The Piedmont region of South Carolina has the state's cheapest state car insurance rates, and while car insurance is relatively inexpensive statewide, the difference between different insurance companies can be substantial. We've got every ZIP code in South Carolina mapped out below.
What you need to know about car insurance in South Carolina
Penny Gusner CarInsurance.com Consumer Analyst
South Carolina Car Insurance Laws
South Carolina not only requires liability insurance for bodily injury and property damage (as almost all states do) and uninsured motorist coverage (as many do), it demands its drivers buy uninsured motorist property damage as well.
That $25,000 would repair or replace your car if you get hit by someone without insurance -- but it won't fix your car if you are at fault. Only collision coverage does that.
Bring your insurance card. South Carolina requires an insurance company name and policy number at time of registration. If your policy is canceled, you must turn in your driver's license and registration or find new coverage. You'll pay a $200 reinstatement fee, plus $5 for every day you failed to have car insurance..
Register as an uninsured motorist: South Carolina allows a driver to pay a $550 annual fee to register as an uninsured motorist. The driver is still liable for any damage he causes, and the fee doesn't buy any kind of coverage. We think this is a really, really bad option.
Uninsured motorist penalties for South Carolina: If you don't register and pay the $500 fee to drive uninsured, you may have to pay a $445 fee, your license and registration may be suspended, your plates may be confiscated and you may have to file an SR-22 form.
Save your driver's license: South Carolina reduces your total driver's license points by half after one year, though a record of the violation stays on your motor vehicle record for three years. You can also reduce your points total by four by taking a defensive driving course. License suspensions start at 12 points; a 25-mph over the speed limit ticket is six points; a broken taillight is two.
Minimum age for owning and registering a car: In South Carolina, you must be 17 to own and register a car. Most insurance companies will require a parent or guardian to sign a car insurance policy because it is a legal document.
Cracked windshield law: If you have comprehensive coverage, your insurance will pay for a windshield replacement without a deductible being due. The fine for a cracked windshield is $237.
White lightning alert: You can lose your South Carolina driver's license for hauling moonshine.
Proof of insurance via smartphone: South Carolina law allows drivers to show electronic proof of insurance during a traffic stop. Thirty-one states total allow this.
Largest car insurance companies for South Carolina by market share
Company / Group
Direct Premiums Written ($)
Market Share (%)
State Farm Group
Allstate Insurance Group
Berkshire Hathaway Insurance
Progressive Insurance Group
Liberty Mutual Insurance Companies
SC Farm Bureau Group
Auto-Owners Insurance Group
Source: A.M. Best market share rankings are based on direct premiums written in 2013.