Claire Smith Last Updated On: July 25, 2023

How to Find Affordable South Carolina Car Insurance

South Carolina might be known for its stunning white sand beaches and marsh-like sea islands, but there are plenty of drivers that need to get from Point A to Point B. And they need affordable car insurance to do so. 

Whether you’re moving to the Palmetto State and looking for car insurance, or you’re a South Carolininian that’s sick and tired of overpaying for insurance, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for everything you should know about car insurance in SC, including cost, coverage options, and tips to save.

Let’s get started. 

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Table of Contents

South Carolina Car Insurance Coverage Options

The neat thing about car insurance is that you can really personalize your policy to what you want and need. You’ll hear terms like minimum and full coverage, but these are just guidelines; minimum coverage is the minimum amount of car insurance you need to have to drive in South Carolina, while full coverage includes liability, comprehensive, and collision. 

But that’s not all. Here are all of your coverage options: 

  • Liability: If you cause an accident, this covers the other driver’s medical costs and damage to their property (car). It also gives you a legal defense if they sue. 
  • Collision: This covers damage (up to your policy limits) to your car if you collide with another vehicle or a stationary object like a phone pole or fence.
  • Comprehensive: This covers damage (up to your policy limits) to your car for things like weather, theft, vandalism, hitting an animal, etc.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist: If you’re in an accident with someone who doesn’t have car insurance or doesn’t have enough of it for the damages, this coverage helps bridge the gap.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP): This helps cover the medical costs of you and your passengers after an accident, regardless of who is at fault. It also covers other expenses related to the accident, like child care and lost wages.
  • Medical Payments (MedPay): This is similar to PIP, but only covers medical costs. You would typically choose either MedPay or PIP; both would be overkill.

These are the main buckets of coverage that you can choose from to build out your policy. As long as you’re satisfying state minimum requirements (more on that later), you can choose what to leave out and what to include based on your unique needs.

But these aren’t all the situations in which you could benefit from insurance. This is where riders or endorsements come into play. We’ll review those next. 

Optional Endorsements for South Carolina Car Insurance

Think of endorsements as an add-on to your policy. These are completely optional, but they can help give you even more peace of mind than standard car insurance coverage and help protect your financial interests. Common car insurance endorsements in South Carolina include:
  • Roadside Assistance: If you break down on the side of the road, this covers a tow to a nearby service shop plus any minor roadside fixes. Some insurers even offer this through a mobile app, which can help you feel more in control as you hit the road for a trip.
  • Gap: If your vehicle is leased or loaned and becomes totaled, the insurance amount doesn’t always cover the outstanding balance because your vehicle starts to depreciate right away. This coverage bridges that gap so you’re not stuck with the bill. 
  • Rideshare: If you drive for rideshare services like Lyft or Uber, you’ll need to add rideshare coverage to your policy as regular car insurance isn’t enough to protect you. 
  • Rental Car Reimbursement: If your vehicle is being repaired, this covers the cost of a rental car until your vehicle is ready. 
  • New Car Replacement: If your new car (less than two years old) is totaled, this gives you a brand-new car instead of a check for the depreciated value. 
  • Accident Forgiveness: This forgives your first at-fault claim, meaning your rates won’t go up for the first accident.
These are just some examples of common endorsements you can beef up your policy with. Every insurer is different, so browse their options for additional coverage and see what makes sense for you.

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Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in South Carolina

Every driver needs car insurance—it’s the law. But exactly how much car insurance they need varies by state. In South Carolina, you’ll need the following coverage to get behind the wheel legally:

  • Bodily injury of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
  • Property damage of $25,000 per accident

This means that all you need to have is coverage that protects other drivers in an accident you cause. The above requirements don’t actually protect you or your vehicle in an accident that you’re at fault for, so it’s strongly recommended to get more than the minimum amount of coverage. Otherwise, you’re on the hook for your own medical bills, car repairs, and more. 

Luckily, full coverage is more affordable than you might think. Next, we’ll cover costs and savings to give you a better idea. 

How Much Is Car Insurance in South Carolina?

While we know everyone would like to have more insurance than they could need, the cost is a major factor. Here’s the low down on average rates in SC:

  • Minimum coverage averages $718 per year
  • Full coverage averages $1,635 per year

These numbers are designed to give you a better idea of what you’ll pay but your actual rates will depend on a number of factors, including: 

  • Your age 
  • Your gender
  • Your vehicle type
  • Your location
  • Your driving habits
  • Your driving record
  • Your past insurance claims

This is because each insurance provider uses a different formula for calculating rates based on the above factors. 

But there are things you can control, like choosing a safer vehicle, maintaining a clean driving record, and if moving to South Carolina, choosing a cheaper town for car insurance like Salem instead of Crocketville, which pays the highest rates in South Carolina. 

Tip: South Carolina is known for its slow living, incredible golf, and beautiful beaches. Where better to retire? If you’re thinking about your golden years, grab our free retirement planning guide to help make sure you’ve covered all your bases.

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How to Find Cheap Car Insurance in South Carolina

The above-average rates should give you an idea of what you can expect to pay for car insurance in SC. But if the rates sticker shocked you, don’t worry: we’ve got helpful tips and tricks to get you savings on car insurance. 

Here are the best ways to save on car insurance:

  • Shop Around for Quotes: The best thing you can do for yourself is to get multiple quotes for car insurance. Taking the first quote you get means you’re probably spending more than you need to on car insurance. Try to get at least three quotes from different insurance providers to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
  • Take Advantage of Discounts: Most insurers are worth their salt over a variety of discounts on car insurance. By taking advantage of these, you can save anywhere from 5-30% on your car insurance. Common discounts include:
    • Bundled home and auto insurance
    • New or loyal customer
    • Good student
    • Safe driver
    • Automated payments or paperless billing
  • Review Your Coverage: Never let a year of car insurance coverage go by without checking that you know what you’re paying for, you’re not paying for extra coverage you don’t need, and that you’re still getting the best rate. For example, a teen driver might be off to college and you can take them off your insurance policy; instant savings!
  • Raise Your Deductible: Your premiums and deductible work like a seesaw; when one goes up, the other goes down. By paying a higher deductible, which is the amount you would have to pay before a claim was paid, your premiums will drop. For many, this works out to savings long term, especially if you don’t submit claims.
  • Drive Safely: By maintaining a clean driving record and doing your best to avoid accidents and tickets, you can keep your rates down. If you have something on your record, keep in mind that it will eventually drop off and your rates will drop again (read more here), as long as you don’t get anything new added.
  • Plan to Save: If you’re shopping for a new car, consider a vehicle with a high safety rating and a model that doesn’t frequently get stolen. These things will help you pay lower rates over the long term. If you’re considering moving, check out the cities in South Carolina with cheaper car insurance, or at least steer clear of the cities with the highest car insurance rates.

Saving on car insurance can take a little bit of legwork, but it’s worth it when that money is back in your pocket. If you can only do one thing, make sure to compare multiple quotes before signing on the dotted line.

We make it easy for you. Get access to free quotes here, and you’ll be on your way to saving on car insurance in South Carolina. 

Find Affordable Car Insurance in South Carolina Now

Now that you’re an expert on car insurance, it’s time to get you the best deal possible. You deserve to have affordable car insurance that you can rely on. 

As you know, the first step now is to gather quotes. Be sure to compare them for not just cost, but also factor in discounts you’re eligible for, customer service ratings, financial stability, and other perks that you might enjoy like a mobile app. 

Affordable coverage is out there. Let’s get you it, South Carolinians. Start by getting access to car insurance quotes here.

We’ve got you covered.

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