following are acceptable forms of financial responsibility:
First off, you will want to know what the term disposable personal income means.
That is the amount you have left to spend after you have taken care of your necessary expenses and after taxes have been paid.
Over the course of three years, from 2012 to 2014, South Carolina in terms of disposable income has stayed steadily in the range of $31,000 to $33,000. This is only about $1,000 to $2,000 less than its sister state, North Carolina.
American Consumer Credit Counseling suggests saving 20 percent of every paycheck. Use the calculator, Calculator Pro, above to find out how much DPI you would have each month, and then times that amount by 20 percent to know how much you would need to save each month.
The below table illustrates the most recent data provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners on the average insurance costs in South Carolina.
|Coverage Type||Average Annual Rates|
National average insurance costs are as follows:
The data from the table below is from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, in regards to the average costs of additional liability loss ratios in South Carolina.
|Additional Liability Coverage Info||Details|
|Medical Pay (Med Pay)||84.33|
|% Uninsured and Rank||9.4% (37)|
What in the world is a loss ratio?
A loss ratio means that a company is paying out a certain number, or percentage of claims. If a company’s loss ratio is over 100 percent, the company is losing money. If the loss ratio is too low, the company is not paying claims.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage is required in South Carolina “in an amount equal to the minimum required liability coverage” of 25/50/25. This coverage protects you and your passengers if the other driver is at fault and has no insurance.
What if you want to add additional coverage to your policy, but do not want to pay an astronomical amount?
Good news: there are powerful but cheap extras you can add to your policy.
Here’s a list of useful coverage available to you in South Carolina.
The South Carolina Commerical Automobile Insurance Plan helps provide insurance to high-risk drivers who cannot get auto insurance through the usual channels or have a hard time finding it on their own.
Other factors come into play, besides high risk, when it comes to the price of your auto insurance.
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Myth: Men pay more than women for auto insurance.
Fact: In some states, this myth is actually a reality.
What is the truth and what is a myth in South Carolina?
Let us take a look at the following table:
|Companies||Married 35-year old female Annual Rate||Married 35-year old male Annual Rate||Married 60-year old female Annual Rate||Married 60-year old male Annual Rate||Single 17-year old female Annual Rate||Single 17-year old male Annual Rate||Single 25-year old female Annual Rate||Single 25-year old male Annual Rate|
|Bristol West Select||$3,198.86||$3,212.56||$3,054.08||$3,319.19||$8,424.07||$9,324.42||$3,486.65||$3,514.99|
For the most part, married males and married females, no matter the age, pay about the same in South Carolina. Across the board, single males, no matter the age, are paying more for auto insurance than single females.
So the answer is partially yes: single males pay more than married males in South Carolina.
|ZIP Codes||City||Average Annual Rate|
There is over a $1,000 difference between the most expensive and cheapest ZIP codes in South Carolina.
|ZIP Codes||City||Average Annual Rate|
Look at the tables below to search for your city’s rates.
|Cities||Average Annual Rate|
Rates in Central City are about $1,300 less than rates in Miley.
|Cities||Average Annual Rate|
So many companies, so little time. And we know you want to find the one that is the best fit for you.
Read on and find out what is the best auto company in South Carolina.
To best measure how a company is doing financially and what their financial strength is, there is something called the A.M. Best Financial Rating.
|Companies||A.M. Best Financial Rating|
|State Farm Mutual||A++|
|Southern Farm Bureau Casualty||A+|
If you would prefer to read customer reviews on companies and what customers had to say, then the next sections are the sections for you.
J.D. Power and Associates gave a study to auto insurance customers in multiple U.S. Regions in 2018 asking them: how would you rank auto insurance companies?
The results of the survey are below.
|Provider||Ranking||J.D. Power Circle Rating™|
|Farm Bureau Insurance - Tennessee||884||5|
|North Carolina Farm Bureau||839||3|
|Kentucky Farm Bureau||824||3|
When it comes to the Southeast Region states, where South Carolina falls, Farm Bureau Insurance – Tennessee has a rank of 8884 on a 1,000 point scale, which means customers consider it “among the best”.
If a company has a lot of customer complaints, it might be worth checking into to see what the complaints are about.
Here is the most recent data, as found on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website, one of the leading data authorities. The order on this list goes from most complaints to the least amount of complaints:
|Companies||Number of Complaints|
|Southern Farm Bureau Casualty||3|
State Farm, by far, has the most complaints. The popular company has more than four times the amount of complaints compared to Geico, which has the second-highest number.
If a reasonable price is what you are after, State Farm is the cheapest, on average, in South Carolina.
|Bristol West Select||$4,691.85|
The distance you drive to and from work can also affect the cost of your insurance.
|Companies||10-Mile Commute||25-Mile Commute|
Whether you have a 10-mile commute or a 25-mile commute, State Farm offers the most reasonable rates for both. If you are looking to pay the same no matter the commute, Nationwide offers the same average annual price for both 10 and 25-mile commutes.
Take a look at other factors that will affect your rates.
You can bring down your insurance rates by lowering the amount of coverage you have.
|Companies||High Coverage||Medium Coverage||Low Coverage|
State Farm seems to be popular when it comes to certain categories. Whether you want high, medium, or low coverage, State Farm offers reasonable average annual rates.
Your credit history also impacts your insurance rates.
|Companies||Good Credit||Fair Credit||Poor Credit|
Geico offers the best annual rates for those with good credit ratings. Nationwide, if you have fair credit, it will give you the best deals. If your credit is not that great, you will find the best rates, once again, at Nationwide.
No one driving record is perfect. Slip-ups happen, and the companies that are the most forgiving: Geico (cheapest rates for speeding violations and one accident on record) and State Farm (cheapest rates for one DUI on record),
|Companies||Clean Driving Record||One Accident on Record||One DUI on Record||One Speeding Violation on Record|
Geico also has the cheapest rates for a clean driving record.
The companies that are not as forgiving when it comes to rates: Progressive (most expensive rates for one accident on record), Nationwide (most expensive rates for one DUI on record), and Farmers (most expensive rates for speeding violations).
Farmers is also the most expensive company for those who have a clean driving record.
When it comes to market share, State Farm controls almost double the market share of Geico, the second-largest insurer in South Carolina.
|Companies||Direct Premiums Written||Market Share|
|Southern Farm Bureau Casualty||$134,639||3.39%|
With almost $1 million in direct premiums written, State Farm has a commanding control of South Carolina’s auto insurance industry.
When it comes to the difference between domestic and foreign insurers, the difference where the home office is located.
Domestic simply means that the insurer is a local company whose home office is located in the state of South Carolina, while foreign means a company whose home office located in another state.
There are 19 domestic insurers and 993 foreign insurers in South Carolina.
So many laws, so little time, and so much legalese.
We break it down and make it easy for you to understand the different laws in South Carolina.
You can read up on the laws, and then read further to get the laws of South Carolina in further detail.
The South Carolina Department of Insurance is the main regulator for the insurance industry in the state of South Carolina. Through them, you can deal with issues like insurance fraud and ask them any insurance-related questions you may have.
Good news! When auto insurance companies consider South Carolina windshield insurance , according to Car Windshields, “There is no deductible for windshields for private passenger vehicles if you have comprehensive insurance.”
It might be worth it, to you, to get comprehensive insurance for this reason alone.
The high-risk insurance plan in South Carolina is the South Carolina Automobile Insurance Plan.
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South Carolina does not have a mandated low-cost auto insurance program, but you can ask your insurance provider if they provide any kind of discount.
In 2016, South Carolina came in seventh in the nation when it came to state accidents and was at the top of both the list of states when it came to the least amount of money spent to fight insurance fraud. However, South Carolina is taking steps to make sure insurance fraud is combatted.
In South Carolina, the penalties for insurance fraud vary depending on the amount of money involved in the fraud, and also whether it was your first or subsequent offense.
For first offenses, the penalties are as follows:
For subsequent offenses, the penalty is as follows:
If you feel you are the victim of insurance fraud it can be reported to the South Carolina Attorney General’s office.
The statute of limitations is an amount of time that you or the other party have to file charges. It is a form of protection for both you and the other party by giving each of you a set amount of time. Once that time limit passes, no one can file charges.
In South Carolina, the statute of limitations is three years for a personal injury case and a property damage case.
There are some interesting and strange driving laws in the state of South Carolina.
For instance, driving your golf cart at night is illegal unless you’re on a barrier island. You also want to avoid taking your pig out for a midnight drive, which can incur a $100 fine.
If you own an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), keep the keys away from children. In South Carolina, the minimum age to operate an ATV is six years old with certain restrictions, namely that the driver must wear a helmet and complete an ATV safety course.
Finally, think twice before you place that naughty bumper sticker on your vehicle. You could incur a fine up to $200.
To drive a car in South Carolina, you will need a license.
Keep on reading to find out more about this and about the rules of the road.
Starting October 1, 2020, federal agencies will endorse what is known as the REAL ID Act, which requires you to have a REAL ID U.S. Passport or another federally approved ID to board flights or enter federal buildings.
South Carolina does not require a REAL ID to drive, but it is recommended if you fly domestically, or if you work in federal buildings.
How do you get a REAL ID?
Go to the South Carolina DMV website. You can check to see if you are eligible to buy a REAL ID on their website; otherwise, you have to go to your local DMV office.
Just because South Carolina has an Uninsured Motorist Fee, that does not mean you can get away with not having auto insurance.
Remember, the Uninsured Motorist Fee is only if you are eligible.
If you are ineligible for the Uninsured Motorist Fee and you are caught driving without insurance, you will pay the price.
For each offense, a $5 fee for every day without insurance is assessed, along with the suspension of your license and registration. You will also have to pay a $200 reinstatement fee and file an SR-22 with the state of South Carolina for three years from the date of conviction.
Have the required insurance and/or forms of financial responsibility in your vehicle at all times.
South Carolina, along with other states, practice a graduated driving system. To be able to drive and get a license in South Carolina, you have to be 15 and a half years of age.
You also have a holding period of six months and need supervised driving time equal to 40 hours, 10 of which has to be at night.
You cannot drive between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. When it is Daylight Savings Time, you cannot drive between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Also, no more than two passengers under the age of 21, unless transporting students to and from school. The restrictions lift 12 months after you have had your license.
The rules for older drivers and license renewal are straightforward, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
If you are moving to South Carolina from another state, you will need to get a South Carolina driver’s license and transfer your vehicle title and registration.
The steps to transfer title and registration can be found here at the South Carolina DMV website. You must follow all steps carefully to be able to drive in South Carolina.
You can renew your license every eight years. It expires on the eighth year, on your birthday.
You can also renew your valid South Carolina driver’s license up to nine months after it expires, either online or by going to the South Carolina DMV.
If you know the rules of the road, you will be a safer driver.
Read on to find out the rules of the road in South Carolina
Remember, South Carolina is an at-fault state. This means the person who was at fault in the accident is the one who has to pay for any damage or injuries.
Car seat laws in South Carolina are pretty standard. Seat belts are required for the driver and all passengers age 6 and older.
According to child safety seat laws in South Carolina, any child younger than two years old must be in a rear-facing seat; children two years and older must be in a forward-facing restraint. Children four years and older, when they outgrow the restraint, must be in a belt-positioning booster until the child is eight years or older.
Riding in the cargo area of a pickup truck is not permitted for persons under age 15 unless an adult is present.
In South Carolina, the laws are as follows according to AAA:
State law requires drivers to reduce speed and, if safe to do so, vacate the lane closest to stationary emergency vehicles, including tow trucks and recovery vehicles.
You need to keep right if you are driving slower than the average speed of the traffic around you.
In South Carolina, the speed limit is 70 miles per hour on rural interstates and urban interstates, 60 miles per hour on other limited-access roads, and 55 miles per hour on all other roads.
There are no specific state ridesharing services, but companies such as Uber and Lyft are nationwide. Check into those services to find out more.
As of May 2017, legislation has been passed for self-driving cars in South Carolina.
Because of this new law, fleet managers need to review their liability insurance coverage.
It is important to know the laws in South Carolina so that you can be a safe and responsible driver.
Here are the safety laws in South Carolina in regards to DUI, marijuana, and distracted driving.
South Carolina does not let anyone drive while in an impaired state, no matter whether you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
If you have a BAC of .08 percent or more, you are considered under the influence.
South Carolina defines under the influence as “being impaired to an extent that the person’s faculties to drive a motor vehicle are materially and appreciably impaired.”
If an officer stops you on suspicion of a DUI, you give implied consent, or what is called per se consent, for him or her to test you.
Other things to know:
No laws have been passed in South Carolina for marijuana usage. However, on June 2, 2014, “Julian’s Law” was passed by Governor Nikki Halley, “allowing patients diagnosed with severe forms of epilepsy to use cannabis oil derived from the cannabinoid ‘Cannabidiol’ (CBD).”
Also, Bill S 212, proposed on January 10, 2017, would allow for the legal use of medical marijuana, if passed.
Marijuana use of any kind, however, is illegal in South Carolina, and South Carolina statutes “are generally more restrictive than other state marijuana laws”, where “possession of even small amounts of marijuana remains illegal under federal law.”
The possession of marijuana carries the following penalties:
Texting while driving is illegal in South Carolina. South Carolina was the 49th state to ban texting while driving.
The maximum fine that can be imposed for texting while driving is $50. There is no handheld ban.
Now, if you cause an accident due to texting while driving, and the other party dies, you could be imprisoned for up to five years due to criminal recklessness.
Interesting fact: In Greenville, you can’t hold your phone while driving, even if you are not using it. The fine for doing this is $100.
It is important to be aware of common dangers in South Carolina that you might face as a driver.
Here we will uncover the kinds of dangers you might face as a driver on the roads in South Carolina.
Owners of Ford pickup trucks need to be extra vigilant about securing their vehicles. It’s the most stolen vehicle in South Carolina.
|Type of Vehicle||Year Vehicle was Made||Number of Vehicles Stolen|
|Ford Pickup (Full Size)||2006||586|
|Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)||2004||455|
|Ford Crown Victoria||2003||210|
|Dodge Pickup (Full Size)||2001||172|
The information listed above is as of 2015 from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
When it comes to the number of vehicles stolen by city in South Carolina, Columbia comes in first. Not the kind of first place anyone wants to be in.
|North Myrtle Beach||115|
The information listed above is as of 2016 from the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division. If your city isn’t listed, you’re lucky. No vehicles were stolen in 2016.
Below, we’ll break down all the factors that play a role in traffic fatalities in South Carolina.
Weather and time of day can contribute to treacherous driving conditions.
|Weather Condition||Daylight||Dark, but Lighted||Dark||Dawn or Dusk||Other / Unknown||Total|
In South Carolina, most crashes tend to happen during the day under normal conditions. The second time crashes most occur is in the dark, under normal conditions.
This shows the fatalities over the course of five years, with data from the NHTSA.
During the five years, Greenville County had the most fatalities every year except for 2015 when it was third in the state.
Interestingly, rural areas have a lot more traffic fatalities than in urban areas.
This shows the fatalities over the course of 10 years.
This shows the fatalities over the course of five years.
|Light Truck – Utility||94||106||121||118||133|
|Light Truck – Pickup||110||118||105||118||116|
|Light Truck – Van||16||15||34||30||18|
|Light Truck – Other||0||1||0||3||2|
|Bicyclist and Other Cyclist||15||14||16||25||18|
Passenger cars and light pick-ups, along with pedestrians, have a high rate of fatalities in this five-year time span.
This shows the fatalities over the course of five years.
A large number of crashes have to do with roadway departures in this five-year time span.
As we mentioned before, Greenville County has had more traffic fatalities between 2013 and 2017 compared with other counties in South Carolina.
In 2015, Horry and Spartanburg counties surpassed Greenville in road deaths.
Speeding often plays a role in fatal crashes.
Charleston and Horry counties had the most speeding fatalities with both having 26 in 2017.
Drinking and driving is never a good mix. Not only is it against the law, but it is a leading cause of traffic deaths.
With 21 deaths each, Greenville and Lexington had the most alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in 2017.
Underage drinking causes more harm than good.
And in South Carolina, underage drinking causes many health issues.
Here are the facts when it comes to underage drinking in South Carolina:
When it comes to other statistics due to underage drinking:
Talk to your children about the dangers of underage drinking and drunk driving. Talk. They Hear You.
There is no data available at this time for EMS Response times in Rural and Urban areas in South Carolina. Once this data is available, we will make sure to update this.
If you live in South Carolina, most likely you live in a two-car household, drive alone to work, and spend little time commuting!
The information that follows is from Data USA.
Most people in South Carolina live in a two-car household.
With an average commute time of 23.4 minutes, South Carolina is under the national average of 25.2 minutes.
1.85 percent of South Carolinians report a super-commute, which is spending 90 minutes or more of your time commuting.
81.8 percent of the workforce report driving in to work alone. 9.49 percent carpool, and 4.66 percent work at home.
When it comes to the major lists: the TomTom Index lists two cities in South Carolina as being traffic-congested: Greenville and Columbia.
In Greenville, there has been a 4 percent increase in travel time since 2018. This is equal to 21 extra minutes a day, and 80 extra hours a year.
Travel time in the mornings is increased by 26 percent and in the evenings by 40 percent. On highways, travel time is increased by 8 percent, and on non-highways by 23 percent.
In Columbia, there has been a 2 percent increase in travel time since 2018. This is equal to 15 extra minutes a day, and 59 extra hours a year.
Travel time in the mornings is increased by 18 percent and in the evenings by 32 percent. On highways, travel time is increased by 7 percent, and on non-highways by 24 percent.
What is it like to drive in Greenville and in Columbia?
We hope this guide about auto insurance in South Carolina has helped you.
Don’t waste another minute. Start comparison shopping auto insurance rates today.
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