If you’re new to or planning a move to the beautiful state of South Carolina, chances are you may have a few questions about car insurance. With that in mind, knowing about car insurance in South Carolina can be quite helpful before you start shopping for your next policy.
As with many states, South Carolina drivers are required to carry a minimum level of liability coverage in the following amounts:
• $25,000 for injury/death to one person
• $50,000 for injury/death to more than one person
• $25,000 for damage to property
However, it’s generally recommended by insurance experts that you buy additional coverage. As an example, you can purchase comprehensive coverage, to protect you if your car is damaged as a result of a non-traffic related occurrence, such as a storm, theft, or falling object.
Furthermore, the state of South Carolina also suggests uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage for its licensed residents. Since rates of uninsured motorists are considerably low, drivers are given the option to decide for themselves if paying the extra expense makes sense.
In addition, the state offers an alternative to car insurance. You may qualify to register as an uninsured motorist if:
• You have been licensed in South Carolina for at least three years
• Have maintained a clean driving record
• Pay the $550 per year fee
While the cost of $550 a year is less expensive than many insurance policies, the main drawback is that it doesn’t provide you with any protection whatsoever in the event of an accident. Not only that, but if you’re at-fault in an accident, you’ll be digging deep into your pockets to pay for all associated costs from the collision. And, that could amount to tens of thousands of dollars, which is definitely something to consider before choosing this option.
South Carolina drivers enjoy one of the nation’s lowest car insurance rates with an average annual premium of $1,253. This is, in part, the result of the insurance-friendly laws and normally good weather. Yet, you can probably save even more by comparison shopping and researching all available discounts when getting auto insurance quotes.
An important point to remember is – should you fail to keep your car insurance current – and haven’t paid the uninsured motorist fee of $550 – you could be subject to some very costly consequences. If you’re stopped while driving uninsured, you could face a substantial fine. Not only might your license be suspended indefinitely, but you could be forced to pay a $200 reinstatement fee, and charged $5 for every day your vehicle remains uninsured. And, if you make the mistake of driving while your license is suspended due to the insurance citation, you could be arrested and sentenced to jail time.
If your driving record leaves a lot to be desired – because of more than one at-fault accident, getting caught without auto insurance, driving on a suspended license or have been arrested for a DUI, you may have a harder time getting insured. In this case, you may be required to file an SR-22. As a last resort, you might be able to obtain coverage through the Associated Auto Insurers Plan of South Carolina. Your local DMV can assist you with any additional questions you may have.
Don’t question if you’re getting the best rate on your auto insurance. Why not get a free auto insurance quote today?
Are you an insured or uninsured motorist in South Carolina? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.