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General South Carolina Insurance Guidelines
South Carolina currently requires that all drivers be covered under liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage. Proof of insurance must always be accessible in the vehicle.
Minimum Liability Coverage in South Carolina
South Carolina's minimum liability amounts are as follows:
- $25,000 bodily injury per person.
- $50,000 total bodily injury per accident.
- $25,000 total property damage per accident.
These are only the minimum requirements set by the state. Experts advise protecting your assets by getting more coverage than the state-mandated minimums as these limits tend not to keep pace with the ever-increasing costs of car repairs and medical bills. Most drivers also add collision and comprehensive coverage to their policies to cover possible damage to their own cars as well.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Some states require drivers to carry UM/UIM, or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage protects a driver if they get in an accident where the other party does not have auto insurance. South Carolina requires UM/UIM coverage. The minimum UM/UIM coverage amounts for South Carolina are required at the same level as the liability coverage you maintain.
Some states have “No-Fault” laws where a policyholder will be reimbursed by their insurance company without proof of fault, and restricted in the right to seek reimbursement through the court system for losses caused by other parties. South Carolina is not a “No-Fault” state.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Some states have Personal Injury Protection or “PIP” regulations requiring drivers to carry PIP insurance. This is an extension of auto insurance that covers medical expenses, lost wages and/or other damages. South Carolina does not require drivers to purchase PIP insurance.
SR-22 Requirements for South Carolina
An SR-22 form is a vehicle liability insurance document to be filed with a state’s DMV as proof that a driver has the minimum required liability insurance coverage for that state. SR-22 filings are usually only required to reinstate driving privileges after an offense such as a DUI conviction, uninsured auto accident or driving without insurance. South Carolina requires an SR-22 filing for driver’s license reinstatement.
South Carolina DUI Laws
It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in the United States with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) level of 0.08% or higher. All states have driver's licensing laws that state that a licensed driver has given implied consent to a field sobriety test and/or method of determining BAC. This means that a driver is required to take such tests if a law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds for administering one, with automatic penalties for refusing to comply. If BAC is determined to be above the legal level a driver will be penalized in various ways. The first DUI offense penalties for South Carolina are:
- BAC under 0.10%:
- 2 to 30 days imprisonment or 48 hours public service
- $400 fine
- 6-month license suspension
- BAC 0.10% - 0.16%:
- 3 to 30 day imprisonment or 72 hours public service
- $500 fine
- 6-month license suspension
- BAC above 0.16%:
- 30 to 90 day imprisonment or 30 days public service
- $1,000 fine
- 6 month license suspension
Additional Information on Insurance for South Carolina
For more information, please contact South Carolina Department of Insurance: 1-803-737-6160 or visit their website at www.doi.sc.gov.
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