If you’re looking for affordable South Carolina car insurance, it pays to compare. Prices vary dramatically from one company to the next. NerdWallet researched rates from the seven largest insurers in the state and found the three cheapest options for several types of drivers:
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Cheapest for good drivers
For drivers with no at-fault accidents, DUIs or moving violations.
For South Carolina drivers with clean records, Geico had the best deal among the insurers we looked at. The company had an average quote of $776 per year, which comes to about $65 per month. South Carolina Farm Bureau and Allstate rounded out the three cheapest companies for good drivers with good credit.
If you have no violations or crashes on your record, look for discounts that will reward your responsible driving.
Cheapest for young drivers
For drivers in their early 20s.
Young drivers usually don’t have as much to lose in a crash-related lawsuit as older drivers and can therefore select leaner and cheaper policies. So we looked at quotes for drivers in their early 20s carrying the minimum state-mandated coverage limits.
Allstate delivered the lowest average price at $572 per year. For comparison, this was $204 less than the best deal we found for 30-year-old good drivers who had fuller policies. Geico was next cheapest for young drivers, followed by South Carolina Farm Bureau.
Cheapest for drivers with poor credit
For drivers placed in the “poor credit” tier.
Causing a car accident often triggers a rate increase when you renew your policy, but the size of the increase depends on the company. Geico served up the cheapest rates in our test, at $1,198 per year, or roughly $100 per month, with State Farm and Allstate rounding out the cheapest three.
Annual rates approached $3,500 on the high end of our analysis, illustrating just how much you can save by shopping around.
Cheapest for drivers with one at-fault accident
Car insurers can use drivers’ credit as a predictor of future claims and often charge higher rates to those with poor credit. In some cases, drivers with poor credit can pay higher rates than even those with an at-fault accident in South Carolina.
Allstate came out as the best option for those with poor credit in our analysis, with a rate of $1,698 per year, or roughly $142 per month. South Carolina Farm Bureau and Geico were second and third cheapest, at about $146 and $151, respectively.
Cheapest for retired drivers
For drivers in their mid- to late 60s who no longer use their car for commuting.
For retirees, giving up the daily commute is a major plus when it comes to finding cheap car insurance in South Carolina. We looked at rates for drivers in their 60s who spend half as much time in the car each year as other groups.
Geico, with a rate of around $55 a month, was the best deal overall in our test. Allstate and South Carolina Farm Bureau round out the three cheapest, both coming in under $75 per month. The most expensive rate we found for this group was almost $128 per month, showing you can still save by shopping around, even if you drive very little.
Cheapest for drivers with a military connection
If you’re an active member of the military or a veteran — or have an immediate family member who is — chances are good you’ll get a good rate with USAA, an option that isn’t available to the general public. USAA is among the three cheapest auto insurance option for all driver types above except those with poor credit.
Minimum car insurance requirements in South Carolina
South Carolina drivers are required to carry liability coverage, uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UMBI) and uninsured motorist property damage coverage (UMPD).
Here are the minimum amounts needed to drive legally:
- $25,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $25,000 property damage liability per accident
- $25,000 UMBI per person
- $50,000 UMBI per accident
- $25,000 UMPD per accident
Although these limits will satisfy legal requirements, it’s wise for most drivers to get more than the bare coverage. The minimum car insurance might not be enough to fully cover accident costs, and the remaining balance would have to come out of your own pocket.
Visit NerdWallet’s guide to car insurance requirements by state for more detail on how coverage works.
Alternative car insurance in South Carolina
Drivers who’ve been denied car insurance on the voluntary market within the past 60 days may qualify for coverage under the Associated Auto Insurers Plan of South Carolina. This option helps drivers who have checkered driving histories, extremely poor credit or other factors preventing them from getting traditional auto coverage.
NerdWallet can make it easy to find coverage at the most competitive price. Use our car insurance comparison tool to view rates from top insurers.
Here’s a summary of where you’ll find the cheapest rates, by category:
Cheapest car insurance in South Carolina
|Drivers with poor credit||Geico|
|Drivers with one at-fault accident||Allstate|
|Drivers with a military connection||USAA|
For most categories, NerdWallet averaged rates from the largest insurers for 30-year-old men and women in 10 ZIP codes and with the following coverage limits:
- $100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person
- $300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per crash
- $50,000 property damage liability coverage per crash
- $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person
- $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per crash
- Collision coverage with $1,000 deductible
- Comprehensive coverage with $1,000 deductible
We used a 2014 Toyota Camry in all cases. Our sample retired driver was age 67 and drove 50% fewer annual miles than other groups. Our sample young driver was age 22 and carried the minimum required coverage. These are sample rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.