South Carolina Car Insurance

From the coast to the Appalachians, there are plenty of great roads for cruising beautiful South Carolina, but just because you’re on a carefree drive doesn’t mean you should be careless about your car insurance. To help South Carolina drivers stay on top of their driving needs, The Simple Dollar has compiled this user-friendly guide about car insurance and safe driving in the Palmetto State.




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Stats in Your State

It helps to have a clear idea of the factors that affect the car insurance industry. We’ve drawn together several sets of data to compare insurance rates in South Carolina, as well as other factors like traffic fatalities and car repair costs, against the nationwide average.

Auto Insurance Premiums

From 2000 to 2008, South Carolina drivers enjoyed car insurance premiums that were well below the nationwide average. Relatively good weather and a good infrastructure in the state lead to fewer traffic accidents and, subsequently, lower insurance rates.

Traffic Fatalities over time

Compared with the high number of deaths in 2005 and 2007, South Carolina’s traffic fatalities decreased dramatically in the years that followed; by 2010, the number had fallen to just over 800. A wave of vehicle upgrades and widespread public awareness for safe driving contributed to the change both in South Carolina and across the country.

Auto Repair Costs

South Carolina’s average car repair costs fell below the national average in both 2010 and 2011. These stats reflect costs across the state, which are affected by the not only the number of drivers who choose to fix their cars, but also the types of repairs they seek.

Rules in Your State

Before you hop behind the wheel for a scenic drive or to go to the beach, you should know the rules of the road. Beyond just obeying the speed limit, it pays to stay on top of the state’s insurance regulations, laws for teen drivers, and drunk driving penalties. Read on for more details.

Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in South Carolina

The South Carolina government has established the following minimums:

  • $25,000 of bodily injury to another person
  • $50,000 of bodily injuries to all other persons
  • $25,000 of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident

Required Proof of Insurance in South Carolina

  • Name of Insurance Company
  • Insurance Policy Number
  • Effective Date/Expiration Date of Policy
  • Accurate description of year, make/model of registered vehicle
  • Name of Insured Driver

South Carolina Licensing Facts for Teen Drivers

Additionally, they have mandated the following teen driver rules:

Hardship License for Minors? No.

Learner’s Permit Age: 15 years. Must hold permit for at least 6 months before applying for a license.

Restricted License Age: 15 years, 6 months. No driving between midnight and 6:00 am unless accompanied by an adult over the age of 21.

Full License (Unrestricted) Age: 16 years, 6 months.

Additional Rules

Claims Settlement Practices: The link above provides access to the rules that apply to settlement practices in South Carolina, including general guidelines for claims handling.

South Carolina Insurance Regulations: The insurance regulations are sets of rules implemented by the insurance commissioner over the years, and cover various parts of the industry, including unfair claims practices.

Insurance Statutes and Legislation: Here readers will find the general legislation that applies to the insurance industry, and broadly covers business structures and trade practices.


Drinking and driving is dangerous and illegal. The following penalties have been established by the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles:

Administrative license suspension 1st offense? 6 months
Restore driving privileges during suspension? If hardship is demonstrated, license may be reinstated.
Are ignition interlocks mandatory for first offenders for the following offenses? No
Are ignition interlocks mandatory for repeat offenders for the following offenses? yes
Fine for first offense? $400 to $1,000
Jail sentence for first offense? 48 hours to 90 days

Representatives & Resources in Your State

Readers can seek guidance and assistance from their local government agencies by clicking on the links below. Since it’s tough to approach the insurance industry on one's own, it’s best to keep the Department of Insurance in mind when approaching any insurance-related issues, as they can help with information or consumer advocacy when needed.

South Carolina Department of Insurance
Post Office Box 100105
Columbia, SC 29202
(803) 737-6160
Contact Information
Consumer Complaint Resource
Car Insurance Information
The Insurance Department provides several useful resources to help consumers learn more about car insurance.

South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles
Post Office Box 1498
Blythewood, South Carolina 29016
(803) 896-5000
Contact Information
The Department of Motor Vehicles handles licensing, vehicle registration, and other driving essentials. Contact them for tips on road safety or to get started on renewing your registration.

South Carolina Department of Transportation
Attn: SCDOT Communications
955 Park Street
P.O. Box 191
Columbia, SC 29202-0191
(855) 467-2368
Contact Information
The Department of Transportation lists traffic updates, highway safety information, and other information.