South Carolina drivers must have and certify that they have liability insurance, and at least minimal levels of coverage for property damage and incidents involving uninsured motorists, according to South Carolina DMV. They must certify coverage when applying or renewing a driver’s license or vehicle registration. DMV automatically verifies coverage. If coverage cannot be verified, DMV suspends the driver’s license and registration.
Basic Auto Insurance
Drivers in South Carolina must have basic insurance on all registered vehicles. Basic insurance includes at least all the following:
- Property damage coverage up to $25,000 per accident
- Bodily injury coverage up to $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
- Uninsured motorist property damage coverage of $25,000 per accident with a $200 deductible
- Uninsured motorist coverage up to $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
Of course, many people will want additional coverage. Standard policies may provide additional benefits such as
- Collision coverage
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
- Comprehensive coverage
- Bodily injury liability coverage
The insurance company that provides the coverage must be licensed in South Carolina.
Failure to have at least the minimum coverage can result in the suspension of your license and registration and a cost of $400 to reinstate them.
Required Insurance Documents
It is important to carry your insurance card on you or in your vehicle. If an officer stops you, you must provide proof of the coverage, or you’ll receive a ticket. If you receive a ticket, you’ll have 30 days to provide proof of coverage. If you can’t provide proof, your license and registration will be suspended until you do so and pay the reinstatement fee.
Your Insurance Card
Your insurance card can be either paper or mobile. You may need to present the card:
- If you are stopped by a police officer during a spot check
- If you are stopped for a traffic violation
- When renewing your driver’s license or vehicle registration
- When you’re involved in a crash
- Before a vehicle inspection
Failing to present the insurance card when requested can result in a ticket, fines, and suspension of your driver’s license.
Insurance fraud is taken seriously in South Carolina. Fraud includes misrepresenting facts on an insurance application or inflating damage or injury claims. Insurance fraud can result in fines and a prison sentence of up to 10 years. It also can result in the loss of your driver’s license.
How to Report Fraud to the State
Insurance fraud raises insurance rates for everyone. The South Carolina attorney general estimates that 10 percent of all insurance claims are padded or outright fraud. Among the most common fraudulent acts are underreporting miles driven, faking or exaggerating injuries, or staging accidents. The South Carolina attorney general urges everyone to report any suspected fraud. Consumers can do so by phoning the Fraud hotline at Call 1-888-95-FRAUD or by completing the insurance fraud report form online.
Bill Nettles, Attorney: Columbia Insurance Law
Geico: South Carolina Car Insurance
Insurance Journal: South Carolina Becomes 31st State to Allow Digital Proof of Insurance
SC DMV: Insurance Requirements
South Carolina Attorney General: Insurance Fraud