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South Carolina Car Insurance Guide

Getting car insurance in South Carolina isn’t a walk on the beach. If you don’t understand what you need it can be frustrating. is here to help! We compiled this guide that lists what you need to know so that you can understand and easily get the car insurance plan that fits your needs - at the lowest rate.

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Minimum Requirements

South Carolina requires drivers to have car insurance to operate a vehicle. The minimum required car insurance is a little more encompassing than the average state requirements. In addition to bodily injury and property damage, you must carry uninsured motorists. Underinsured motorist is listed as well, but if you decide you do not want this coverage you can reject it. Here is a list of the minimum required car insurance coverages for South Carolina:

Bodily Injury Liability Coverage $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
Property Damage Liability Coverage $25,000 per accident.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. 
Uninsured Motorist Property Damage $25,000 per accident ($200 deductible).


Is the Minimum Coverage Enough?

At first glance, it may appear the minimum required car insurance in South Carolina is sufficient coverage. However, if you think about the cost of cars today $25,000 in property damage doesn’t go very far. Anything over your coverage limits will be an out-of-pocket expense. We suggest increasing your existing limits to protect your assets and save you from any additional expenses. It is also a good idea to look into additional coverages.


Additional Coverages Available in South Carolina

In addition to increasing your policy limits for added protection, you can also add additional coverages to protect you in a variety of situations. We provided a list of additional coverages to help fill in any gaps: 

  • Collision Coverage- Collision insurance will cover repairs to your vehicle in an accident you are at fault for. 

  • Comprehensive Coverage- Comprehensive insurance covers you for other situations than a car accident; if you hit an animal, vandalism, fire, hail, flooding, or of your car is stolen. 

  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists- Optional coverage that protects you if you are involved in an accident with a driver who has no insurance or too little insurance to cover the accident. 

  • Medical Coverage- Optional coverage that will pay for medical bills when health insurance exceeds coverage amounts and covers medical expenses for you and your passengers. Do you walk or bike? This policy offers additional coverage if you are struck by a car in those instances. 

  • Gap Insurance- Optional coverage that will pay if you don’t own your car outright and have an accident. Gap insurance will pay the difference between the cash value of your car and the current balance on your loan or lease. This policy is best for newer non-owned cars. 

  • Personal Injury Protection- Depending on your state this type of insurance can be a requirement or an add on. Regardless of fault personal injury protection will cover medical expenses and loss of wages for you and your passengers (up to your limit). It also includes up to $5,000 for funeral expenses.


Teen Drivers in South Carolina 

In South Carolina, teens can start the process of getting a drivers license at 15 by following the graduated driver's license program. Teen drivers are held to the same responsibilities as adults when it comes to driving, so getting insurance is a must. There are different ways you can help your teen get insurance. You can add them to your existing policy, which is normally the cheapest option, or they can get their own policy. It doesn’t matter how teen drivers are insured just as long as they are. There are a few discounts out there for teen drivers, we recommend checking with your car insurance company to see what the criteria is and if your teen meets it. 


Multiple Drivers in South Carolina

Living in a home with multiple drivers is pretty typical, if this is the case for you it is important to let your insurance company know. By adding the drivers in your home, it can save you from out-of-pocket expenses and losing insurance coverage altogether. 

If you do not want to add all the drivers in your home you can exclude drivers from your policy. Just talk with your insurance agent and let them know. But it is not smart to let an excluded driver use your vehicle because they are not covered by your insurance. Any damages would be your responsibility and result in out-of-pocket costs.


Penalties for Driving Without Car Insurance 

If you are caught driving without car insurance in South Carolina you will face some hefty penalties. These penalties are definitely costly and can leave you sitting in jail for up to six months. Here is a list of penalties if you are found not to be in compliance with South Carolina minimum required car insurance laws:

  • First Offense- You will have to pay a $550 uninsured motorist fee and a fine of $100-$200. For every day you are uninsured you will pay $5. Your license and registration will be suspended and you will have to pay a $200 reinstatement fee. You could also be sentenced to 30 days in jail in lieu of the fine. 

  • Second Offense- You will have to pay a $200 fine. For every day you are uninsured you will pay $5. Your license and registration will be suspended. You must provide proof of car insurance and pay a $200 fee to have your drivers license and registration reinstated. You could also be sentenced to a combination of 30 days in jail and fines. 

  • Third or Subsequent Offense- For every day you are uninsured you will pay $5. Your license and registration will be suspended. You must provide proof of car insurance and pay a $200 fee to have your drivers license and registration reinstated. You could be sentenced to 45 days or as long as six months in jail. 


Car Insurance Savings in South Carolina

Everyone wants to get a discount on car insurance. This is why we always suggest reaching out to your car insurance company and asking for a complete list of ways to save. There are so many ways to save arming yourself with the knowledge of what discounts you qualify for will definitely lower your premiums. We created a list of common discounts in South Carolina:

  • Good Driver- Maintain a good driving record free of accidents, tickets, and any moving violations. 

  • Multiple Policy- Most insurance companies will offer a discount for having multiple policies such as car insurance, renters insurance, homeowners insurance, or motorcycle insurance. 

  • Good Student- If you are a student enrolled in high school or college curriculum and maintaining a B average most companies offer a discount. 


Get a Car Insurance Quote in South Carolina

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