Finding cheap car insurance is always difficult for high-risk drivers, but there are still ways to keep rates as low as possible if you get an SR-22.
Complete a Defensive Driving Course
If you have points on your record, you can get four of them removed by enrolling in a defensive driving course, either through the National Safety Council3 or a state-approved driving school.4 Each course is eight hours long.
Get Minimum Coverage
Getting minimum coverage, which we detail below, will result in the lowest car insurance premium.
Join the AAIPSC
If, in the past 60 days, you’ve tried and failed to find a car insurance provider that will accept you, you can use the Associated Auto Insurers Plan of South Carolina (AAIPSC) as a last resort. All insurance companies licensed in the state are required to participate, so you can contact any agent to join. The other option is contacting the program directly.
- Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fax: 401-528-1361
- Mailing address:
- Associated Auto Insurers Plan of South Carolina
- 302 Central Ave.
- Johnston, RI 02919
- Phone: 866-560-4100; Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. ET5
If you have an older car, feel free to drop collision and comprehensive coverage, as the deductible may be higher than the car’s actual cash value (ACV). You can also leave out add-ons like roadside assistance, rental car coverage, and new car replacement coverage.
If you’d rather not drop coverages completely, lowering the limits will lower your premium as well. Of course, this also means less of a payout when you have a covered claim.
Did you know South Carolina has the 16th-highest rate of homeownership in the U.S. at 71 percent? The average across the U.S. is 68 percent, according to first-quarter 2023 data from the U.S. Census Bureau.5 If you’re looking for both home and auto insurance, bundling it under the same provider will save you money on both. Even if you’re not a homeowner, some providers bundle auto insurance with renters, life, or boat insurance.
Ask for Discounts
Ask your insurance agent for ways you can save money through discounts. From enrolling in paperless billing to being a member of a particular organization, there are dozens of savings opportunities.
Increase Your Deductible
If you’ve kept your collision and comprehensive coverage, one way to lower your premium is to increase your deductible. The deductible is what you’ll pay out of pocket for a covered collision or comprehensive claim before your insurance company contributes up to your limit (your vehicle’s ACV). But if you don’t pay your deductible, your collision and comprehensive coverage become useless, so make sure you can actually afford it if you opt to raise it.
Get Usage-Based Insurance
South Carolina has the 10th-highest rate of car, truck, or van commuters in the country at 85 percent, according to 2021 U.S. Census data. That said, 12 percent of the state’s workers work from home, and for those who work in person, 26 percent have commutes less than 15 minutes long.
If you fall into either category, consider pay-per-mile insurance, also known as usage-based insurance (UBI). Aside from a small daily rate, you’ll pay only for the miles you drive, rewarding you with discounts for having low mileage. Some UBI programs take into account your driving behaviors as well, recording them through an app or Bluetooth device and giving discounts for safe driving.