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South Carolina Car Insurance Requirements and Coverage

A road sign that reads Welcome to South Carolina to depict the car insurance requirements and coverage in South Carolina.

Car accidents are a fact of life in our modern, mobile society. If you’ve ever been in one, you may have learned first-hand the importance of car insurance. South Carolina understands the importance as well, and requires all drivers to carry a minimum level of insurance coverage.

South Carolina Auto Insurance Minimum Requirements

If it’s time to shop for a new policy, whether you’re purchasing a new car or just looking for better or cheaper insurance, you should familiarize yourself with the South Carolina auto insurance requirements before you start getting auto insurance quotes. SC insurance agents will of course make sure that your policy meets these requirements, yet having this knowledge yourself will help you to ask good questions and make a good decision.


Liability insurance ensures that you can cover other drivers’ expenses in the event that you’re at fault in an accident. South Carolina requires you to have, at least:

  • Bodily Injury – at least $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident
  • Property damage – at least $25,000 per accident

Uninsured Motorist

An unfortunate truth is that not everyone follows the rules. If you’re ever in an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance, you could end up needing to cover all your expenses yourself. To prevent this, SC requires you to carry uninsured motorist coverage. Here is the minimum coverage required:

  • Bodily Injury – at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
  • Property Damage – at least $25,000 per accident

While these are the required minimums, you can always choose more coverage.

What If You’re Caught Driving Without Insurance?

So you have uninsured motorist coverage in case you’re in an accident with an uninsured driver, but what are the penalties for someone who’s caught driving without insurance? South Carolina does allow drivers to register as uninsured motorists by paying a $550 annual fee. This does not absolve them of financial responsibility if they are at fault in an accident, and they’ll be required to pay out-of-pocket. For those driving without insurance who are not registered uninsured motorists, these are the penalties:

First Offense

  • Must pay $550 Uninsured Motorist fee.
  • $100-$200 fine or imprisonment.
  • $5 per day for lapse in coverage.
  • Suspension of license and registration.
  • $200 reinstatement fee.
  • SR-22 required.

Second Offense

Those who are caught a second time without insurance are subject to these penalties:

  • $200 fine + $5 per day without insurance.
  • $5 per day for a lapse in coverage.
  • 30 days imprisonment.
  • Suspension of license and registration.
  • $200 reinstatement fee.
  • Must provide proof of insurance.

Third and All Subsequent Offenses

After the second offense, here are the penalties any time someone is caught driving without insurance:

  • $5 per day without insurance.
  • $5 per day of lapse in coverage.
  • 45 days to 6 months imprisonment.
  • License and registration suspended.
  • $200 reinstatement fee.
  • Must provide proof of insurance.

Now that we’ve discussed the required coverage, we’ll look at some additional things you should know. Many people’s first thought when shopping for insurance is, “Where can I get cheap car insurance?” In SC, as in most states, your rates are going to depend on a number of factors, including your accident history and driving record. Having things on your record like a DUI or several tickets will increase your rates. If you need cheap auto insurance, SC is like any other state – insurance companies in South Carolina reward the safest drivers with the best rates.

Regardless of your record, it’s always smart to shop around. Get a number of car insurance quotes; SC does have slightly lower-than-average rates compared to other states, so this will certainly help. Now, armed with this knowledge, you’re prepared to find the right insurance policy for your needs.

Now that you’ve learned the basics about South Carolina auto insurance requirements, request a free South Carolina car insurance quote online or by calling 800-624-8532 and find out how much you can save on car insurance. Freeway Insurance can help you obtain low-cost South Carolina auto insurance, even if you have tickets, an accident or DUI.

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