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South Carolina Auto Insurance

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The state of South Carolina uses a Tort insurance system. If you are found at fault in a car accident, you and your car insurance company have to cover material damages incurred by other drivers and, if necessary, their medical bills too.

Minimum insurance requirements

The minimum insurance requirements in South Carolina are a 25/50/25 Liability and 25/50/25 UM:

  • $25,000 per injured passenger in an accident where you were at fault, but not more than $50,000 for all injured people,
  • $25,000 for property damages in an accident where you were at fault,
  • $25,000 per injured passenger in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist, but not more than $50,000 for the whole accident,
  • $25,000 for material damages caused by uninsured or underinsured motorists.

Average quotes in South Carolina

South Carolina residents seem to pay very little for auto insurance. The average policy costs $845 per year, which is about half the national mean figure of $1,678. There are, however, more expensive cities to be insured in, like Charleston with $1,426, Greenville with $1,382, North Charleston with $1,534, Sumter with $1,612, Columbia with $1,455, Hilton Head Island with $1,199, Rock Hill with $1,408, Florence with $1,604, Mount Pleasant with $1,419 or Spartanburg with $1,414.

Use of cellphones while driving in SC

The state of South Carolina has passed a bill that puts a ban on text-based communications while operating a vehicle. Distraction and Inattention are listed under Contributing Factors in the state’s Traffic Code. No further restrictions are in place, but authorities strongly recommend the use of hands-free devices when engaging in phone calls while driving.

Teenage driving regulations in South Carolina

South Carolina uses a Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system for aspiring drivers of at least 15 years old. The concept is meant to help teenagers get hands-on experience with driving on public roads while still minimizing the risk of them getting into very risky situations. Provisional license holders are subject to a few restrictions:

  • teenagers of less than 16 years old may only drive in the morning, between 6 am and 12 am, and must be accompanied by a licensed driver of legal age;
  • teenagers older than 16 who have held their permit for more than six months may drive unattended between 6 am and 6 pm. At night, however, they must be assisted by a licensed driver;
  • they may not more than two passengers younger than 21, unless they are immediate family members.

Penalties for driving uninsured

Driving without insurance in South Carolina is a misdemeanor. The DMV will have your license and registration suspended for 30 days or more and will charge you $5.00 for each day the vehicle was uninsured, up to $200.00, plus another reinstatement fee of $200.00.

If you have also been involved in a car accident, whether or not it was your fault, you will have to pay another $550.00 uninsured motorist fee and chances are you will also be asked to file a SR22 certificate for three years.

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