INSURANCE - CAR INSURANCE

Best Car Insurance in South Carolina for 2024

Updated Feb. 22, 2024
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USAA is the best car insurance in South Carolina.

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From the sandy beaches of Hilton Head to the winding curves of the Blue Ridge Mountains, South Carolina has a lot to offer residents looking for a getaway by car. But before you hit the road, the price of car insurance in the Palmetto State might make you stop and reconsider.

While various factors contribute to your insurance rates, some deals are available if you know where to look.

In this article

Key takeaways

  • The best car insurance in South Carolina is USAA, which costs a yearly average of $1,194 for comprehensive coverage.
  • In South Carolina, drivers with a clean driving record pay an average of $177 per month.
  • The city of Florence has the most expensive car insurance in the state, averaging $2,298 per year.

Best car insurance companies in South Carolina

The best car insurance in South Carolina is USAA, which offers the cheapest full coverage car insurance, costing an average of $1,194 annually. Auto-Owners Insurance provides the lowest minimum coverage, averaging $434 annually.

Farmers Insurance is the most expensive, costing $2,781 per year for full coverage and $1,138 annually for minimum coverage.

Provider J.D. Power customer satisfaction rating Estimated annual full coverage Estimated annual minimum liability coverage
USAA 876/1,000 $1,194/year $483/year
State Farm 847/1,000 $1,315/year $576/year
Progressive 836/1,000 $1,859/year $796/year
Nationwide 834/1,000 $1,654/year $740/year
GEICO 828/1,000 $1,196/year $468/year
Travelers 818/1,000 $1,514/year $745/year
Auto-Owners 816/1,000 $1,296/year $434/year
Farmers 807/1,000 $2,781/year $1,138/year

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USAA: Highest customer satisfaction

USAA earned 876 out of 1,000 in customer satisfaction in South Carolina, the highest score in the state. It also offered the cheapest full coverage insurance but had more expensive minimum coverage. USAA offers multiple policy types, but its coverage is only available to current and former military members and their families.

Pros
  • USAA has multiple discounts, like the SafePilot program, which can save you up to 30%
  • It offers accident forgiveness if you remain accident-free for five years
Cons
  • Only current and former military members and their families can apply for USAA policies
  • You may find better pricing for minimum coverage insurance

Get a quote now | USAA review

State Farm: Best for new drivers

New drivers and their families will likely pay significantly more for car insurance. State Farm’s coverage averages $1,315 annually for full coverage and $576 for minimum coverage. While it is more expensive than other carriers on our list of the best car insurance providers, it offers specific discounts for new drivers and good students that could help you save money.

Pros
  • State Farm received the second-highest customer satisfaction rating in South Carolina
  • It has multiple agents and offices throughout South Carolina
Cons
  • You’ll likely find cheaper coverage with a competitor
  • It doesn’t offer some specialty options like vanishing deductibles

Get a quote now | State Farm review

Progressive: Best for high-risk drivers

Although Progressive costs an average of $1,859 per year for full coverage insurance, it may be a good choice for high-risk drivers. Not only does it provide policies to drivers with at-fault accidents, DUIs, or multiple speeding tickets on their record, but it can also file SR-22 forms required by the courts.

Pros
  • Progressive has multiple policy options, including accident forgiveness
  • It had the third-highest customer service rating in South Carolina
Cons
  • Progressive was significantly more expensive than some competitors
  • Its safe driving program, Snapshot, could raise your insurance rates

Get a quote now | Progressive review

GEICO: Most affordable coverage

GEICO is South Carolina’s second cheapest minimum car insurance provider (averaging $468 annually). Its average price of $1,196 a year is only $2 more than USAA’s coverage, and it is accessible to everyone in South Carolina. It has multiple policy options and discounts to help drivers save more on car insurance. However, you may need to look elsewhere if you want some specialty policies like a vanishing deductible or gap insurance.

Pros
  • GEICO has lower prices than most of its competitors in South Carolina
  • It has multiple discount options, including up to 22% off for being a good driver
Cons
  • You may be able to find more specialty policies with a competitor
  • It earned below-average customer service scores

Get a quote now | GEICO review

Auto-Owners: Best budget pick

Auto-Owners Insurance operates in 26 states, including South Carolina, and only provides policies through independent agents. Its full coverage insurance is more expensive than some competitors, costing an average of $1,296 annually. However, its minimum insurance costs an average of $434 annually and is the lowest-cost option available in South Carolina.

Pros
  • It had the most affordable minimum car insurance available in South Carolina
  • Auto-Owners has policies not found at some competitors, like a common loss deductible
Cons
  • Auto-Owners had fewer discount options than some competitors
  • It earned below-average customer service scores in South Carolina

Get a quote now | Auto-Owners review

South Carolina auto insurance requirements

Most states have minimum insurance requirements to drive legally. In South Carolina, all drivers must have:

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

Since accidents can get expensive quickly, carrying insurance limits above the state’s minimum requirements is generally a good idea if you can afford to. Work with your insurance agent to find the right balance of coverage and price.

How to choose a car insurance provider in South Carolina

If you’re researching a new car insurance provider, consider the following to ensure you get the best deal:

  • Check financial stability: Use a website like Standard & Poor’s or AM Best to check the financial rating of each insurance company. Before you request a quote, confirm that the company is licensed in South Carolina by checking the South Carolina Department of Insurance or the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
  • Get multiple quotes: Compare pricing and coverage options from at least three companies and make sure the quoted policies match your current insurance type and limits so you don’t accidentally reduce your insurance coverage.
  • Ask for reviews: Ask friends and family for recommendations and check review websites like the Better Business Bureau to see how a company handles problems. Consider using an insurance broker to help you get multiple quotes at one time, but understand the broker’s fees before signing up.

How much does car insurance cost in South Carolina?

The average cost of car insurance in South Carolina is $2,132 per year for full coverage and $653 for minimum insurance. The most expensive car insurance rates are in Florence, where drivers pay, on average, $2,298 yearly. Myrtle Beach drivers pay the least for car insurance, an average of $1,993 annually.

South Carolina car insurance rates by city

Drivers in Florence are likely to pay significantly more for their car insurance than other cities in South Carolina due in part to the high rate of violent crime in the city.

According to the neighborhood analytics website NeighborhoodScout, Florence is considered one of the country’s top 100 most dangerous cities. A person’s chance of becoming a victim of property crime in Florence is one in 18, which means insurance companies will see more claims, leading to higher insurance rates.

City Avg. annual full-coverage premium
Florence $2,298/year
Rock Hill $2,072/year
Columbia $2,059/year
Charleston$2,041/year
Greenville $2,022/year
Myrtle Beach $1,993/year

Methodology

Our analysis was conducted using six different auto insurance marketplaces to determine the best auto insurance in each state. The data we analyzed included coverage premiums from up to 10 different insurance providers. We looked at rates by city, driver profile, and credit score, as well as factored in the impact of driving violations. This data is for comparative purposes only. Your actual quote may be different.

FAQs about car insurance costs in South Carolina

What are the minimum car insurance coverage requirements in South Carolina?

The minimum car insurance coverage requirements in South Carolina are $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident in bodily liability insurance, and $25,000 in property damage liability per accident. 

How much does car insurance cost in South Carolina?

The average cost of car insurance in South Carolina is $2,132 a year for full coverage and $653 annually for minimum coverage. 

Which car insurance companies cover South Carolina?

Many car insurance companies cover South Carolina, including USAA, State Farm, Farmers, Progressive, GEICO, Nationwide, and Auto-Owners. 

What is the cheapest car insurance company in South Carolina?

The cheapest car insurance in South Carolina is USAA, which costs $1,194 yearly for full coverage, followed closely by GEICO at $1,196 annually. 

Auto-Owners has the cheapest minimum coverage car insurance, costing an annual average of $434.

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Author Details

Kate Daugherty Kate Daugherty is a professional writer with a passion for providing others the head start they deserve on their financial journeys. Largely self-taught, Kate relied on books, blogs, and trial-and-error to learn how to budget and save for the future, all while working to pay back about $15,000 in student loans.