Last updated: December 23, 2015 at 10:27 am

Car Insurance in South Carolina 

Insurantly helps drivers in South Carolina understand the auto insurance coverage requirements. If you are thinking about buying a new policy its important to understand the coverage levels you are actually required to carry.

Some coverage may not be appropriate depending on various factors. If you are looking to save money on car insurance having a good understanding of these levels and what options you have is critical.

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How Can You Save Money on South Carolina Auto Insurance?

The most important thing you can to do to save money on your auto insurance expense in South Carolina is to pay your premiums on time and never, ever to drive when you are not insured. But you can also find insurance that costs less by using the tools on this site. Don’t forget to check the right boxes for getting these South Carolina auto insurance discounts:

  • Defensive driver training. If you are over 55, you can get a discount of up to 5% on your auto insurance rates if you take defensive driver training.
  • Driver ed. If you are under 25, you can get a discount of up to 10% on your auto insurance if you have taken driver education.
  • Homeowner discounts. There are usually discounts of 5% to 20% when you insure both your house and your car with the same company.
  • New cars. Your collision and comprehensive coverage will be higher for a new car, but your liability insurance rates are usually lower.
  • Multiple cars. Covering more than one car on your policy lowers your rate.
What Happens When You Are Caught Driving Uninsured in South Carolina?

South Carolina allows its drivers to purchase relatively inexpensive auto insurance. The required coverage level is 25/50/25. That level of coverage pays up to $25,000 to one driver injured in an accident, up to $50,000 to two more drivers injured in an accident, and $25,000 for property damage you may cause when you are at fault in a South Carolina auto accident.

That level of coverage is almost always available for less than $100 a month, unless you have a really bad driving record. However, not having minimal auto insurance coverage can get really expensive.

If you are stopped for driving without proof of insurance, you may be fined $100 to $550. You may be shown some leniency if you did not own the vehicle you were driving and you did not know it was not insured, but in many cases you will lose your driver’s license. This is partially up to the discretion of the magistrate hearing your case.

If you don’t show an traffic policeman proof of insurance at the time you are involved in an auto accident, you will be issued what is known as a Notice of Requirement, or FR-10. This form tells you that have 15 days to produce proof of insurance to the state police department or the State of South Carolina will cancel both your driver’s license and your auto registration.

That means you cannot drive any car and you cannot sell or give away your car even if you do not drive it. You are still liable without any limitation for damage you may have caused. As a tort state, South Carolina does not limit your personal liability to the amount of insurance you have.

And even if you are not stopped for driving without insurance, your insurance company will let the state know whenever your insurance policy is canceled. The insurance company sends a Notice of Cancellation of Policy (FR-4) to the state and then to you. If this happens, you have just 5 days to surrender both your license plates and your car registration.

Getting back on the road is not cheap in South Carolina. To get your driver’s license reinstated, you must buy a new policy called an SR-22, probably at 20% to 30% higher rates. Then you have to pay a $200 reinstatement fee plus $5 per day for every day your car was uninsured, up to $400 for the first offense.

The $200 to $1000 a year extra you will have to pay to get a new policy and the $400 fine—plus the inconvenience of dealing with the department of motor vehicles—costs a lot more than simply keeping up your policy. And you need to understand that in South Carolina there is no grace period for failing to pay your auto insurance bill.

South Carolina is a state that has very clear definitions of financial responsibility for South Carolina drivers. Every South Carolinian has to be covered by a South Carolina car insurance policy to get a license. If you move to South Carolina, you have to show proof of coverage to get your driver’s license.

If you are getting your first-ever driver’s license and you don’t have your own car, then you must show that you are covered on someone else’s policy. But don’t try to drive in South Carolina if you aren’t insured. Driving without insurance in South Carolina can get very expensive.


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