With rates well in hand, at 30th least expensive and below the national average as well as being in the top ten states for the least uninsured drivers, South Carolina insurance premiums are better than 60% of other states. If you are looking for insurance in South Carolina, be sure to understand your legal obligations.
Traditional Tort System
South Carolina follows a traditional tort system for their auto insurance, meaning that in accidents those at fault generally pay for their mistakes literally. In an at fault state you have multiple options to recover expenses if you feel you were not at fault. You can negotiate privately, although this is only suggested for very minor accidents where you are sure of the person at fault. Otherwise most drivers hire a personal injury attorney and litigate the case civilly or make a direct third party claim against the at fault party.
South Carolina also legally mandates that all drivers in the state must carry Liability coverage that also has an Uninsured policy attached to it. The minimum liability coverage required for all drivers is $25k for personal injury to one person, $50k total coverage for multiple injuries in one accident and $25k for coverage of property damage. The Uninsured policy needs to include these same minimums to cover you in case the at fault party is driving without insurance, only a 7% chance approximately in the state. Underinsured policies must be offered with every policy in the state, but this can be declined.
As with most states, in South Carolina you can opt for a number of extra insurance coverages or simply for higher coverages. If you opt for the minimum coverage, you should be aware, that most claims in the state are not covered by these minimums and you would be responsible for any amounts beyond this minimal coverage. This is why most insurers suggest an amount that is similar to a serious accident that may involve injuries to assure your coverage is adequate within the state of South Carolina.
Other coverages in order to get “full coverage” a term used to mean you are covered for multiple types of issues could include collision, comprehensive, medical payments, rental reimbursement, towing and labor and even Gap insurance.
AAIPSC for High Risk Drivers
As insurance in mandatory in the state, certain high risk drivers may find they are unable to get insurance through traditional means. The Associated Auto Insurers Plan of South Carolina is the last resort for these drivers. If you have multiple DUIs or accidents, this may be you only option. However remember that it should be your last resort, as rates in the plan are usually much higher than in regular policies. However, it does provide to any driver that can obtain a license.
Proof of Insurance
As insurance is mandatory for any driver in the state, providing proof of insurance is the burden of any licensed driver. Proof of insurance will be needed in standard traffic stops by enforcement officers as well as if you are ever in a car accident. Failure to provide valid insurance also comes with its own consequences. If you do not have proof of insurance you have 30 days to prove you have insurance. You may still face a fine for not having it on you while driving. If you cannot provide proof within 30 days you can face license revocation, fines and imprisonment.