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Close to 50% rise in auto insurance costs in South Carolina

In 1989, when the average countrywide auto insurance expenditure stood at $551.95, South Carolina’s average was $494.25, almost $60 dollars cheaper. By 2010 the state average for South Carolina had risen by 49.3 percent to $737.74. During the same period, the countrywide average went up by 43.3 percent to $791.22. Despite South Carolina’s higher rate in increase, auto insurance costs remained lower than the countrywide average. Moreover, South Carolina held steady over the 21 years as the 23rd most expensive state in terms of auto insurance costs.

The Consumer Federation of America found, in its November 2013 study, that one of the main reasons some states did better than others at keeping rates rises low was stringent regulation of auto insurance. To illustrate, states that employed a Prior Approval (PA) system, the most stringent, showed an average rise of 48 percent in insurance costs over the period. On the other hand, states that were deregulated showed a rise of 70.1 percent.

South Carolina employs a FLEX system which is lax compared to the PA system (where rates are filed and need to be approved before they can be implemented in the marketplace). In the FLEX system, insurers can alter rates within a range without any notice. Average costs went up by 66.8 percent in states that use the FLEX system.

By far the most successful state in the country was California where costs went down by 0.3 percent, the only state where costs went down in the 21 years ending 2010. It is not a coincidence that California also has the most stringent and wide reaching as well as pioneering auto insurance regulation. As of 2010 auto insurance costs in South Carolina were lower than across the country, on average. However, South Carolina does not have any stringent regulation in place and may see costs rising faster if timely action is not taken.

Buying insurance after an accident in South Carolina

Auto insurance law in South Carolina requires drivers to have both liability coverage as well as uninsured motorist coverage. Liability insurance coverage covers the financial costs of property damage and injury to the other party in case you cause an accident. Uninsured motorist coverage covers the financial costs for any damage or injury that you suffer if the accident is caused by the other driver. In South Carolina, you are required to have minimum amounts of coverage of liability and uninsured motorist coverage.

Compared to the national average as of December 2013, it is relatively cheap to insure your vehicle in South Carolina. The state average auto insurance premium stands at $1161. There is a fair bit of variation with the premium rate in the state with Rock Hill being as low as $875 and $1096 in Summerville. The rates in Greenville and Spartanburg are lower than $900.

It is important to maintain a good driving record in order to get the best insurance premium rate for your car. Accidents, drunk driving and other forms of bad or illegal driving will lead to a rise in your premiums. Accidents will cause your premiums to rise from anywhere between 20% and $40%. In Rock Hill, that will mean a rise in premiums payments to anywhere from $1050 to $1225. However, you are involved in an accident that causes serious property damage or injury, you premium in Rock Hill can increase up to $1750 in some cases. That means a serious accident could mean you end up paying double your usual premium. Moreover, you will be stuck with higher premiums rates for up to three years after the accident.

Taking up a defensive driving course will not only help you become a better driver but also help you bring your premium down by around 15%.

South Carolina Auto Insurance Rates

Below are the minimum, average and maximum insurance rate estimates for neighbourhoods in and around South Carolina, SC.

Lowest Rate:$800
Average Rate:$1,200
Highest Rate:$1,400

Recent Savings From Top Providers in South Carolina

Rank Customer Zipcode Amount Saved
1 29135 $228
2 29001 $221
3 29003 $219
4 29006 $217

Compare Auto Insurance Companies in South Carolina

Company A.M Best Rating on
Financial Strength
Year Founded
Progressive A+ 1937
State Farm A++ 1922
Allstate A+ 1931
GEICO A++ 1936
Nationwide A+ 1925
Liberty Mutual A 1912

South Carolina Auto Insurance Requirements

Minimum limits of liability for auto insurance in South Carolina as per SC State Laws

Bodily Injury Liability

  • $25,000 for death/injury of any one person, per accident.
  • $50,000 for all persons per accident.

Property Damage Liability

  • $25,000 per accident.

South Carolina Car Insurance Average Rates by Make

In addition to the location, one key factor that contributes to the insurance rates in South Carolina is the vehicle's make and model. Especially the vehicle's theft rates in South Carolina

MakeInsurance Average PremiumView Details
MakeInsurance Average PremiumView Details

Related Links for Auto Insurance Alabama

  • Avg Rates in South Carolina's Top Cities

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Latest Auto Insurance Reviews in South Carolina

Progressive

$80.00 for 1 Month

I have a good driving record with no accidents or tickets, I am married and my husband also has a good driving record with no accidents or tickets. I have 2 cars and 1 truck that I am insuring. I am 35 and my husband is 40. I only drive for pleasure and to run errands and husband drives to and from work which is about 10 miles from our house. We have liability because we dont drive that much. I saved about 50 dollars a month switching to Progressive. I use to have insurance with State Farm but their rates were not competive. I did not buy my ownhomers as progressive was higher that I am paying now.

State Farm

$145 for 6 Months

One of the most important thing I look for in a car insurance is whether it will fit in my budget. I am a 34 female driver with a pretty good driving record. I drive an Toyota Camry mostly to work and consider State Farm Insurance pretty good insurance for my vehicle. I like State Farm because the amount I pay seem reasonable and is able to fix into my budget since I much carry full coverage on my vehicle. Also I like the customer service, and how State Farm Insurance handles their claim. I really haven't tried any other insurance companies, because State Farm seems reasonable to me.