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South Carolina Car Insurance
South Carolina has over 2.8 million cars covered by car insurance and 3.3 million licensed drivers. While the state has stringent laws regarding South Carolina car insurance, which is regulated by the Department of Insurance (http://doi.sc.gov/consumer/Pages/Auto.aspx), it does offer a unique option for drivers to drive legally without insurance. Drivers with a spotless driving record can pay $550 per year to the Department of Public Safety Department of Motor Vehicles to avoid the significant penalties and fines associated with driving without South Carolina auto insurance; however, this does not afford the driver liability insurance in the event he or she is found at fault in an accident. South Carolina is not a no-fault accident state. Most drivers prefer to find cheap car insurance. Another option the State of South Carolina offers is the South Carolina Associated Insurance Plan (SCAIP), which offers car insurance coverage to eligible drivers in South Carolina who cannot obtain car insurance in the private car insurance market. Drivers who take advantage of SCAIP must return to the private market once they are able to do so, and most of them can find a South Carolina cheap car insurance policy.
South Carolina Car Insurance Rates and Requirements
South Carolina law requires all drivers to have at least liability coverage for vehicles registered to the driver. Proof of insurance is required when a driver applies for a new driver's license or renews his or her driver's license. Additionally, proof of insurance with the name of the carrier is also required when the driver gets his or her registration and license for the first time. The name of the carrier is required when the driver renews his or her registration, and the Department of Public Safety Division of Motor Vehicles will verify South Carolina insurance coverage electronically.
The minimum liability insurance requirements for drivers in South Carolina are as follows:
* Bodily injury coverage of at least $25,000 per person
* Accident coverage of at least $50,000 per incident
* Personal property damage coverage of at least $25,000
The typical average annual premium rate paid for car insurance in South Carolina is $866. The average rate for liability insurance premiums is $466 per year. Collision coverage averages $252 per year and comprehension coverage averages $164 annually. Drivers who have a college education can qualify for lower rates than those offered to those with a lower level of education.
The Major Insurance Carriers in South Carolina
The major car insurance carriers in South Carolina include the following:
* Liberty Mutual Insurance
* The Travelers
* The General
* Safe Auto
* State Farm
* Titan Auto Insurance
All of these companies offer South Carolina auto insurance quotes online and rank well in South Carolina car insurance ratings.
The Consequences for Driving Uninsured in South Carolina
The penalties for driving uninsured or having a registered vehicle without insurance in South Carolina are substantial, especially when it is possible to get South Carolina cheap auto insurance by finding South Carolina car insurance quotes online.
If a driver is pulled over, the driver must present proof of insurance to the police officer or highway patrolman. If the driver does not have proof of insurance, the officer can issue a citation that carries fines and the possibility of imprisonment. If the driver does not produce proof of insurance to the Department of Public Safety Division of Motor Vehicles within 30 days, the department can suspend the person's driver's license indefinitely. If the driver reinstates his car insurance, the driver must carry a SR-22 insurance policy and pay reinstatement fees ranging from $100 to $550.
If a driver is in an accident, the officer will issue the driver a Notice of Requirement Form FR-10. The driver must give the form to his insurance carrier, and the carrier must send the Department of Public Safety Division of Motor Vehicles verification of insurance coverage within 15 days or the driver's license and registration might be suspended.
In the event the driver or the insurance carrier cancels the driver's insurance policy, the insurance company will electronically notify the Department of Public Safety Division of Motor Vehicles through the Automobile Insurance Liability Reporting System (ALIR). The driver has the responsibility of providing proof of insurance or surrendering the license plate of the car to the Division of Motor Vehicles. If the driver does not provide the proof of insurance or fails to surrender the vehicle's license plates, the driver may have his or her driver's license and registration suspended. The driver will have to pay a reinstatement fee of $400 after obtaining insurance to return his or her driver's license and registration to good standing.
Drivers and Risk in South Carolina
South Carolina has the highest rate of deaths per 100,000 miles driven despite 85 percent of the drivers using seat belts. The number of fatal car crashes in South Carolina in 2010 was 1,046 with 810 fatalities. The state has the fourth highest rate of driver's convicted of driving under the influence and leads the country in the rate of car fatalities due to excessive speed. Six percent of the drivers in South Carolina are teenagers and they have the highest fatality rate of all the drivers in South Carolina. All these factors influence South Carolina auto insurance ratings of drivers.
Road and Road Conditions in South Carolina
The major interstates that run through South Carolina include I-20, I-26, I-95, I-85 and I-77. Most of these interstates have loops around the major metropolitan areas of Charleston Columbia, and Greenville. These highways tend to have delays due to construction, and many have significant congestion in urban areas. The secondary roads in South Carolina also tend to have significant congestion because they have more traffic than they are designed to have. Many of the secondary roads are poorly maintained and have sharp curves, drop offs and little to no shoulder space. Many of the fatal car accidents in South Carolina occur on the secondary roads
Car Theft in South Carolina
In 2005, there were 24,000 cars stolen in the State of South Carolina, with the majority of the thefts occurring in the Columbia area. In an effort to decrease the number of cars stolen in South Carolina, the state legislature is considering increasing the requirements for getting a title for a car as well as increasing the dealer and scrap shop holding period for cars from three days to fifteen days.
The 10 most stolen cars in South Carolina in 2009 according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau are as follows:
1. 1996 Honda Accord
2. 1994 Chevrolet CK 1500
3. 1997 Ford Explorer
4. 1999 Ford 150
5. 2000 Ford Crown Victoria
6. 1998 Chevrolet Caprice
7. 1997 Honda Civic
8. 2001 Dodge Ram
9. 1997 Toyota Camry
10. 1999 Ford Taurus