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Best Car Insurance in Columbia, South Carolina

The best auto insurance in the Soda City

Cheapest for Full and Minimum Coverage
American National Logo

Among analyzed providers, American National had some of the cheapest rates for various driver profiles, for full coverage or minimum liability.

Best for Customer Satisfaction
State Farm Logo

Among providers widely available in South Carolina, State Farm has the highest J.D. Power customer satisfaction ratings in the Southeast.

Best for Military Members
USAA Logo 2023

USAA provides auto insurance and other financial services to South Carolina’s military and veteran population, offering low rates with high-quality customer service.

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Our Commitment to You: At, our mission is to help you make smarter auto insurance decisions with confidence. We follow a strict editorial policy to ensure the accuracy of information presented is rooted in data and vetted by thousands of hours of research. While we may earn compensation from our partners, this does not influence our assessments and recommendations. Learn more about how we make money.

Columbia is the capital city of South Carolina and home to more than 136,000 South Carolinians, making it the second-most-populous city in the state. At a minimum, South Carolina requires drivers hold the following liability coverage:

  • Bodily injury: $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident
  • Property damage: $25,000 per accident

However, depending on your situation, it’s usually a good idea to purchase more than the state-required minimum.

Whether you’re shopping for full coverage or minimum liability, have good or bad credit, are a new driver or experienced behind the wheel, we’ve rounded up the options to match you with the best coverage for your needs.

Summary of the Best Auto Insurance in Columbia, SC

  1. 1.

    Cheapest for Full and Minimum Coverage in Columbia, SC: American National

  2. 2.

    Best for Customer Satisfaction in Columbia, SC: State Farm

  3. 3.

    Best for Military Members in Columbia, SC: USAA

  4. 4.

    Best for Teen Drivers and Their Families in Columbia, SC: Auto-Owners

  5. 5.

    Best for Low-Mileage Drivers in Columbia, SC: Allstate

Comparison of the Best Auto Insurance in Columbia, SC

Company Average annual cost for full coverage in Columbia, SC Average annual cost for minimum coverage in Columbia, SC Discounts Regional J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Rating (average is 839 out of 1,000)1
American National $786 $272 Bundling, claims-free, single deductible, deductible waiver Not rated
State Farm $1,432 $731 Accident-free, defensive driver, telematics, driver training, good student, multi-vehicle, bundling, vehicle safety, Steer Clear, student away at school 847
USAA $1,166 $583 Bundling, multi-vehicle, good student, good record, garage at military base, telematics, driver training, defensive driver, legacy, vehicle features, vehicle in storage 876
Auto-Owners $1,301 $621 Bundling, good payer, pay-in-full, paperless, advance quote, multi-vehicle, vehicle features, claims-free, good student, student away at school, teen GPS monitoring 816
Allstate $1,914 $1,021 Bundling, multi-vehicle, Smart Student, new car, telematics, vehicle features, automatic payment, paperless, early signing, pay in full, responsible payer, safe driver 832

Detailed List of the Best Auto Insurance in Columbia, SC

1. Cheapest for Full and Minimum Coverage in Columbia, SC - American National

What We Like Most:

  • Cheapest for teens
  • Roadside assistance comes with windshield repair
  • Excellent financial strength

American National offers some of the cheapest auto insurance in South Carolina, including in Columbia. It beats out the competition on premiums, whether you’re a safe driver or have an at-fault accident.

If you prefer shopping online, take note that American National’s website provides limited information on coverage options and discounts, and you’ll need to get a quote by phone with an agent.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    People looking for the lowest rates
  • pro
    Customers who plan to bundle auto, home, and life insurance
  • pro
    Drivers with an at-fault accident on their record
  • pro
    People driving a new or leased car
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    People who want a fast quote
  • con
    Customers who want to compare options online

Affordable Premiums

With an average annual rate of $786 for full coverage and $272 for minimum coverage, American National is the cheapest among our analyzed providers in Columbia. Here’s how it stacks up:

Company Full coverage average rate annually Full coverage average rate monthly Minimum coverage average rate annually Minimum coverage average rate monthly
American National $695 $58 $272 $23
USAA $1,166 $97 $583 $49
Auto-Owners $1,301 $108 $621 $52
State Farm $1,432 $119 $731 $61
Farm Bureau $1,651 $138 $767 $64
Allstate $1,914 $160 $1,021 $85


How much car insurance do you really need? We recommend liability limits of at least $100,000 bodily injury per person and $300,000 per accident, and $100,000 property damage per accident (often shortened to 100/300/100). Increasing your limits above the state minimum usually adds only a few dollars to your premium and protects your assets in case of an accident.

We also recommend medical payments and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverages for the same reason. Depending on the age and value of our vehicle, collision and comprehensive are also often worthwhile.

Good for Bad Credit

One in 3 South Carolinians has a credit score below 600, and bad credit can affect how much you pay for insurance.2 Insurance companies consider drivers with a low credit score to be high risk because statistically they are more likely to file claims, and companies raise premiums as a result. In some cases, having bad credit increases your insurance costs more than a DUI.

With the exception of USAA (which is available only to military members), American National has the lowest rates for drivers with bad credit. Here’s how it compares to other insurers in Columbia:

Company Full coverage annual rate for drivers with bad credit Full coverage monthly rate for drivers with bad credit Minimum coverage monthly rate for drivers with bad credit Minimum coverage monthly rate for drivers with bad credit
American National $2,352 $196 $870 $72
USAA $1,694 $141 $753 $63
Auto-Owners $3,944 $329 $1,566 $130
State Farm $4,503 $375 $1,302 $108
Farm Bureau $2,812 $234 $1,640 $137
Allstate $3,450 $288 $1,145 $95

Triple Bundling Discount and Perks

Most auto insurance companies offer bundling discounts when you purchase an additional insurance policy type from it, such as home or life insurance. American National goes a step further and offers an additional discount when you bundle three lines: auto, home, and life.

Additionally, if you insure your vehicle and home with the company and remain claims-free for three years in a row, American National will return a portion of your premium in cash. Each additional year without a claim, you receive another check.

2. Best for Customer Satisfaction in Columbia, SC - State Farm

What We Like Most:

  • Multiple discounts for safe driving, including one specifically for young drivers
  • Local agents
  • Discounts for multiple cars

State Farm is known nationally for its affordable premiums and high-quality customer service, and Columbia is no exception. With A++ rating for financial stability from AM Best,3 it offers a robust set of discounts and boasts above-average customer satisfaction scores in the region. The company has 33 agents in Columbia, making it easy to get a quote.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    Customers looking for personalized, quality service
  • pro
    People who want to bundle home and auto insurance
  • pro
    Drivers with an at-fault accident
  • pro
    RV owners
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    People with a bad credit score
  • con
    Customers who need gap insurance

Top-Notch Customer Satisfaction

Every year, J.D. Power ranks auto insurance companies for customer satisfaction, assessing five factors:

  1. Billing process and policy information
  2. Claims
  3. Customer interaction
  4. Policy offerings
  5. Price

Among the insurers with above average scores in the Southeast, State Farm is the only provider that is both widely available (i.e., doesn’t require an affiliation like USAA) and operates in South Carolina. Here’s how State Farm compares to the competition:

Company J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Score (regional average for the Southeast is 839 out of 1,000)
State Farm 847
Progressive 836
Nationwide 834
Allstate 832
Safeco 829
Liberty Mutual 820
Travelers 818
Auto-Owners 816
National General 812
Farmers 807
USAA 876

Competitive Rates for Drivers With an At-Fault Accident

The cost of insurance after an at-fault accident usually increases by around 45 to 50 percent in South Carolina, which is on par with the national average. Along with American National, State Farm has some of the cheapest full-coverage insurance in Columbia after an accident:

Company Full coverage annual cost with an at-fault accident Percent increase compared to drivers with a good record
State Farm $1,450 5%
American National $850 22%
USAA $1,494 28%
Auto-Owners $1,546 19%
Farm Bureau $1,737 5%
Allstate $2,142 12%

Good Bundling Discount

After Allstate, State Farm offers the best bundling discount in South Carolina among our analyzed providers — with an estimated 17 percent off for buying both home (including condo and renters) and auto policies. Additionally, you can save 20 percent if you insure multiple vehicles in the same household on one State Farm policy.

3. Best for Military Members in Columbia, SC - USAA

What We Like Most:

  • Cheapest rates for teens on a family policy or on their own
  • Special discount for teens transitioning off their parents’ policy
  • Strong customer service and claims process

USAA offers financial services, including auto insurance, to military members, veterans, and their families. With a J.D. Power customer satisfaction score of 876 out 1,000, it’s the highest-ranked insurer in the Southeast region and a great choice for drivers in Columbia.


South Carolina has one of the highest proportions of active-duty military members relative to population size in the U.S.4

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    Military members, veterans, and their families
  • pro
    People with a good driving record
  • pro
    Drivers with bad credit
  • pro
    People planning to finance a vehicle
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    People not affiliated with the U.S. military
  • con
    People who want usage-based insurance, as USAA’s offering is not currently available in South Carolina

Strong Coverage at Low Prices

USAA offers the following auto insurance coverage options, including some you won’t find everywhere, like rideshare, classic car, and car replacement assistance. Additionally, USAA’s roadside assistance stands out as some of the best in the market.

  • Bodily injury and property damage liability
  • Medical payments
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist
  • Comprehensive and collision
  • Roadside assistance
  • Rental reimbursement
  • Car replacement assistance
  • Rideshare
  • Classic car
  • Umbrella insurance

USAA has some of the cheapest rates in the country and the second-cheapest in Columbia. While you may find lower rates with American National, if you’re eligible for USAA, we recommend considering it for your auto insurance due to its financial strength and strong track record for customer satisfaction.

Low APR for Auto Loans

In addition to auto insurance, USAA offers other financial services, including auto loans.

When financing a car, we recommend shopping around with at least three lenders to find the best interest rate. If you’re a USAA member, it’s a good idea to get a quote from the company, as it tends to offer interest rates below the market average. Additionally, unlike some other lenders, USAA often lets you take your car if you deploy, move, or travel overseas.

Category New car Used car
National average APR5 7.40% 11.60%
USAA starting APR (on a 36-month loan term, with a 0.25% discount for auto-pay)6 5.99% 6.09% (model years 2016 to 2021)

9.25% (model years 2015 and older)


See the impact of different rates on your monthly payments and total interest with our auto loan calculator.

Competitive Premiums for Bad Credit

Among our analyzed providers, USAA has the best rates for drivers with bad credit. If your credit is below 600 and you’re eligible for USAA membership, it’s worth getting a quote. Here’s how USAA compares to other insurers in Columbia:

Company Full coverage annual rate for drivers with bad credit Full coverage monthly rate for drivers with bad credit Minimum coverage monthly rate for drivers with bad credit Minimum coverage monthly rate for drivers with bad credit
USAA $1,694 $141 $753 $63
American National $2,352 $196 $870 $72
Auto-Owners $3,944 $329 $1,566 $130
State Farm $4,503 $375 $1,302 $108
Farm Bureau $2,812 $234 $1,640 $137
Allstate $3,450 $288 $1,145 $95
4. Best for Teen Drivers and Their Families in Columbia, SC - Auto-Owners
Auto-Owners Insurance logo

What We Like Most:

  • Low premiums for adding a teen to a policy
  • Good rates even after an accident
  • Discount for GPS monitoring

With an annual full coverage rate of $2,491 for adding a teen driver to a family policy, Auto-Owners is the cheapest option for teens and their families in Columbia. It’s the third-cheapest option in Columbia overall, after American National and USAA, and it offers a great set of discounts and coverage options.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    Families with teen drivers
  • pro
    Customers who want to work with local agents
  • pro
    People who want to bundle auto, home, and life insurance
  • pro
    People who need gap insurance
ConsWho It's Not Best For

Good Rates and Discounts for Teens

Auto-Owners has some of the cheapest rates for teens nationally, including in Columbia. Among our analyzed providers, Auto-Owners has the cheapest rates for teens added to a family policy in Columbia:

Company Full coverage annual cost for teen drivers on a family policy Full coverage monthly cost for teen drivers on a family policy
Auto-Owners $2,491 $208
USAA $2,789 $232
State Farm $2,833 $236
Farm Bureau $3,122 $260
Allstate $3,425 $285

Auto-Owners helps families with teens save by offering three discounts specific to student drivers:

  • Good student, for student drivers who maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Student away at school, for drivers who attend university full time at least 100 miles away and leave the car at home
  • Teen driver monitoring, for families with a permanently installed GPS monitor in the car or teens with an eligible app on their phone

Financial Protection After an Accident

The costs of an at-fault accident can add up fast, from increased premiums to deductibles to repairs. Auto-Owners offers a range of options that can save you money in the event of an accident:

  • At-fault accident forgiveness: Prevents your premium from rising after an at-fault accident (to purchase, you must have no at-fault accidents or major violations in the past three years)
  • Diminished value coverage: Covers the difference in your vehicle’s value after an accident (good for families who plan to trade-in their vehicle)
  • Gap coverage: Pays for the difference between what you owe and the actual value of the car in the event of a total loss
  • Additional expense coverage: Pays for a rental car and, if you’re stranded away from home, food, lodging, and incidentals
  • Collision Coverage Advantage: Waives your collision deductible if you get into an accident with another Auto-Owners insured vehicle

Plenty of Discounts

Auto-Owners offers a robust set of discounts, which can help you save on premiums:

  • Multi-policy, including an additional discount for purchasing life insurance
  • Good payer (on-time payments for three years)
  • Pay in full
  • Paperless billing
  • Advance quote
  • Multi-car
  • Safety features and anti-theft devices
  • Claims-free
  • Good student
  • Student away at school
  • Teen GPS monitoring
5. Best for Low-Mileage Drivers in Columbia, SC - Allstate

What We Like Most:

  • Three ways to earn a student discount
  • Pay-per-mile option for drivers with low mileage
  • No waiting period to purchase accident forgiveness

For people in Columbia who drive only occasionally, Allstate is a great option. It’s one of the few major insurers that offers pay-per-mile insurance, which can save infrequent drivers a lot of money. It also has nice student and bundling discounts.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    People who drive fewer than 8,000 to 10,000 miles annually
  • pro
  • pro
    College student drivers with any GPA
  • pro
    Rideshare drivers
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    Drivers with an at-fault accident
  • con
    Younger teen drivers

Pay-Per-Mile Insurance

Allstate offers its pay-per-mile insurance plan, Milewise, in 21 states, including South Carolina. Pay-per-mile insurance is a good option for people who own a car they don’t drive frequently, for example:

  • Remote workers
  • Retirees
  • Stay-at-home parents
  • College students on campus
  • Households with a secondary car

Pay-per-mile plans charge you a base rate, plus a per-mile rate. For example:

Factor Amount
Monthly base rate $45
Per-mile rate $0.07
Miles driven per month 600 miles
Monthly rate $87

If you insure multiple vehicles with Allstate, you can choose whether to designate each as pay-per-mile or traditional unlimited mileage.


In addition to saving on auto insurance, driving fewer miles will also cut down on gas expenses. Use our Fuel Cost Calculator to estimate how much you can save.

Good Bundling Discount

Among our analyzed providers, Allstate offers the best discount for bundling home and auto policies — up to 25 percent off in South Carolina. You can also earn a 20 percent claims-free discount if you switch to Allstate for homeowners insurance and have no recent claims.

Rideshare Coverage

Personal auto policies (with any provider) won’t cover losses sustained while you’re working for a rideshare service, which is why it’s essential to purchase rideshare coverage.

For rideshare drivers in Columbia — whether you work for Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, or another service — Allstate’s Ride for Hire coverage offers important protection and typically adds only a few dollars to your monthly premium.

Period Your personal auto policy (without rideshare coverage) Transportation Network Coverage (the rideshare company’s insurance) Auto policy with Allstate’s rideshare coverage
Offline — rideshare app is off Your personal policy protects you. N/A N/A
App on — waiting for a passenger Your personal policy doesn’t apply because you’re working. Offers limited protection Protects you for losses not covered by the rideshare company’s insurance.
Accepted trip or passenger — en route to passenger or on trip Your personal policy doesn’t apply because you’re working. Offers protection, but with a high deductible Pays for up to $2,500 of the rideshare company’s deductible.


Uber estimates that its rideshare drivers in Columbia, South Carolina, earn $23.39 per hour. Some of the most popular pickup and drop-off destinations are the Hub at Columbia, Walmart Supercenter, TLC sports bar, hotels, and the airport. The highest-demand times are 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and when the weather is bad.7


How much does car insurance cost in South Carolina?

The average cost of auto insurance in South Carolina is around $1,330, or 4 to 5 percent above the national average.

Is car insurance more expensive in Columbia?

The average cost of car insurance in Columbia is slightly higher than the South Carolina state average. Columbia’s average rate is a little lower than Charleston’s and a little higher than Greenville’s.

What are the cheapest insurance companies in Columbia?

American National, USAA, and Auto-Owners have some of the cheapest rates in Columbia, South Carolina. Each insurance provider calculates its premiums differently, so we recommend comparing at least three quotes to find the best rates.

Is South Carolina an at-fault state?

Yes, South Carolina is an at-fault state. As long as you hold less than 50 percent of the fault for an accident, you can receive compensation. Your compensation decreases in proportion to your responsibility. For example, if you’re awarded $100,000 for damages but hold 20 percent of the fault, your compensation will reduce by $20,000, to $80,000.


We evaluated auto insurance providers on their prices, coverages, available discounts, financial strength, and customer satisfaction scores in Columbia, South Carolina. Learn more about our methodology:

  • Proprietary data: has a database of customer insights amassed over 20 years of matching customers with auto insurance policies. We used this data along with contemporary pricing and trend analysis to estimate average rates for auto insurance in Columbia, South Carolina, for the following categories: full coverage, liability only, teen drivers, drivers with an at-fault accident, and drivers with bad credit.
  • Public information: We analyzed data from independent, third-party organizations such as J.D. Power, AM Best, Moody’s, and the Better Business Bureau, as well as government sources, to evaluate each provider on metrics like customer satisfaction, financial stability, and claims process.
  • Institutional expertise: Our experienced team knows the nuances, strengths, and weaknesses of each auto insurance provider. We also rely on the expertise of Paul Ford, president of insurance at Centerfield, the parent company of Paul brings nearly three decades of industry expertise, and his background includes tenures at Canadian Access, InsLogic, Capital One Insurance Services, NetQuote, Bankrate, and Datalot.