The best car insurance in South Carolina

Jessica Olivo

By

Jessica Olivo

Jessica Olivo

Freelance contributor

Jessica Olivo is a writer living in Connecticut. She specializes in web and blog content in a variety of topics such as parenting, business, and culture, as well as serialized and short fiction.

After working in publishing and book publicity for many years, she transitioned to freelance writing full time.

Published November 18, 2021

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The average cost of car insurance in South Carolina is $1,864, though individual rates will vary based on factors like age, ZIP code, driving history, and how much coverage you buy.

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The best way to make sure you’re getting the most affordable car insurance coverage possible is to compare quotes before you pick a policy. Policygenius can show you what you’ll pay for coverage from top companies, so you can choose the best option for you

Key Takeaways

  • American National has lowest average rates for full coverage car insurance in South Carolina

  • GEICO has the cheapest coverage for brand new drivers

  • South Carolina requires $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage, as well as $25,000 in property damage liability coverage

Cheapest car insurance companies in South Carolina

American National has the cheapest average premiums in South Carolina — $683 for a full coverage policy, which is almost half the cost of some of their competitors. But car insurance costs can vary widely from driver to driver, so you should still shop around to make sure you’re finding the best rates.

Company

Average cost

JD Power Rating

American National

$683

--

GEICO

$1,064

871

USAA

$1,163

890

State Farm

$1,305

881

Auto-Owners Insurance

$1,329

890

Cheapest car insurance companies by age in South Carolina

Young drivers pay the most for car insurance because they are more likely to file a claim in the years they are gaining experience on the road. Fortunately, with age and practice come lower rates and most drivers will see their rates drop by age 25.

Age

Cheapest company

Average cost

16

GEICO

$3,351

18

American National

$1,663

21

American National

$1,072

25

American National

$751

30

American National

$716

35

American National

$688

45

American National

$645

55

American National

$591

Choosing the right car insurance company in South Carolina

Cost is always an important factor when choosing a car insurance company. But before you go with your cheapest quote, consider all the coverage you’re getting and get a feel for a company’s customer service ratings. That will help you pick a policy that is not only affordable, but also provides the best overall value. Policygenius can help you see your options, so you know you’re choosing the right policy.

Car insurance rates for drivers with driving violations in South Carolina

Since drivers with accidents and violations on their record are more likely to file a claim in the future, insurance companies consider them a bigger risk to insure, and they’ll pay more for car insurance.

Violation

American National

GEICO

USAA

State Farm

Auto-Owners Insurance

At-fault Accident

$970

$1,595

$1,758

$1,577

$1,935

DUI

$1,063

$2,705

$2,274

$1,424

$2,767

Driving with a suspended license

$1,144

$2,100

$2,187

$1,424

$1,572

Driving with an open container

$970

$2,100

$1,828

$1,424

$1,572

Driving with expired registration

$844

$1,071

$1,523

$1,424

$1,333

Driving without Lights

$844

$1,071

$1,523

$1,424

$1,333

Failure to show documents

$844

$1,071

$1,523

$1,424

$1,333

Failure to stop at a red light

$844

$1,071

$1,523

$1,424

$1,333

Cheapest car insurance for drivers with bad credit in South Carolina

Having bad credit is likely to cost you when it comes to car insurance.  Anything you can do to raise your credit score before shopping for a new policy will help you get a cheaper rate.

Company

Rates for drivers with bad credit

Nationwide

$2,322

GEICO

$2,356

American National

$2,476

State Farm

$2,674

State Auto

$2,680

Car insurance costs in South Carolina cities

Location plays a factor in how much you pay for auto insurance. Crime rates, traffic patterns, past accidents and claims and even the cost of car repairs in your city will all affect what you’ll pay for car insurance coverage. Here’s what drivers pay in the 10 biggest cities in South Carolina:

  • Charleston: $1,970

  • Columbia: $1,975

  • North Charleston: $2,056

  • Mount Pleasant: $1,765

  • Rock Hill: $1,833

  • Greenville: $1,754

  • Summerville: $2,002

  • Goose Creek: $1,964

  • Hilton Head Island: $1,627

  • Sumter: $1,929

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Buying car insurance in South Carolina

South Carolina requires drivers to have at least a minimum amount of car insurance, although most drivers need well over those minimum amounts in order to be fully protected. The coverage levels required by law are:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage per person: $25,000

  • Bodily injury liability coverage per accident: $50,000

  • Property damage liability coverage: $25,000

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: Coverage must equal liability limits ($25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident

How to get cheap car insurance in South Carolina

Car insurance can be expensive, but there are some go-to tips for making sure you’re getting your most affordable rates.

  • Shop around. Not all insurance companies will charge the same amount even for the same coverage, so compare quotes before you buy

  • Look for discounts. Insurance companies offer lots of opportunities to save. These include safe driver discounts, good student discounts, and military discounts

  • Bundle policies. Get your auto and home insurance from the same company and save on both.

Frequently asked questions

What can I do to raise my credit score so I don’t pay more for insurance?

To avoid paying more due to bad credit, you can make sure you pay your credit card bills on time, don’t allow excessive inquiries into your credit score, increase your credit limit, and double check your credit report for errors.

How can I save money with a new driver on my policy?

Having a new driver on your policy can cause your rates to go up, but you can save some money if your teenager gets good grades or takes a defensive driving course. Check with insurance companies to see what kind of discounts they offer for teen drivers.

Why should I buy more insurance than what’s required in my state?

Minimums are just that — the bare minimum. If you get into an accident, having only the state-mandated requirements might leave you with a big bill to cover on your own.

Who has the cheapest rates in South Carolina?

American National has the cheapest average rate in South Carolina — by a lot. At $683 for a full coverage policy, they are well below the next closest competitor. Of course, low premiums sometimes come at a price, so do your homework and make sure you’re getting the coverage you need and the service you deserve.

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.