Minimum Requirements for South Carolina Car Insurance
Auto insurance laws vary from state to state. If you're relocating to South Carolina, you'll want to make sure you have at least the minimum required coverage. South Carolina requires drivers to carry liability insurance on vehicles registered in their name and to have proof of this insurance inside the vehicle at all times. Here are the state minimum requirements:
Bodily Injury Liability: State law requires that you carry a minimum of $25,000 in coverage for injuries or death to any one person resulting from a single vehicle accident and a total of $50,000 for injuries or death to multiple persons involved in a single auto accident.
Property Damage Liability: State law requires that you carry a minimum of $50,000 in coverage for damage to the property of other parties resulting from a single auto accident.
Uninsured Motorist: By law, your automobile insurance policy automatically provides uninsured motorist coverage of $25,000/$50,000/$25,000. There is a $200 deductible for uninsured property damage claims.
Explanation of Coverages
Bodily Injury Liability (BI): This provides coverage to pay for medical expenses and legal representation in the event that you (or another driver insured through your policy) cause bodily (physical) injury to another individual or individuals in the course of operating your vehicle. The coverage “limit” is the maximum dollar amount your insurer will pay for a single accident.
Property Damage Liability (PD): This provides coverage for damage to the property of another party while you (or another insured driver) are operating your vehicle. Payouts may be for damage to another vehicle or other property such as buildings, mailboxes, fences, and other nearby objects. The coverage “limit” is the maximum dollar amount the insurance company will pay in a single accident.
Uninsured Motorist coverage (UM): This coverage helps pay for the medical and related expenses you incur if you’re injured in a car accident and the driver who is at fault does not have liability insurance or cannot be identified.
What If I Fail to Keep the Minimum Car Insurance Coverage?
If you do not have the minimum car insurance for South Carolina, the state will not allow you to register your vehicle. In addition, finance companies have their own set of minimum car insurance requirements, so if you plan to finance the vehicle, you will first need to obtain proof of insurance. You may also need to purchase specific coverages, like Comprehensive and Collision, to satisfy the requirements of the financing or leasing company.
Some South Carolina drivers drop their coverage when money gets tight. Even if it's only for a few months, driving without insurance is never a good idea (nor is it cheap). South Carolina has what's called an Automobile Liability Reporting System. When you cancel your car insurance, the insurance company electronically notifies the DMV right away. You'll then have 20 business days to provide verification of new insurance coverage. If you don't, your license plate and registration can be suspended and you may lose your privilege to drive. Getting your license and registration reinstated can be time-consuming and expensive, especially if you let your insurance lapse for a long time.
If you are caught driving without the required minimum insurance, you could face fines, license suspensions, and other penalties. When it's possible to find cheap car insurance in South Carolina, why go without it? At Direct Auto & Life Insurance, we offer low-cost policies with instant proof of insurance so you can avoid these situations. What's more, we don't penalize drivers when they come back to use or have lapsed car insurance.
You can still find cheap car insurance in South Carolina, even if you choose to go beyond the minimum required coverage.
A quick note about additional Uninsured Motorist Coverage and optional underinsured motorist coverage: An insurer that writes your automobile liability insurance coverage must also offer two additional coverages which will protect you in the event you are damaged in an automobile accident by an at‐fault driver who either has no automobile insurance or whose automobile insurance liability limits are less than your damages in that accident.
These coverages are termed additional uninsured motorist coverage and optional underinsured motorist coverage, respectively. You may also see them referred to as UM and/or UIM. Additional UM coverage is an option if you purchase liability limits that are higher than the state minimum. You would then have the option of buying UM up to the same limits. Underinsured motorist coverage compensates you, or other persons insured under your automobile insurance policy, for amounts which you legally may be entitled to collect as damages from an owner or operator of an at-fault underinsured motor vehicle. An underinsured motor vehicle is a motor vehicle which is covered by some form of liability insurance, but which is insufficient to fully compensate you for your damages. If you decide to purchase either of these coverages, you will be required to pay an additional premium for each of these coverages.
Optional coverages can help pay for damages and injuries that you would otherwise have to pay for out-of-pocket. Collision coverage, for instance, would help pay for accident-related damages to your vehicle. Other than collision coverage (sometimes referred to as Comprehensive coverage) would help pay for damages to your vehicle caused by things, like storms or wildlife. Medical Payments (also known as Med Pay) would help pay for accident-related medical expenses, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. For some people, having more than the minimum auto insurance in South Carolina means driving with peace of mind.
Who Needs Non-Owners SR22 in SC?
In South Carolina, a non-owners SR22 may be required even if you don't own a car. This is not a type of insurance, but an insurance certificate the proves you have met your state's financial responsibility requirements. In other words, you have the right amount of car insurance. You may need your insurance company to file an SR22 on your behalf if you were caught driving your vehicle without insurance, driving with a suspended license, or were convicted of a DUI/DWI, to name a few violations.
South Carolina Auto Insurance Quotes at Direct Auto & Life
Car insurance for South Carolina drivers is only a call or click away. If you have other questions, want to know more about purchasing car insurance in South Carolina, or would like a free quote for affordable car insurance, call us at 1-877-GO DIRECT or stop by one of our many South Carolina locations. We can help you with everything from getting a quote to filing an SR22!
For more on cheap car insurance in South Carolina, head to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, Official State of South Carolina Website, or the South Carolina State Department of Transportation.