South Carolina Auto Insurance
Under South Carolina law, all motorists must carry a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in
Bodily Injury Liability (BIL), which covers medical and related expenses for the other driver and occupants of
the car when the insured is at fault. A motorist must also carry at least $25,000 in Property Damage Liability
(PDL) coverage, which pays to repair or replace the property of others damaged in an accident for which the
insured was responsible. Neither BIL or PDL pays for the insured’s medical or property damage expenses. Keep in
mind that these are the minimum requirements. In a serious accident, these funds are often exhausted and the
at-fault driver’s personal assets are vulnerable in a lawsuit.
While South Carolina requires drivers to carry $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in BIL and $25,000
for PDL in uninsured motorist coverage, it does not require underinsured motorist coverage but is an optional
coverage which may be rejected in writing.
The state does not require collision and comprehensive coverage, but lenders of financed or leased vehicles will
almost certainly mandate such insurance.
Penalties for driving without auto insurance in South Carolina are serious. Insurance companies must notify the
South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) when a driver cancels a policy. If the driver does not have
new insurance by the time the SCDMV receives the notification, the driver receives a letter from the SCDMV
informing them they must have their insurance company verify insurance coverage electronically within 20
business days. Failure to send such verification results in suspension of the driver’s license, license plate,
and vehicle registrations listed on the policy. Drivers must pay up to $400 for driving privilege and license
SR-22 Insurance in South Carolina
South Carolina drivers convicted of a DUI or who have otherwise had their license suspended must file an SR-22
form, “certificate of financial responsibility,” to have their driver privileges restored. Drivers cannot file
the SR-22 form themselves but must have their auto insurance company do so. The minimum coverage for SR-22 insurance is the same as the standard state minimums, but drivers should expect to pay higher premiums because
of their motor vehicle violations. SR-22 insurance is generally required for three years, although it may prove
mandatory for longer periods depending on the individual driver.
South Carolina Driver Statistics
Just over 5 million people call South Carolina home, and 3.8 million of them have drivers’ licenses. The state’s
growth rate ranks 18th in the U.S. The average South Carolina resident is 38.8 years of age, but in recent
years, the state has become a popular retirement site for those seeking milder winters. While much of the state
is rural, much of it is also densely populated. South Carolina ranks as the 19th most densely populated state in
the country. However, only Charleston and Columbia have populations above 100,000.
Top industries in the state include aerospace, agriculture, automotive manufacturing, distribution and
logistics, and technology. Tourists flock to historic Charleston, or head to Myrtle Beach to sit in the sand or
swim in the ocean. The state is full of history, from Fort Sumter where the opening shots of the Civil War were
fired to the many restored plantations now open to visitors.
South Carolina Auto Insurance & Accident Facts
In 2017, South Carolina had the highest traffic fatality rate in the nation based on the miles traveled. In
fact, it was almost twice the national average. That year, 988 people died on South Carolina roadways. South
Carolina had more drunk driving deaths than any other state in the Southeast and ranked second in the nation
overall. In 2017, 178 of the drivers killed in South Carolina, out of a total of 509 dead, had a Blood Alcohol
Content (BAC) level of 0.08 percent or more.