After getting in an accident that led to being convicted of a high-risk driving violation, you might be required to submit an SR-22 form. This form stays on your driving record for three years and only certain insurance companies can file one for you. Put simply, an SR-22 is a type of certificate proving that you promise to maintain minimum coverage to drive, and it usually causes your insurance costs to rise. Here’s how to save money and get cheap SR-22 insurance in South Carolina.
What Is South Carolina SR-22 Insurance?
Forms like the SR-22 are a promise that you will maintain minimum car insurance requirements, almost always the state liability minimum for accident bodily injury liability and property damage. In this case, SR-22 insurance refers to the cost of insurance after getting an SR-22 filed. It is not a specific type of insurance, but after filing one, your insurance coverage will probably cost more. When you are required to file an SR-22 to get car insurance, it’s wise to shop around companies in South Carolina to find better rates for drivers in your situation.
Companies With Cheap SR-22 Insurance in South Carolina
The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) demands an SR-22 before you can get insurance in certain cases, like being convicted of a DUI or driving with no insurance. Not every insurance provider can file an SR-22, and some companies charge much higher rates than others for insurance after an SR-22. You may want to switch to a more affordable company. Here are the average annual rates for the cheapest SR-22 insurance providers in South Carolina:
- State Farm: $625
- USAA: $845
- Allstate: $908
- Progressive: $984
- Travelers: $1,093
- GEICO: $1,160
- Nationwide: $1,276
These averages are for minimum South Carolina car insurance coverage. By that metric, State Farm is likely to be the most affordable insurance provider for you. Keep in mind that each provider is unique and is geared for certain types of drivers, like how USAA is usually for retired or current service members. With a little research, you’ll probably find a good rate if you shop around at these companies.
What Is the Minimum SR-22 Insurance Coverage in South Carolina?
Every state has its own legally required coverage for liability in a car accident. The minimum required ratio for car insurance coverage in South Carolina is called 25/50/25. This ratio refers to:
- $25,000 of coverage for bodily injury liability per person in an accident
- $50,000 of coverage for bodily injury liability per accident
- $25,000 of coverage for property damage per accident
The average cost for minimum liability coverage in South Carolina is $752 per year, making it one of the more expensive states. Most of the lowest-price SR-22 insurance providers will probably charge more than that. You can expect whatever you were paying before to go up until the certificate is off your record.
You might want to also get uninsured motorist coverage, which is also 25/50/25. This bonus coverage type protects you, your car and property, and your passengers if you get in an accident and the other person was at fault but was uninsured or underinsured.
What Is Full Coverage Policy Car Insurance in South Carolina?
A full coverage car insurance policy in South Carolina is 100/300/100, or $100,000 for bodily injury liability per person in an accident, $300,000 for injuries per accident, and $100,000 in property damage per accident. On average, South Carolina full coverage insurance costs $1,512 per year, and that’s with a clean record. Adding an SR-22 and other driving offenses will lead to higher premiums, due to you being considered a higher than average risk.
Companies that offer the cheapest average rates on SR-22 minimum South Carolina car insurance might not be so cheap for full coverage. Whether you opt for minimum coverage, full coverage, or something in the middle is up to your judgment.
How Long Does an SR-22 Stay on My Record in South Carolina?
A South Carolina SR-22 lasts for three years, after which your insurance company can apply to remove it. You can get an SR-22 on your record more than once, and any lapse in minimum coverage could cause a reset on those three years. Be sure to drive responsibly and make sure you have insurance you can both afford and that protects you financially. You can work your way toward a clean driving record and then eventually get cheaper South Carolina car insurance when you’re ready.
After an SR-22, the main priority is proving you are a responsible driver, both in terms of insurance coverage and driving behavior. Try to consider your budget while also preparing yourself for any future incidents or accidents, driving with no further infractions until your record is clean.
Should I Get Cheap SR-22 Insurance in South Carolina?
Car insurance is meant to protect you from financial burdens. After an SR-22, you’ll benefit from looking at multiple providers to save money. However, chasing the cheapest coverage and company possible might not be the smartest move financially. Everyone has a different daily life and driving needs, and some people are better off with more than bare-minimum car insurance.
For example, if you move to an area with more crime, it makes sense to get comprehensive insurance for car theft, and maybe uninsured motorist coverage. How much liability coverage to get is also your call, and there’s a lot of room between 25/50/25 and 100/300/100 South Carolina car insurance policies.
If you have a low budget and don’t drive much, or can’t afford a new car after it was totaled, you might want to consider non-owner car insurance, which can replace standard car-owner liability coverage. Non-owner SR-22 car insurance costs much less and still lets you drive rented cars or borrow a car. Overall, you should look around at affordable policies for minimum coverage and speak to an insurance agent to assess how much and what types of coverage you need.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.