The Best Car Insurance in South Carolina for 2022

MoneyGeek’s research identified that GEICO offers the best full coverage car insurance in South Carolina, performing strongly in the key categories of customer satisfaction, affordability and financial stability. It has the highest score on stability and affordability, ties for first for claims and ranks second in satisfaction.

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Last Updated: 5/13/2022
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GEICO achieved the highest scores on cost, stability and claims. However, the best overall option in South Carolina may not be the right fit for your needs. It’s important to find an insurer that offers the coverages and discounts you want while providing affordable rates and top-notch customer support.

If you simply want to find the cheapest car insurance in South Carolina, we also ranked companies based on pricing for a state minimum policy.

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The Best Car Insurance in South Carolina

Best Car Insurance Companies in South Carolina: Overall

Our search for the best car insurance companies in South Carolina depends on a lot of factors. While cost is always important to find the cheapest rates available to you, we also make sure that the policies come from companies with great customer service and financial stability to pay claims.

In South Carolina, the top companies that meet these requirements are:

  • GEICO: MoneyGeek score of 4.4 out of 5
  • State Farm: MoneyGeek score of 3.9 out of 5

Getting an even higher score than these two companies is USAA. However, only military families are able to purchase policies from this insurance company. Therefore, we excluded USAA from our overall analysis.

The Top 5 Car Insurance Companies in South Carolina

1
GEICO
Score:4.4

5/5

Affordability

4/5

User Satisfaction

5/5

Financial Stability

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

GEICO is the best cheap insurance company in South Carolina with an average cost of $853 per year. This company ranks first for affordability, stability and claims, and ranks second for satisfaction. GEICO’s Mechanical Breakdown Insurance is a valuable add-on.

More About GEICO

GEICO’s Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (MBI) pays for all mechanical repairs to cars less than 15 months old that have been driven for less than 15,000 miles. This provides increased coverage at a lower rate than a standard dealer’s extended warranty. GEICO also offers accident forgiveness, which ensures your rates will not increase due to your first at-fault accident following a five-year claim-free period.

Read MoneyGeek's GEICO auto Insurance Review
2
State Farm
Score:3.9

3.1/5

Affordability

4.5/5

User Satisfaction

4/5

Financial Stability

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

State Farm got the highest score on satisfaction and the second-highest score on affordability, with an average annual rate of $1,055. This company also tied for first in claims rating but ranked sixth for stability. State Farm offers rideshare insurance.

More About State Farm

Rideshare insurance from State Farm provides medical coverage, roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement for rideshare drivers. These coverages apply when the app is on and you’re waiting to connect with a passenger. State Farm also offers rental car and travel reimbursement as an add-on, which pays for car rentals up to chosen limits and provides up to $500 each for travel expenses and deductible repayment.

Read MoneyGeek's State Farm auto Insurance Review
3
Nationwide
Score:3.3

1.6/5

Affordability

4/5

User Satisfaction

4.5/5

Financial Stability

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

Nationwide insurance can be purchased for an average of $1,217 per year, which ranks fifth for affordability in South Carolina. It tied for third in stability, ranks second for satisfaction, and tied for first in claims rating. This insurer offers identity theft coverage.

More About Nationwide

Identity theft coverage protects the policyholder and their family against identity theft and fraud. The amount of reimbursable coverage can reach up to $25,000 worth of expenses. Nationwide’s total loss deductible waiver pays your deductible if your car is totaled in an accident.

Read MoneyGeek's Nationwide auto Insurance Review
4
Allstate
Score:3.3

2.5/5

Affordability

3.5/5

User Satisfaction

4.5/5

Financial Stability

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

At an average of $1,120 per year, you can purchase a policy from Allstate, the third-best company in the state for affordability. Allstate also ranked third for stability, fourth for satisfaction and fifth for claims. Allstate offers custom parts coverage.

More About Allstate

Custom parts coverage pays for custom equipment damages due to a comprehensive type loss. This insurance covers aftermarket equipment like special carpeting, graphics, decals, bars, height-extending roofs and more. Allstate’s portable electronics and media coverage pays for the loss of compact discs and other similar items used with your car’s stereo.

Read MoneyGeek's Allstate auto Insurance Review
5
Travelers
Score:3.2

1.6/5

Affordability

3.5/5

User Satisfaction

5/5

Financial Stability

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

Travelers has an average annual premium of $1,207, ranking fourth for affordability in South Carolina. The company ranks first for stability and claims, but ties for fourth in satisfaction. Travelers offers gap insurance.

More About Travelers

With Travelers’ gap insurance, the insurer will pay you the difference between the actual cash value of your car and the remaining balance on your loan or lease if your vehicle is totaled. The insurer also provides accident forgiveness, which forgives one at-fault accident within a specific time period.

Read MoneyGeek's Travelers auto Insurance Review
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HOW WE DETERMINED THE BEST INSURANCE IN SOUTH CAROLINA

In order to determine the best full coverage car insurance in South Carolina, we looked at several factors from how the cost of the policy compares with others in the state to how the company deals with its customers. To do this, we gathered information from each car insurance company for their quotes and also consult with J.D. Power and the NAIC for data about customer service.

MoneyGeek's South Carolina Car Insurance Resources:

Compare the Best Insurance Options in South Carolina

Affordability, user satisfaction, financial stability, coverages and discounts are all important aspects to consider when shopping for car insurance. The best insurance in South Carolina is not always the one with the cheapest rates and the best customer reviews. You also need to ensure that the company provides the coverages you need.

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Best Car Insurance in South Carolina for Customer Service

Great customer service should be one of your top priorities if you want to take full advantage of your policy. A team that could better inform you about your policy and pay claims without hassle or delay should be worth any additional costs you might pay.

Without examining cost, the top companies with good customer service are the following:

  • Auto-Owners: MoneyGeek score of 4.3 out of 5
  • State Farm: MoneyGeek score of 4.2 out of 5
The Top 2 Car Insurance Companies in South Carolina for Service Quality

1
Auto-Owners Insurance Co
Score:4.3

4/5

Claims

4.5/5

User Satisfaction

5/5

Financial Stability

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

Auto-Owners has a high claims rating of 4 out of 5 and a satisfaction score of 4.5 out of 5.

More About Auto-Owners Insurance Co

Auto-Owners’ diminished value coverage pays for your vehicle’s reduction in value following an accident, even after repairs are completed. This insurer’s Personal Automobile Plus Package bundles more than 10 add-on coverages to protect you from a wide range of losses, including identity theft, cell phone replacement and more.

Read MoneyGeek's Auto-Owners Insurance Co auto Insurance Review
2
State Farm
Score:4.2

4/5

Claims

4.5/5

User Satisfaction

4/5

Financial Stability

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

State Farm also rates 4 out of 5 for claims and 4.5 out of 5 for satisfaction. This is also the second-most affordable insurer in South Carolina, so you won’t have to trade affordability for quality customer service.

More About State Farm

With State Farm’s roadside assistance, you’ll receive compensation for mechanical labor, towing, locksmith labor and the delivery of gas, oil, battery or tires if your vehicle is stranded on the road.

Read MoneyGeek's State Farm auto Insurance Review

Best Car Insurance in South Carolina for Drivers on a Budget

Some drivers are only looking for the cheapest option. In South Carolina, this means finding a policy with only the state’s minimum levels of liability coverage. However, the trade-off is that you will be missing out on some potentially important coverages.

If you think that a state minimum coverage policy already has the coverages you need, you can save more by getting coverage from these two companies:

  • GEICO: MoneyGeek score of 4.4 out of 5
  • State Farm: MoneyGeek score of 3.9 out of 5

Aside from having the cheapest rates, these top car insurance companies in South Carolina also have great customer service.

MoneyGeek’s Pick: GEICO

GEICO

pros

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Affordable coverage policy at $470 a year on average

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Discounts for anti-theft systems, airbags and daytime running lights

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MoneyGeek claims rating of 4 out of 5

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MoneyGeek user satisfaction rating of 4 out of 5

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No discounts when you pay in full or use paperless billing

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

GEICO offers discounts for bundling auto insurance with other policies, insuring multiple cars and safe driving. These discounts are easy to obtain and can significantly decrease your policy premiums.

GEICO will also discount your rates if you always use your seatbelt. If you are a member of a partner organization, such as an alumni club, fraternity, sorority or professional organization, you can also get additional discounts.

Best Car Insurance in South Carolina for Poor Driving Records

Insurance companies look at a driver’s risk when pricing their policies. If you have been in an accident where you are at fault, you will find that a bad driving record causes your insurance premiums to be higher than the average driver.

Your best options are companies that offer affordable rates after an accident but also have great customer service that can assist you when needed. Here are our top recommendations:

  • State Farm: MoneyGeek score of 4.4 out of 5
  • GEICO: MoneyGeek score of 4.4 out of 5

MoneyGeek’s Pick: State Farm

State Farm

pros

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Affordable policy for drivers with bad records at an average of $1,260 per year

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MoneyGeek claims rating of 4 out of 5

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MoneyGeek user satisfaction score of 4.5 out of 5

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Offer roadside assistance and rental car and/or travel reimbursement

cons

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Does not offer accident forgiveness, new car replacement or better car replacement

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

State Farm costs $1,260 per year on average and achieved high scores for claims rating and user satisfaction. However, it excludes some common coverages offered by other insurers, like accident forgiveness and new car replacement. That said, State Farm does still offer a couple of useful services for drivers with poor records.

  • Roadside assistance: You don’t have to pay for services that include flat tires, jump starts, lockouts, mechanical labor or towing if you’re stranded on the road.
  • Rental car reimbursement: In case you’re waiting for repairs to get done on your vehicle, you can rent a car and receive payment for the expenses.

Best Car Insurance in South Carolina for a Military Background

Only military families are eligible to buy car insurance from USAA. With a MoneyGeek score of 4.6 out of 5, this company is our top choice in South Carolina if you are eligible for its policies.

A state minimum policy from USAA can be purchased for an average of $500 per year. Military members with an at-fault accident pay an average of $1,372 per year.

MoneyGeek’s Pick: USAA

USAA

pros

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An affordable full coverage policy at an average of $926 per year

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Claims rating score of 5 out of 5

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User satisfaction of 4.5 out of 5

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Roadside assistance coverage

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Safe driving discount

cons

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Only military families are eligible

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

Take advantage of your benefits by getting insurance from a company with an unparalleled reputation. USAA offers several coverages and discounts to create the insurance policy you need at a rate you can afford.

  • Rental car and/or travel reimbursement: If your car is in the shop following a covered loss, this coverage provides funds for a rental car.
  • Rideshare insurance: Are you a rideshare driver? USAA will cover you during the gap in coverage most rideshare drivers experience when they’re waiting for a passenger request.
  • Multiple car coverage: Get more discounts if you insure more than one car with USAA.
  • New car discount: Get a discount for new cars that are not older than three years.

Best Car Insurance in South Carolina for Young Drivers and Students

Young drivers tend to pay more for insurance premiums than the average driver due to their risk. In South Carolina, policyholders can add young and student drivers to their policies at a reasonable rate, if they choose the right company.

MoneyGeek scored the top car insurance companies in South Carolina with the most affordable rates for adding young and teen drivers to a policy:

  • GEICO: MoneyGeek score of 4.4 out of 5
  • Nationwide: MoneyGeek score of 4 out of 5

MoneyGeek’s Pick: GEICO

GEICO

pros

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Affordable policy for adding a young driver at $2,525 per year on average

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Claims rating of 4 out of 5

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User satisfaction rating of 4 out of 5

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Good student and driver’s education discounts available

cons

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No discounts for distant students

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

Having claims and user satisfaction ratings of 4 out of 5, GEICO provides quality customer service. It’s important to have good customer service for a young or inexperienced driver because filing a claim is stressful enough already.

Additionally, GEICO offers a couple of valuable discounts for young drivers. One of these is a good student discount which rewards students with good grades. There’s also a discount for students who are able to complete a driving course.

Best Car Insurance in South Carolina for Those With New Cars

If you have a new car, you will want to protect your investment by getting a car insurance policy that fully covers it. That’s why we looked at the best companies that offer new or better car replacement coverages in their auto insurance policies. These coverages replace your vehicle with a new version of your car’s model if it’s totaled in a covered accident.

Allstate offers the best car insurance in South Carolina for those with new cars. While it comes with an additional cost, it’s much more cost-effective than paying for damages to a brand-new vehicle.

MoneyGeek’s Pick: Allstate

Allstate

pros

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Relatively affordable policy at an average of $1,120 per year

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Offers new car replacement coverage

cons

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Claims rating score of 3.5 out of 5

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Satisfaction score of 3.5 out of 5

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No better car replacement coverage available

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

Allstate is one of the few companies in South Carolina that offers new car replacement coverage. This coverage pays for the cost of replacing your new car (two years old or less) with a new model of the same vehicle.

Best Car Insurance in South Carolina for Low-Mileage Drivers

If you drive less than 10,000 miles per year, it might make sense to get pay-per-mile coverage rather than a standard car insurance policy. Nationwide SmartMiles is the best option in South Carolina for low-mileage drivers.

MoneyGeek’s Pick: Nationwide

Nationwide

pros

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More affordable than standard insurance policies for low-mileage drivers

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Claims rating score of 4 out of 5

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User satisfaction of 4 out of 5

cons

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If you drive frequently, you could end up paying more with SmartMiles

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

The Nationwide SmartMiles program includes both a base rate and a variable rate that depends on how many miles you typically drive. The program only counts the first 250 daily miles if you’re on a road trip. There is a behavior element to this program as well, allowing safe drivers to earn an additional 10% discount.

How to Find the Best Car Insurance in South Carolina in For You

Selling affordable policies is not enough. A good car insurance company should have customer service that is helpful and responsive, and also should have the stability to pay claims quickly and fairly. MoneyGeek already reviewed this information for you, but we welcome you to do your own analysis as well.

1

Research Customer Service Reputations in South Carolina

Our data on claims and user satisfaction were based on research from J.D. Power and the NAIC. These are widely reputable organizations that gather data on customer satisfaction and service performance. You may investigate these two sources as well as the Department of Insurance website for your own research.

2

Compare Quotes for Yourself

Before buying a policy, make sure to compare quotes available to you. By seeing your options, you'll compare not just the prices but the coverages that are offered, as well as how their customer service performance measures up.

3

Make Sure the Company Has Coverages You Want in South Carolina

A long list of coverages might excite you about a certain car insurance policy. However, do keep in mind that in many cases, these may not all apply to you as a policyholder. Make sure that when you buy a policy, you have a list of specific coverages available in your state from each insurer you’re considering.

4

Double-Check Financial Stability Ratings

A company’s financial stability has a direct correlation with its ability to pay claims. Checking the company’s rating in this area should be an essential step to ensure that you have protection while you pay your premiums.

FAQs About the Best Car Insurance in South Carolina

These rankings only work as a guide. The best option for you will depend on which company is able to meet your requirements. Understanding the answers to some frequently asked questions about South Carolina auto insurance will help you make a solid decision.

Methodology

To calculate the average cost for different drivers, MoneyGeek initially collected data from several companies, through the help of Quadrant Information Services, using one sample driver. Specifically, this is a 40-year-old safe driver getting a full coverage policy with a $1,000 deductible. Customer satisfaction data were taken from evaluations by J.D. Power, AM Best and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Lastly, we used each company’s online quote tools to see which coverages and discounts apply for different rates.

Using this information and a scoring system we developed specifically for this research, we were able to rank companies in order to find the best car insurance in South Carolina. See the full disclosure of our methodology to know more.

About the Author


expert-profile

Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content manager with MoneyGeek specializing in insurance. Mark has years of experience analyzing the insurance market and creating original research and content. He graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts and Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Arts.


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