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Best Cheap Car Insurance in South Carolina for 2021

May 24, 2021
Auto Insurance, Insurance
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If you’re looking for cheap car insurance in South Carolina, it pays to compare. Prices vary dramatically from one company to the next.

NerdWallet researched rates from 23 insurers in the state and found the five cheapest options for several types of drivers.

Cheapest Car Insurance Company Overall in South Carolina
American National$52/month
3.0 NerdWallet rating
Cheapest for Minimum Coverage
American National$19/month
3.0 NerdWallet rating
Cheapest for Young Drivers
American National$45/month
3.0 NerdWallet rating
Cheapest for Drivers with Poor Credit
American National$174/month
3.0 NerdWallet rating

 

Cheapest car insurance in South Carolina for 20-year-old drivers

Young drivers may have to get a lot of quotes to find cheap car insurance. Prices can be sky-high for younger 20-somethings, but tend to come down as drivers get more experience on the road. To cut down on costs, young drivers might want to consider buying only state-mandated coverage, rather than full coverage insurance. Still, some companies routinely have lower insurance rates for drivers in their 20s, so it's best to shop around to find them.

Many insurance companies offer ways for young drivers to save, such as good student discounts for those in college or premium reductions for those who take a defensive driving course. If you live in an apartment, consider getting your renters and auto insurance from the same company to take advantage of bundling discounts.

Cheapest full coverage car insurance in South Carolina for 20-year-olds

Drivers in South Carolina with clean driving records may want to consider the following companies, which had the lowest average rates:

  1. American National: $1,214 per year.
  2. Travelers: $2,057 per year.
  3. Geico: $2,301 per year.
  4. South Carolina Farm Bureau: $3,069 per year.
  5. Auto-Owners: $3,153 per year.

Cheapest minimum coverage car insurance in South Carolina for 20-year-olds

Drivers in South Carolina who want just the state minimum coverage may want to check with these companies, which had the lowest average rates:

  1. American National: $537 per year.
  2. Geico: $824 per year.
  3. Travelers: $909 per year.
  4. Allstate: $1,197 per year.
  5. Auto-Owners: $1,244 per year.

Cheapest auto insurance in South Carolina for 20-year-olds with poor credit

Drivers with poor credit in South Carolina should look at the following insurers with the lowest average rates for minimum coverage:

  1. Geico: $1,432 per year.
  2. Travelers: $1,483 per year.
  3. American National: $1,805 per year.
  4. Allstate: $1,872 per year.
  5. Nationwide: $1,998 per year.

Cheapest auto insurance in South Carolina for 20-year-old drivers with one at-fault crash

For drivers with a recent accident in South Carolina, here are the companies with the lowest average rates for minimum coverage:

  1. American National: $752 per year.
  2. Geico: $969 per year.
  3. Travelers: $1,132 per year.
  4. Auto-Owners: $1,686 per year.
  5. Nationwide: $1,794 per year.

Cheapest auto insurance in South Carolina for 20-year-old drivers after a DUI

The cheapest auto insurance we found after a DUI is shown here, alongside the insurers’ average rates for minimum coverage:

  1. American National: $868 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,215 per year.
  3. Travelers: $1,277 per year.
  4. Progressive: $1,734 per year.
  5. South Carolina Farm Bureau: $1,793 per year.

Cheapest car insurance in South Carolina for 30-year-old drivers

By the time they reach their 30s, most drivers enjoy cheaper car insurance rates than in their teens and 20s. Still, factors like a person’s driving record and car make and model can increase prices.

Drivers in their 30s can get lower rates by shopping around and taking advantage of car insurance discounts. You may be able to save by insuring multiple vehicles with the same carrier, or by bundling your auto policy with your home insurance. Also, keep an eye out for discounts based on your profession or affiliations; some insurers offer more affordable insurance rates for teachers, members of the military or alumni of certain colleges.

Cheapest full coverage car insurance in South Carolina for 30-year-olds

Drivers in South Carolina with clean driving records may get the lowest rates from these companies:

  1. American National: $621 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,238 per year.
  3. Travelers: $1,353 per year.
  4. Auto-Owners: $1,411 per year.
  5. Nationwide: $1,545 per year.

Cheapest minimum coverage car insurance in South Carolina for 30-year-olds

Drivers in South Carolina who want their state’s minimum coverage can check with the following companies, which had the lowest average rates:

  1. American National: $229 per year.
  2. Geico: $390 per year.
  3. Auto-Owners: $448 per year.
  4. Allstate: $523 per year.
  5. Encompass: $588 per year.

Cheapest auto insurance in South Carolina for 30-year-olds with poor credit

Drivers with poor credit in South Carolina should consider the following companies with the lowest average rates for full coverage:

  1. American National: $2,092 per year.
  2. Geico: $2,109 per year.
  3. Nationwide: $2,146 per year.
  4. Travelers: $2,306 per year.
  5. Allstate: $2,403 per year.

Cheapest auto insurance in South Carolina for 30-year-old drivers with one at-fault crash

For drivers in South Carolina with a recent accident, here are the lowest average rate options for full coverage:

  1. American National: $801 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,673 per year.
  3. Travelers: $1,690 per year.
  4. Auto-Owners: $1,880 per year.
  5. Encompass: $2,158 per year.

Cheapest auto insurance in South Carolina for 30-year-old drivers after a DUI

For the cheapest auto insurance after a DUI, we found the following options for full coverage.

  1. American National: $898 per year.
  2. Travelers: $1,849 per year.
  3. Progressive: $2,246 per year.
  4. South Carolina Farm Bureau: $2,303 per year.
  5. Geico: $2,356 per year.

Cheapest car insurance in South Carolina for 40-year-old drivers

Drivers in their 40s tend to have better insurance rates than their younger counterparts but still pay more than older age groups. Shopping around for cheap car insurance quotes with multiple insurers is the best way to find lower rates. Good drivers who don’t get behind the wheel often might want to consider pay-per-mile insurance, which charges drivers by how many miles they drive.

Ask about discounts for signing up for autopay, paying your premium in full rather than quarterly or monthly, and opting for electronic statements. If you own your home, consider insuring it with the company that provides your auto insurance; most carriers offer bundling discounts.

Cheapest full coverage car insurance in South Carolina for 40-year-olds

Drivers in South Carolina with clean driving records may want to think about the following companies, which had the lowest average rates:

  1. American National: $566 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,225 per year.
  3. Travelers: $1,241 per year.
  4. Auto-Owners: $1,437 per year.
  5. Nationwide: $1,463 per year.

Cheapest minimum coverage car insurance in South Carolina for 40-year-olds

Drivers in South Carolina who want just the minimum coverage may want to check prices from these companies, which had the lowest average rates:

  1. American National: $219 per year.
  2. Geico: $387 per year.
  3. Auto-Owners: $475 per year.
  4. Allstate: $523 per year.
  5. Encompass: $588 per year.

Cheapest auto insurance in South Carolina for 40-year-olds with poor credit

Drivers with poor credit in South Carolina can check out the following insurers with the lowest average rates for full coverage:

  1. American National: $1,908 per year.
  2. Nationwide: $2,035 per year.
  3. Geico: $2,094 per year.
  4. Travelers: $2,100 per year.
  5. Allstate: $2,403 per year.

Cheapest auto insurance in South Carolina for 40-year-old drivers with one at-fault crash

For drivers with a recent accident living in South Carolina, here are the companies with the lowest average rates for full coverage:

  1. American National: $725 per year.
  2. Travelers: $1,624 per year.
  3. Geico: $1,657 per year.
  4. Auto-Owners: $1,919 per year.
  5. Encompass: $2,158 per year.

Cheapest auto insurance in South Carolina for 40-year-old drivers after a DUI

The cheapest full coverage auto insurance we found for drivers with a DUI came from the following companies.

  1. American National: $811 per year.
  2. Travelers: $1,778 per year.
  3. South Carolina Farm Bureau: $2,102 per year.
  4. Progressive: $2,144 per year.
  5. Geico: $2,339 per year.

Cheapest car insurance in South Carolina for 50-year-old drivers

Drivers in their 50s have, on average, cheaper auto insurance rates than most other age groups. Prices will continue to drop as they inch toward their 60s and gain more driving experience. Rates can still vary depending on other factors such as a driver’s gender and location, so it’s smart to shop around to find the cheapest price you can. Our list of the best cheap car insurance companies is a good place to start.

Some insurers offer senior discounts to policyholders in their 50s, though some may require you to take a defensive driving course to snag the savings. If you’ve been with your insurer for many years, you may qualify for a loyalty discount. Still, it’s a good idea to check with other companies periodically to make sure you’re not paying too much.

Cheapest full coverage car insurance in South Carolina for 50-year-olds

Drivers in South Carolina with clean driving records may want to get quotes from these insurers, which had the lowest average rates:

  1. American National: $546 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,150 per year.
  3. Travelers: $1,223 per year.
  4. Encompass: $1,295 per year.
  5. Nationwide: $1,368 per year.

Cheapest minimum coverage car insurance in South Carolina for 50-year-olds

Drivers in South Carolina who opt for the state minimum coverage may want to consider the following companies, with the lowest average rates:

  1. American National: $206 per year.
  2. Geico: $365 per year.
  3. Auto-Owners: $450 per year.
  4. Encompass: $460 per year.
  5. Allstate: $485 per year.

Cheapest auto insurance in South Carolina for 50-year-olds with poor credit

Drivers with poor credit in South Carolina can check with the following companies, which showed the lowest average rates for full coverage:

  1. American National: $1,838 per year.
  2. Nationwide: $1,903 per year.
  3. Geico: $1,954 per year.
  4. Travelers: $2,066 per year.
  5. Allstate: $2,182 per year.

Cheapest auto insurance in South Carolina for 50-year-old drivers with one at-fault crash

For drivers living in South Carolina with a recent accident, here are the insurers with the lowest average full coverage rates:

  1. American National: $696 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,579 per year.
  3. Travelers: $1,601 per year.
  4. Encompass: $1,706 per year.
  5. Auto-Owners: $1,834 per year.

Cheapest auto insurance in South Carolina for 50-year-old drivers after a DUI

The cheapest auto insurance we found for drivers with a recent DUI comes from the following companies, listed with rates for full coverage.

  1. American National: $778 per year.
  2. Travelers: $1,753 per year.
  3. Progressive: $1,978 per year.
  4. South Carolina Farm Bureau: $2,035 per year.
  5. Geico: $2,260 per year.

Cheapest car insurance in South Carolina for 65-year-old drivers

Although 65-year-olds have cheaper car insurance rates than many other age groups on average, prices will start increasing as they get older. To find cheap auto insurance for seniors, drivers in their mid-60s should shop around to find the lowest rate.

Drivers in this age group should also take advantage of any available discounts for senior citizens. For example, some companies will discount your rate if you take a defensive driving course. You may also be able to save money after retirement if you’re driving fewer miles each year.

Finally, consider whether you need all the coverage you currently have. If you’re not commuting to work each day, for instance, you may not need rental reimbursement coverage when your own car is in the shop for repairs.

Cheapest full coverage car insurance in South Carolina for 65-year-olds

Drivers in South Carolina with clean driving records may want to think about getting quotes from these companies, which had the lowest average rates:

  1. American National: $547 per year.
  2. Travelers: $1,187 per year.
  3. Geico: $1,204 per year.
  4. Nationwide: $1,285 per year.
  5. Encompass: $1,337 per year.

Cheapest minimum coverage car insurance in South Carolina for 65-year-olds

Drivers in South Carolina who want just the state minimum coverage may want to check with these insurers, which had the lowest average rates:

  1. American National: $235 per year.
  2. Geico: $392 per year.
  3. Encompass: $487 per year.
  4. Auto-Owners: $517 per year.
  5. Nationwide: $576 per year.

Cheapest auto insurance in South Carolina for 65-year-olds with poor credit

Drivers with poor credit in South Carolina can look at the following companies with the lowest average rates for full coverage:

  1. Nationwide: $1,779 per year.
  2. American National: $1,842 per year.
  3. Travelers: $2,031 per year.
  4. Geico: $2,042 per year.
  5. Allstate: $2,333 per year.

Cheapest auto insurance in South Carolina for 65-year-old drivers with one at-fault crash

For drivers with a recent accident living in South Carolina, here are the companies with the lowest average rates for full coverage:

  1. American National: $707 per year.
  2. Travelers: $1,639 per year.
  3. Geico: $1,642 per year.
  4. Encompass: $1,776 per year.
  5. Auto-Owners: $1,962 per year.

Cheapest car insurance in South Carolina for 65-year-old drivers after a DUI

The cheapest auto insurance we found after a DUI came from the following companies, shown with their average rates for full coverage.

  1. American National: $793 per year.
  2. Travelers: $1,798 per year.
  3. South Carolina Farm Bureau: $1,822 per year.
  4. Progressive: $2,162 per year.
  5. Geico: $2,325 per year.

Minimum auto insurance limits required 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 of insurance coverage 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.

Liability car insurance covers the cost of any damage, injuries or deaths you cause in a car accident, up to your policy’s predefined limits.

Uninsured motorist coverage will cover expenses from injuries or damage after an accident with a driver who doesn’t have car insurance. Underinsured motorist coverage will cover the same expenses if you’re hit by a driver with some car insurance, but not enough to cover all costs from the crash.

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.

Methodology

For our “good driver” profile, NerdWallet averaged insurance estimates from an average of 14 insurers in each state and Washington, D.C., for single male and female drivers with good credit and no tickets or violations. The analysis included 5-10 of the largest insurance companies in each state; smaller insurers were also included when rates were available. Liberty Mutual and its subsidiaries were excluded from our analysis as rates were not available.

For full coverage policies, we used the following coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person.
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident.
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident.
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person.
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident.
  • Collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible.
  • Comprehensive coverage with a $1,000 deductible.

In states where required, minimum additional coverages were added. Some policies include additional coverages at the insurer’s discretion.

  • We used a 2018 Toyota Camry L for all drivers and assumed 12,000 annual miles driven.
  • We analyzed rates for drivers 20 to 80 years old in five-year increments.

We used the same assumptions for all other driver profiles, with the following exceptions:

  • For drivers with minimum coverage, we adjusted the numbers above to reflect minimum required coverage by law in the state.
  • We changed the credit tier from “good” to “poor” as reported to the insurer to see rates for drivers with poor credit.
  • For drivers with one at-fault crash, we added a single at-fault crash that happened six months ago, resulting in $10,000 in property damage and no bodily injury claim.
  • For drivers with a DUI, we added a single drunken driving violation that happened six months ago.

These are rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.

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