The best car insurance in Columbia, SC

By

Lena Borrelli

Lena Borrelli

Insurance Expert

Lena Borrelli is a freelance contributor at Policygenius. With a diverse professional background, Lena spent time in finance, web marketing, and hospitality before settling into full-time life as a freelance writer.

Published November 23, 2021

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While the average cost of South Carolina car insurance is $1,864 per year, drivers in Columbia pay more at an average premium of $1,975 per year. However, your exact rates will vary based on multiple factors, like what car you drive, how much you drive, your age, your ZIP code, and your driving history.

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Policygenius can help you compare policies from Columbia insurers to find the right insurance for your budget and needs.

Key Takeaways

  • American National has the lowest average car insurance rate at $731 per year

  • The cheapest car insurance company in Columbia for drivers with poor credit is GEICO, at an average of $2,223 per year

  • Drivers in Columbia must maintain a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily liability coverage plus $25,000 in property damage liability

Cheapest car insurance companies in Columbia, SC

The cost of your car insurance premium depends on several factors that are unique to you, including your age, the car you drive, and your experience behind the wheel. Car insurance companies will also consider your annual mileage because how much you drive each also impacts your likelihood of an accident.

Company

Average cost

JD Power Rating

American National

$731

--

GEICO

$1,008

871

USAA

$1,135

890

Auto-Owners Insurance

$1,339

890

State Farm

$1,359

881

Cheapest car insurance rates by ZIP code in Columbia, SC

Where you live in Columbia is also a factor in how much you pay for your car insurance. Residents in certain Columbia ZIP codes pay more for car insurance than drivers in other areas because some neighborhoods present a higher risk to insurance companies. For example, rates of theft and vandalism vary by ZIP code, as do population densities and the volume of traffic.

ZIP code

Average cost

29201

$1,966

29203

$2,077

29204

$1,997

29205

$1,916

29206

$1,851

29207

$2,100

29208

$2,063

29209

$1,935

Choosing the right car insurance company in Columbia, SC

The most important step when choosing a policy is to compare rates from multiple carriers. Also make sure to consider what types of car insurance coverage are available and if there are any exclusions that could affect you. Most insurance companies also provide discounts such as vehicle safety discounts or savings when you bundle home and auto insurance.

Policygenius compares prices for you so that you can find the right car insurance policy for your needs.

Car insurance rates for drivers with driving violations in Columbia, SC

Your driving record is a critical factor in the cost of your auto insurance. Car insurance providers will look to your driving history to determine what kind of driver you are and the corresponding risk of insuring you. Certain violations will also increase your rates more than others.

Violation

American National

GEICO

USAA

Auto-Owners Insurance

State Farm

At-fault Accident

$1,050

$1,508

$1,720

$1,970

$1,657

DUI

$1,154

$2,561

$2,225

$2,866

$1,488

Driving with a suspended license

$1,246

$1,987

$2,139

$1,579

$1,488

Driving with an open container

$1,050

$1,987

$1,787

$1,579

$1,488

Driving with expired registration

$910

$1,011

$1,489

$1,340

$1,488

Driving without Lights

$910

$1,011

$1,489

$1,340

$1,488

Failure to show documents

$910

$1,011

$1,489

$1,340

$1,488

Failure to stop at a red light

$910

$1,011

$1,489

$1,340

$1,488

Cheapest car insurance for drivers with bad credit in Columbia, SC

Another factor in how much you pay for car insurance is your credit score. Providers use your credit score to determine whether you have a history of making timely payments. Bad credit has also been linked to a higher likelihood of incidents behind the wheel, so car insurance companies may charge more to cover the additional risk. However, the cost of car insurance for drivers with bad credit will still vary from provider to provider.

Company

Rates for drivers with bad credit

GEICO

$2,223

Nationwide

$2,413

American National

$2,651

State Auto

$2,751

USAA

$2,761

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Buying car insurance in Columbia, SC

Drivers in South Carolina are required to maintain a minimum amount of car insurance to legally operate a vehicle. South Carolina is also an at-fault state, which means that the driver found at fault for an accident is responsible for any resulting damages. When you are found at least 50% at-fault for an accident, South Carolina law dictates that you cannot claim damages from another party.

If you drive in South Carolina, here is the minimum amount of coverage you must carry:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident

  • Property damage liability coverage of $25,000

  • Uninsured motorist coverage equal to $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident

It is always a good idea to purchase more than the minimum required car insurance if you can afford it. Should you ever be involved in an accident resulting in extensive damages, you could be on the hook for any costs that exceed your policy’s limits. There are also option coverages you may want to consider, like underinsured motorists coverage, which insurers must offer you but you aren’t required to accept.

How to get cheap car insurance in Columbia, SC

To help you save money on your Columbia car insurance, here are some expert tips to consider:

  • Ask about discounts. Multiple individual discounts are available for everyone from teens and young drivers to military and senior drivers. Ask providers what kind of discounts may be available for you.

  • Practice safe driving. Car insurance companies often offer significant discounts when you maintain a driving record clear of any infractions or incidents.

  • Pass a course. Many car insurance companies will reward drivers that successfully pass an approved defensive driving course.

  • Shop multiple quotes. Not all insurance companies offer the same rates, so it’s important to shop around for the right policy.

Frequently asked questions

What is the cost of car insurance in South Carolina?

The average cost of car insurance in South Carolina is $1,864 per year, a bit higher than the national average.

How much does car insurance cost in Columbia?

The average cost of car insurance in Columbia is $1,975 per year, but you may be able to find cheaper car insurance, depending on where you live.

What is the cheapest car insurance company in Columbia?

The cheapest car insurance company in Columbia is American National at an average cost of $731 per year. However, you should always compare quotes to find the right company for you.

How do I find the cheapest car insurance in Columbia?

The best way to find the cheapest car insurance in Columbia is to shop around. Policygenius can help you compare pricing from multiple providers to find the best car insurance at the cheapest price.

Methodology

Policygenius has analyzed car insurance rates provided by Quadrant Information Services for every ZIP code in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. For full coverage policies, the following coverage limits were used:

  • Bodily injury liability: 50/100

  • Property damage liability: $50,000

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist: 50/100

  • Comprehensive: $500 deductible

  • Collision: $500 deductible

In some cases, additional coverages were added where required by state or insurer.

Rates for overall average rate, rates by ZIP code, and cheapest companies determined using averages for single drivers ages 30, 35, and 45. Our sample vehicle was a 2017 Toyota Camry LE driven 10,000 miles/year.

Rates for driving violations and “Poor” credit determined using average rates for a single male 30-year-old driver with a credit score under 578.

Some carriers may be represented by affiliates or subsidiaries. Rates provided are a sample of costs. Your actual quotes may differ.