It's impossible to overemphasize the importance of being a safe and conscientious driver. Defensive driving is one of the best ways to avoid accidents, but they can still occur despite a person's best efforts. Car insurance is designed to protect drivers from the serious financial ramifications of car accidents. The state of South Carolina, like many states, required this coverage by law. People who drive without coverage are technically breaking the law and face a variety of consequences. There are minimum requirements for auto liability insurance in South Carolina, but they may not be sufficient for some drivers.
It's wise to be aware of the minimum insurance requirements of the Palmetto State. People who buy policies that don't meet these minimums face fines and other penalties. It's usually best to buy even more extensive coverage because the minimum requirements just don't quite do the trick. Some people scoff at the notion of buying more insurance than they need according to the law, but they usually change their tune after learning a little about driving statistics in South Carolina. The fact is that there are hundreds of thousands of licensed drivers in the state, and even the safest ones can end up in auto accidents.
Who Drives in South Carolina?
According to estimates by the United States Census Bureau, the state of South Carolina had a population of 4,723,723 in 2012. Driving statistics for the state are maintained by the Federal Highway Administration, which reports that there were 3,408,318 licensed drivers there in November 2012. This means that 72.2 percent of the people who live in the Palmetto State are legally able to drive. There's no telling how many of them actually do on a daily basis, but it's clear that opportunity is ripe for car crashes.
In the state of South Carolina in 2012, 1,633,307 people, or 47.92 percent of all licensed drivers, were men. Female drivers totaled 1,775,011, which equals 52.08 percent of all licensed drivers. There's no evidence that gender plays a role in how safe a person is behind the wheel, so car insurance companies don't consider this information.
Age is something that comes into play when insurance carrier calculate premiums. It makes sense because younger drivers are less experienced and therefore more likely to get into accidents. According to driving statistics for South Carolina, 107,603 people, or 3.2 percent of all licensed drivers, are aged 19 and below. The largest group of licensed drivers consists of people between the ages of 45 and 49 and totals 148,429 people, or 4.4 percent of all licensed drivers. It should also be noted that being older doesn't automatically mean that a person is safer. Those who have bad driving records pay a lot more for auto insurance in South Carolina.
Auto Insurance Requirements in South Carolina
While it's true that most insurance providers that are licensed to sell insurance in the Palmetto State are aware of the minimum requirements, it's still smart for drivers to confirm that they're buying the right thing. Most people should also consider buying more extensive coverage because the state's minimum requirements are pretty lax.
Some people are able to qualify for uninsured motorist classifications, which means they don't need liability coverage. They must pay a fee of $550 per year. Otherwise, the only option is to buy liability coverage. The minimums are:
- At least $25,000 in bodily injury coverage for one person
- At least $50,000 in bodily injury coverage for two or more people
- At least $25,000 in property damage coverage
People who drive without car insurance in South Carolina are cited. If they can't show proof within 30 days, their licenses may be suspended and they may face fines of up to $500. Following an accident, all drivers must file FR-10 forms with the DMV to prove they have coverage. The state also has an Automobile Insurance Liability Reporting System, and insurance providers must notify the DMV about lapses and cancellations. In South Carolina, as in most other states, it's best to maintain valid car insurance at all times.