Cheap Auto Insurance in South Carolina
Auto Insurance Requirements in South Carolina
Every state requires drivers to be able to meet their financial obligations should they cause a motor vehicle accident. With the exception of Iowa, providing proof that you can meet your financial obligations is required as a prerequisite for registering and driving a car. In South Carolina, there’s only one option for doing so: purchasing a cheap car insurance policy offering the minimum liability and property damage coverage.
It must be noted that proof of insurance must be presented when you register your vehicle for the first time. Upon registration renewal the DMV will check with your insurance company to make sure you still have a policy in force. If you switch companies you will have to send the state some sort of proof of your new policy so as to avoid fines and penalties. In terms of applying for, or renewing, a drivers license you’ll also have to indicate on the form whether or not you already have a liability policy on your car.
South Carolina Minimum Amounts
Every state has a minimum amounts insurance companies are required to provide on a standard auto policy; South Carolina is no exception. In that state the minimum amount of insurance you are allowed to purchase is as follows:
• property damage in the amount of $25,000 per accident
• bodily injury or death for one person in the amount of $25,000 per accident
• bodily injury or death for multiple persons in the amount of $50,000 per accident
Personal injury protection (PIP) and uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) are optional in South Carolina. Collision and comprehensive is also optional on vehicles with clean titles. If there’s an outstanding lien on your title, say from a bank or other lending institution, you’ll probably be required by the lien holder to purchase collision and comprehensive insurance as well. This insurance protects their investment as long as the lien is outstanding.
Driving without Insurance
It is possible to legally drive without insurance in South Carolina if you qualify as a non-insured driver and pay a $550 annual fee. However, if you cause an accident you’ll still be held responsible to pay any damages assessed to you. Without insurance that money will come either through seizure and sale of your personal property or through garnishment of your wages. This option is probably not viable unless you are fairly well-to-do. Otherwise it’s better just to purchase a cheap car insurance policy and get on with it.
If you’re caught driving without insurance initial fees could range between $100 and $500 depending on your circumstances. If you are the owner of the uninsured vehicle you were caught driving, you’ll also have to file an SR-22 affidavit along with proof of a new insurance policy. Failure to do so will result in a suspension of your registration and driver’s license. You’ll have to pay a reinstatement fee to get them back once the suspension period has ended.