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. See the difference between the highes and lowest rate for the same policy, as well as the average rate, by entering your ZIP code, age and coverage level.
South Carolina Car Insurance Rates by ZIP Code
- The average car insurance cost in South Carolina is $137 per month or $1,653 a year for a full coverage policy.
- Government Employee & Allstate Fire & Cas have the cheapest auto insurance in South Carolina for state minimum policy.
- In South Carolina, you can expect your rate to go up by an average of 213 percent when adding a driver age 16 to your coverage.
- South Carolina ranks 12th among the worst states for drivers with bad credit.
- Cheap car insurance in South Carolina
- Recommended car insurance coverage
- Cheapest car insurance in South Carolina by company
- Low cost auto insurance for South Carolina drivers with recent accidents
- Who has the cheapest South Carolina car insurance for drivers with speeding tickets?
- How much does it cost to add a teen to your policy in South Carolina?
- Cheapest South Carolina auto insurance for young drivers: Ages 18 to 25
- Senior drivers: Cheap auto insurance for South Carolina drivers age 65 to 85
- Car insurance for South Carolina drivers with bad credit
- Best car insurance companies in South Carolina
- Largest car insurance companies in South Carolina
- South Carolina Car Insurance Laws
- Average annual car insurance rates for major cities in South Carolina
- Guide to car insurance (with rates) in cities of South Carolina
Cheap car insurance in South Carolina
South Carolina car insurance requirements
|Minimum Coverage||Minimum Limit|
|Minimum bodily injury liability||$25,000/$50,000|
|Minimum property damage liability||$25,000|
|Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury||$25,000/$50,000|
|Uninsured motorist property damage||$25,000 ($200 deductible)|
Recommended car insurance coverage
The cheapest car insurance may not provide sufficient protection, so how much insurance should you buy? Bare-bones coverage may be a good choice if you have few assets or have an old car and don’t drive much. But if you have a home and investments, consider buying more insurance. If you don’t, you’re at risk for having your money and house taken to cover the cost of an accident. If you financed your car you will be required to get additional comprehensive and collision coverage.
Use our How Much Car Insurance Do You Need? tool to get a recommendation.
We recommend you buy more insurance than is required to legally drive a car in your state, especially if you have savings and assets. The more money you have, the more likely you are to be sued following a car accident should your insurance be insufficient to cover all the expenses. If your net worth is:
- less than $50,000, choose at least 50/100/50
- between $50,000 and $100,000, choose at least 100/300/100
- more than $100,000, choose at least 250/500/100
If you’re leasing or financing your car, you must get coverage of 100/300/100 or higher.
Collision and comprehensive
Collision coverage pays for damage to your car after an accident that you cause. Comprehensive insurance pays to replace stolen cars and for damages from vandalism, flooding, hail, fire and animal strikes. If your car is:
- less than 10 years old, you should strongly consider buying collision and comprehensive.
- more than 10 years old, only buy collision and comprehensive if your car is worth $3,000 or more, if you couldn’t afford to replace your car if it’s wrecked, or if you just want more protection on your policy.
For drivers in South Carolina, collision costs an average of $609 yearly, comprehensive is $310, according to CarInsurance.com rate data. If you buy comp and collision, check our guide to choosing a deductible amount.
Medical coverage (MedPay)
Medical payments coverage can help pay for the medical or funeral expenses of covered drivers and passengers after an accident, regardless of fault, up to $25,000. In most states, including Texas, it’s an optional addition to your car insurance policy. MedPay does the following:
- Covers you and your passengers’ medical expenses
- Pays for expenses after health insurance limits are exceeded
- Offers additional protection to insured drivers who are hit by a car while walking or biking
If you and your passengers:
- Don’t have health insurance, or have a plan that doesn’t cover car accidents or has low limits, we recommend that you add medical coverage of at least $5,000 to your car insurance policy.
- Do have health insurance, it’s still a good idea to have medical coverage if you want the best protection in your policy, as it can pay out after your health benefits are maxed out.
If you don’t own your car outright and have an accident, gap insurance pays the difference between the cash value of your car and the current outstanding balance on your loan or lease.
- If you’re financing your car, your car is less than one year old and you’ve put less than 20 percent down on it, you should buy gap insurance. If not, you don’t need gap insurance.
- If you’re leasing your car, it’s a good idea to buy gap insurance if you aren’t already required to in your lease agreement.
- If you own your car outright, you don’t need gap insurance.
|Coverage limits||Average annual rate|
|Liability Only – state minimum||$484|
|Liability Only – 50/100/50 BI/PD||$525|
|Full Coverage – 100/300/100 BI/PD $500 Comp/Collision deductible||$1,260|
*The table shows the average annual rate of nearly every ZIP code in South Carolina from up to six major insurance companies. Rates are for a male driver, age 40, with a clean record and good credit for a 2016 Honda Accord. Data was provided for CarInsurance.com by Quadrant Information Services.
Cheapest car insurance in South Carolina by company
Below you’ll see average annual rates for South Carolina, ranked cheapest to most expensive, for three coverage levels:
- State minimum liability requirements
- Liability limits of $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident and $50,000 property damage
- Liability of $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident and $100,000 property damage, with comprehensive and collision at $500 deductible
|Company||State minimum average annual rate||50/100/50 average annual rate||100/300/100 average annual rate|
|Allstate Fire & Cas Ins Co||$426||$474||$1,178|
|Government Employees Ins Co||$368||$409||$1,050|
|Nationwide Mut Fire Ins Co||$579||$618||$1,200|
|Progressive Northern Ins Co||$477||$474||$1,359|
|State Farm Mut Auto Ins Co||$568||$649||$1,511|
Low cost auto insurance for South Carolina drivers with recent accidents
Filing an accident claim means you are likely to pay more for your car insurance coverage. However, how much more you pay depends on several factors, and your car insurance company plays is one of those significant factors. Each company assesses risk differently, so that’s why the increase after an accident will vary among insurers. Here is how major carriers compare after at-fault accidents for the average South Carolina driver with a full coverage policy:
|Company||1 At-fault property damage accident over $2K||2 At-fault property damage accident over $2k||At-fault bodily injury accident|
|GEICO Govt Employees||$1,170||$1,541||$1,170|
|Nationwide Mutual Fire||$1,603||$2,638||$1,603|
|State Farm Mutual Auto||$1,417||$2,378||$1,417|
Who has the cheapest South Carolina car insurance for drivers with speeding tickets?
If you get a speeding ticket, chances are you’ll see an increase in what you pay for car insurance, upon your policy renewal. Typically, you’ll pay more for three years. But even with a traffic ticket, comparison shopping can save you money. For instance, you’ll see that the difference between the highest rate and the lowest in the table below is more than $905, on average, according to CarInsurance.com’s rate analysis. That’s how much you can save by comparing car insurance companies.
|GEICO Govt Employees||$1,058|
|State Farm Mutual Auto||$1,417|
|Nationwide Mutual Fire||$1,629|
How much does it cost to add a teen to your policy in South Carolina?
No matter where you live, adding a new driver to your family policy will hike your rate significantly. In South Carolina, you can expect your rate to go up by an average of 213 percent when adding a driver age 16 to your coverage, according to CarInsurance.com rate data. You’ll see in the table below how much it costs, on average, to add a teen driver in South Carolina, and how major insurers compare on price. GEICO Govt Employees had the lowest auto insurance cost for adding a driver age 16 to a full coverage family policy, among insurers surveyed.
|Company||Average Rate||Average Rate after adding female teen||$ Increase (female)||Average Rate after adding male teen||$ Increase (male)|
|GEICO Govt Employees||$1,058||$2,716||$1,658||$2,639||$1,580|
|Nationwide Mutual Fire||$1,392||$3,826||$2,434||$4,663||$3,271|
|State Farm Mutual Auto||$1,321||$3,698||$2,377||$4,622||$3,301|
Cheapest South Carolina auto insurance for young drivers: Ages 18 to 25
Enter an age from 18 to 25 to see who has the best rates for young drivers in South Carolina, by company. You’ll see in the chart below which car insurance companies have the lowest rates for young drivers buying a full coverage policy. Average car insurance rates by age data shows that drivers typically pay higher rates until age 26, when rates begin to drop as drivers gain more experience on the road. But even young drivers can save money by comparing car insurance rates to see which company has the lowest rates, by qualifying for student discounts and by staying on their parents’ policy as long as possible.
Senior drivers: Cheap auto insurance for South Carolina drivers age 65 to 85
Below you can see average rates by company for drivers age 65 and over, buying a full coverage policy. While comparing car insurance quotes is always one of the primary ways to save on coverage, you can also see if you qualify for a mature driver discount or if you can trim rates by taking a defensive driving course.
Car insurance for South Carolina drivers with bad credit
Car insurance for drivers with bad credit costs significantly more than it does for those with good credit. South Carolina ranks 12th among the worst states for drivers with bad credit, as CarInsurance.com’s data analysis shows. Compared to good credit drivers, those in South Carolina with bad credit pay 76 percent more, on average. The good news is that you can still shave some money off your coverage costs if you compare car insurance companies. You’ll see below that the difference among major insurers is nearly $927 for a full coverage policy for a driver with bad credit. That’s how much you can potentially save by comparing car insurance quotes.
|Nationwide Mutual Fire||$1,809|
|State Farm Mutual Auto||$2,365|
|GEICO Govt Employees||$2,465|
Best car insurance companies in South Carolina
Scores are based on Insure.com’s “Best Insurance Companies” customer review survey of 3,700 customers. Policyholders ranked insurers on claims handling, customer service, value, mobile apps/website usefulness and were asked if they would renew their coverage and if they would recommend the company. All scores are out of 100.
|2||CSAA Insurance Group||91.63|
|9||The Auto Club Group (ACG) – AAA||86.09|
|16||Auto Club of Southern California (Auto Club Enterprise Insurance Group)||84.50|
Largest car insurance companies in South Carolina
|Rank||Company||Premiums Written||Market Share|
|1||State Farm Group||949,692||23.88%|
|2||Berkshire Hathaway Insurance Group||523,217||13.16%|
|3||Allstate Insurance Group||473,094||11.90%|
|5||Progressive Insurance Group||340,855||8.57%|
|7||Liberty Mutual Insurance Companies||206,434||5.19%|
|9||American Family Insurance Group||13,692||0.34%|
|10||Farmers Insurance Group||11,158||0.28%|
Source: A.M. Best; State/Line (P/C Lines) – P/C, US; Data as of:November 28, 2018
South Carolina Car Insurance Laws
|Roads||Number of Fatal Accidents|
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.
Average annual car insurance rates for major cities in South Carolina
Below you’ll see how average annual rates for several of the largest cities in the state compare to state and national averages. Rates are for coverage of $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident in liability and $50,000 of property damage coverage, with comprehensive and collision carrying a $500 deductible.