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Last updated: April 1, 2024

Average Cost of Car Insurance in South Carolina

Learn how much you can expect to pay for insurance in the Palmetto State.

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Many people enjoy driving along the coastline of South Carolina. It’s a state known for its beaches and marshlands. When enjoying a drive, keep in mind that South Carolina’s Department of Insurance has minimum insurance requirements for all drivers. This law is to help ensure that everyone has the means to pay for at-fault accidents.

The amount of insurance you opt to have can dramatically affect the price of your insurance, as can your specific demographic data, such as age, gender, and location. Below, we break down the cost of car insurance based on many of these demographic details.

Average Cost of Car Insurance in South Carolina

The average cost of car insurance for full coverage in South Carolina is $1,418 per year, or $118 per month. As we go through each demographic, you’ll see that prices do fluctuate dramatically based on specific data. Your location, age, gender, and coverage level will significantly impact what you spend on car insurance in the state. Let’s dig deeper into the demographics.

By City

Where you live will impact the price of your car insurance. Different ZIP codes have different base rates because some areas are more prone to accidents and theft than others. Insurance companies keep track of this data and charge more in areas with a high probability of claims.

City Average annual cost of car insurance
Charleston $1,557
Columbia $1,469
North Charleston $1,663

By Age

Your age is one of the most significant factors that exist for insurance prices. Younger individuals will pay more than older people when all other factors remain the same. Teen drivers pay the most since they don’t have a track record of responsible driving and are considered a high-risk category. The good news is that insurance gets dramatically more affordable once drivers hit their 20s and even more so in their 30s.

Age Average annual cost of car insurance
16 $4,581
18 $4,518
20s $2,685
30s $1,463
40s $1,426
50s $1,357
60s $1,298
70s $1,497

By Gender

Gender plays a role in insurance costs. On average, men pay more for insurance than women because, statistically, they are more likely to get into an at-fault accident than women.

Gender Average annual cost of car insurance
Male $1,489
Female $1,401

By Coverage Level

While you are required to carry minimum liability coverage in South Carolina, it’s a good idea to buy more than the minimum. Those who opt for full coverage will spend more than those who choose to get only the legal requirement of minimum liability. However, full coverage and higher limits will protect you from lawsuits in the event of a serious accident.

Coverage level Average annual cost of car insurance
Minimum $602
Full $1,418

By Violation

You will pay more for auto insurance when you have an accident or get a ticket in South Carolina. Those with an incident on their record are more likely to cause accidents and make claims, which is why their rates are higher.

Driving Record Average annual cost of car insurance
Clean $1,418
At-fault accident $2,186
Ticket $1,857
DUI $2,523

By Company

Different companies offer different rates, which is why you want to shop around for the best pricing possible.

Company Average annual cost of car insurance
State Farm $1,338
Travelers $1,403
American Family $1,106
Allstate $1,657
Progressive $1,900
GEICO $1,234


Check out our roundup of the best auto insurance companies in South Carolina.

By Credit Score

In South Carolina, insurance carriers can use your credit score to help price your auto insurance. The better your score is, the better pricing you will get.

Credit score Average annual cost of car insurance
Excellent $1,143
Good $1,398
Fair $1,600
Poor $2,562

Cheapest Car Insurance in South Carolina

The following companies have some of the cheapest rates for auto insurance in South Carolina.

Demographic Cheapest company Annual rate
Full coverage American National Insurance $783
Minimum coverage American National Insurance $225
Bad credit USAA $2,269
16 years old American National Insurance $3,928
17 years old American National Insurance $1,843
18 years old American National Insurance $1,690
25 years old American National Insurance $857
Speeding Ticket GEICO $1,452
Accident State Farm $1,906
DUI State Farm $1,728

How to Save on Car Insurance in South Carolina

There are several things that you can do to help you save on car insurance. The first thing is to shop around for the best rate. Make sure that each quote has the exact same coverage options.

If your rate is still too high after shopping around, consider adjusting your deductible. The deductible is how much you pay for repairs to your vehicle for a collision or comprehensive claim. The higher your deductible is, the lower your monthly insurance payments will be. However, make sure you can afford a higher deductible before changing your coverage.

Finally, ask your insurance agent about car insurance discounts that you might be eligible for. Popular discounts for teens are a good student discount and a driving class discount. Seniors may also qualify for a discount with a refresher course on driver safety. Most carriers also offer discounts for bundling home insurance with auto and driving fewer than 7,000 miles per year.


If you have more than one vehicle, insuring them on the same policy can get you a multi-car discount, which can save you up to 25 percent, depending on your provider.

Minimum Car Insurance in South Carolina

South Carolina law requires every driver to have minimum car insurance coverage. This requirement would equate to a liability-only policy. The required minimum coverage is:

  • $25,000 bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 in property damage per accident1


Many accidents have injuries and damages valued over the minimum liability limits, so it’s wise to get more than the minimum requirements.

Fault Law in South Carolina

South Carolina is a fault state, meaning that the person who caused the accident is financially responsible for the costs of medical care and property repair caused by the accident. While minimum liability coverage will cover most minor accidents, drivers may face a lawsuit for a more significant accident if they don’t have the insurance coverage to meet the cost of the damages.


South Carolina uses SR-22s when there is a need to show financial responsibility. The state may require the SR-22 after a serious ticket or accident, such as a DUI. The driver will need to file an SR-22 with the Department of Motor Vehicles to demonstrate that they hold at least the minimum liability insurance coverage for their vehicle.


Shopping around for insurance can be overwhelming since many factors go into a quote. However, you can simplify things by getting apples-to-apples quotes from different carriers. Be sure to ask for all the discounts you are eligible for, and do your best to maintain a clean driving record to keep rates as low as possible.

Methodology seeks to help consumers find the best insurance policy for the best rates possible. It uses demographic data to show the price difference based on each demographic detail. All rates quoted in this article use South Carolina data as the basis of the quote. Doing this helps you find the best rate possible for your specific needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is car insurance so high in South Carolina?

There are a number of reasons why car insurance rates in South Carolina are higher than average. Additionally, rates vary across the state depending on ZIP code. In general, car insurance rates are higher in places where accidents are statistically more likely to take place.

Is $100 per month expensive for car insurance?

No, $100 per month is not expensive for car insurance in South Carolina. Our research shows that the average cost for full coverage car insurance in South Carolina is $118 per month. So, paying $100 per month is below average and a good deal.

Is insurance cheaper in South Carolina or North Carolina?

Insurance is cheaper in North Carolina than in South Carolina. North Carolina is one of the least expensive states for car insurance in the country, while rates in South Carolina run slightly higher than the national average.

How much does car insurance go down after one year of no claims?

Each insurance carrier is different in how they rate your policy, but you can expect to see your premium go down anywhere from 5 to 20 percent in the first year with no claims.


  1. FAQs: Auto Insurance. South Carolina Department of Insurance. (2024).