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South Carolina Car Insurance Requirements

South Carolina Minimum Car Insurance Requirements

The state of South Carolina requires its drivers to carry two types of car insurance: liability coverage and uninsured motorist coverage. With these requirements comes a state-mandated minimum amount every driver must carry in order to be considered a legal driver. Those minimums are as follows according to South Carolina law:

Liability Insurance

  • $25,000 bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 property damage per accident

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

  • $25,000 bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 property damage per accident

Failure to carry at least what is mandated by law has some harsh penalties. It is also important to remember that if you have an auto loan or lease your vehicle, your lender or leasing company would require you to carry additional car insurance.

South Carolina Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Despite car insurance being required by law in South Carolina, many drivers still choose to get behind the wheel without any coverage. Getting into an accident with such a driver can be a stressful experience. Typically, following an accident you were not responsible for, you would file your injury claims with the other driver’s insurance. However, when there is no insurance to turn to, you can be stuck with these costly bills. If that is the case, your uninsured motorist insurance will pick up your expenses. South Carolina requires all drivers to carry this type of insurance.

South Carolina Liability Insurance

Along with uninsured motorist coverage, South Carolina mandates all drivers carry liability insurance. Liability insurance will pay for the other driver’s injuries and damaged property in an accident you are found to be responsible for. It is important to note that your liability insurance policy will never cover any of your expenses.

Diminished Value in South Carolina

South Carolina is one of 15 states that is a diminished value state. In a diminished value state, you are able to try to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to recover diminished value if you experience losses when selling your car. Even if your vehicle has been completely restored, the fact that it was in an accident is enough to make its value plummet. Should you witness this during the selling process, you can file a diminished value claim with the other driver’s insurer.

In the state of South Carolina, you must meet the following requirements in order to file such a claim:

  • You were not responsible for the accident
  • You can provide documentation of the accident and repairs
  • The accident happened under 3 years ago
  • South Carolina does have uninsured motorist coverage for such a claim

Car Insurance Limits in South Carolina

Almost every state in America requires every driver to carry a certain amount of insurance coverage. These coverage amounts are determined by the state’s government and are known as coverage limits. In the state of South Carolina, the minimums for both liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage as expressed as 25/50/25. Each number represents a different aspect of insurance: bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident, and property damage, respectively. What these categories cover is outlined below.

  • Bodily injury per person is the maximum amount your insurer will pay for a single person injured in an accident.
  • Bodily injury per accident is how much your insurance policy will cover for all injuries in an accident.
  • Property damage per accident is the amount of money your insurance company will pay for damage to property in the event of a collision.

Is South Carolina’s Mandatory Insurance Minimums Enough Coverage?

Purchasing only state-mandated insurance amounts is never recommended. While it may seem sufficient at the time and premiums are lower than other policies, after an accident, you and your assets could end up in an unfortunate situation. Collisions get very costly, very quickly and whatever is left over after your insurance pays can come back to you. It is a very tricky position to put yourself in. The best move would be to purchase adequate insurance coverage and utilize any policy add-ons that make sense for you.

Driving Without Proof of Insurance in South Carolina

Since car insurance is required by law in South Carolina, failing to provide proof of coverage has some serious consequences. The chart below outlines what you could be facing should you choose to get behind the wheel of a car without carrying the required insurance.

Consequences
1st Offense
2nd Offense
Fines
$100-$200
$200
Jail Time
30 days
30 days
Reinstatement Fees
$200
One year
$200, plus further proof of insurance

On top of what has been outlined above, you could also be facing an SR22 requirement and suspension of driving privileges.

Additional Types of Car Insurance in South Carolina

While South Carolina does require drivers to carry two different types of insurance, there are still various ways you can go about expanding your policy. Taking time to consider the types of car insurance outlined below can help strengthen coverage.

  • Collision: Collision coverage protects your vehicle when it sustains damage from an accident with another car.
  • Comprehensive: This coverage protects your vehicle against non-collision-related incidents. Some perils covered under this policy include theft and extreme weather.
  • Gap Coverage: This can be helpful if you have an auto loan on a vehicle that has been totaled. Gap coverage will pay the difference in what is remaining on the loan and the actual cash value of your vehicle.
  • Medical Payments: Medical payments coverage will pay for medical expenses you and your passenger(s) accumulate following an accident.
  • Roadside Assistance: If your car experiences some issues while on the road, roadside assistance can be there to resolve a variety of mechanical problems.

Car Insurance is Important For Any South Carolina Driver

While you can never predict a car accident, you can try to prepare for it, and the best way to do this is by purchasing an adequate car insurance policy. You never want to be caught up in a collision carrying only the state-mandated minimums. Accidents can easily exceed those limits leaving you and your assets at risk. It is recommended you take time to purchase a policy with increased coverage limits and features any policy add-ons you see fit.

*This product may not be available in every state, please call an agent for more information.

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