The words "economical" and "insurance" probably shouldn't be used together, especially when you are shopping around for the cheapest car insurance for seniors. To save some money, let's familiarize you with some of the things that impact insurance prices, and find a few ways to lower the price of your next policy.

The make and model of vehicle that needs insurance is one of the largest factors when looking for economical car insurance for seniors. Vehicles with limited top-end speed, an excellent safety record, or a low likelihood of having liability claims will cost quite a bit less to insure than higher performance models.

The information below estimates insurance prices for the most economical automobiles to buy coverage for.

Cheapest Vehicles to Insure for Seniors in South Carolina
Vehicle Make and Model Estimated Cost for Full Coverage
Hyundai Elantra GLS Touring Station Wagon $651
Honda Accord LX 4-Dr Sedan $661
Honda CR-V EX 4WD $668
Ford Escape Limited 4WD $707
Honda Odyssey LX $713
Toyota Prius $723
Toyota Tacoma 4WD $729
Ford F-150 XL Crew Cab 2WD $734
Toyota Camry LE $768
Chevrolet Equinox LT AWD $773
Toyota RAV4 Sport 4WD $768
Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4WD $776
Dodge Grand Caravan Hero $768
Chevrolet Malibu LT $784
Ford Explorer Limited 4WD $794
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Data based on married female driver age 60, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $1,000 deductibles, and South Carolina minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include multi-policy, safe-driver, multi-vehicle, homeowner, and claim-free. Price estimates do not factor in South Carolina location which can lower or raise premiums greatly.

Looking at the numbers, you can expect makes and models like the Hyundai Elantra, Honda Accord, Honda CR-V, and Ford Escape are most likely to be some of the more affordable vehicles to insure for senior citizens.

One of the more important criteria that determine the amount you pay each year for auto insurance is where you keep your car. Regions with larger populations or more claims like Florence, North Charleston, and Summerville will most likely have higher rates, whereas areas with fewer weather claims and lower vehicle theft rates benefit from lower prices.

The following table shows the priciest cities in South Carolina for seniors to buy car insurance in.

Most expensive South Carolina cities for auto insurance
Rank City Annual Premium
1 Florence $1,311
2 Goose Creek $1,296
3 North Charleston $1,288
4 Charleston $1,285
5 Summerville $1,278
6 Sumter $1,239
7 Socastee $1,223
8 Mount Pleasant $1,189
9 Columbia $1,189
10 Myrtle Beach $1,186
11 Hilton Head Island $1,162
12 Saint Andrews $1,149
13 Rock Hill $1,135
14 Greenville $1,133
15 Greenwood $1,132
16 Aiken $1,130
17 Anderson $1,127
18 North Augusta $1,095
19 Taylors $1,085
20 Spartanburg $1,083
21 Mauldin $1,071
22 Easley $1,066
23 Wade Hampton $1,058
24 Greer $1,055
25 Simpsonville $1,008
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Rates are comparative as the specific garaging location can alter premium rates greatly.

The information below demonstrates how deductibles can affect annual premium costs when trying to find cheap insurance for seniors in South Carolina. The data assumes a married female driver, comp and collision included, and no additional discounts are factored in.

In the chart above, a 30-year-old driver could pocket $270 a year by switching the physical damage coverage from a $100 deductible to a $500 deductible, or save $408 by changing to a $1,000 deductible. Even younger drivers, like the 20-year-old, have the ability to save up to $580 each year by using a higher deductible.

If you do make the decision to raise your deductibles, it is essential to have spare funds to pay the extra out-of-pocket expense that comes with higher deductibles.

Full coverage rates compared to liability only

Reducing premiums for car insurance is the goal of the majority of vehicle owners, and one of the best ways to pay less for insurance for seniors in South Carolina is to not buy full coverage. The diagram below shows the comparison of insurance premiums with full physical damage coverage compared to only buying the minimum liability limits required in South Carolina. The prices are based on no driving violations, no at-fault accidents, $1,000 deductibles, drivers are not married, and no discounts are applied.

As an average, full coverage on your policy costs an additional $1,911 per year over and above liability only. That is a large expense which might make you wonder if you should buy full coverage at all. There is no specific rule to stop paying for physical damage coverage on your policy, but there is a general guideline you can use. If the annual cost of coverage is 10% or more of the replacement cost of your vehicle minus the policy deductible, then you may need to consider dropping full coverage.

For example, let's say your vehicle's claim settlement value is $5,000 and you have $1,000 full coverage deductibles. If your vehicle is totaled in an accident, the most you would receive is $4,000 after you pay the deductible. If premiums are more than $400 annually for physical damage coverage, then you may want to consider only buying liability coverage.

A good deal can quickly turn bad

South Carolina car insurance rates are calculated based on many things which can substantially change the price you have to pay. Simply having a birthday, buying a new vehicle, or getting a few speeding tickets may prompt premium changes that can cause some rates to be more affordable than the competition.

Also, insurance companies change rates as needed in order to protect their financial rating. Unexpectedly high claims may result in additional premium costs, while profitable underwriting may result in lower-cost South Carolina car insurance rates.

The graph below compares the cheapest car insurance in South Carolina for a 30-year-old female driver with no accidents, a clean driving record, and a decent credit rating. When comparing rates based on her current risk profile, The Hartford may offer the lowest car insurance rates in South Carolina at $745 per year. This is $864 less than the average policy premium paid by South Carolina drivers of $1,609. USAA, State Auto, Auto-Owners, and SC Farm Bureau Mutual are also included in the most affordable South Carolina auto insurance companies.

The example below compares rates after we give the driver from the first set of rates a claim or two, less-than-perfect credit, and a speeding citation. Because every insurance company has a proprietary formula for setting rates, getting updated rate quotes could result in a substantially altered list of the cheapest car insurance companies in South Carolina as shown below.

Travelers now has the best price on car insurance in South Carolina with USAA, National Grange Mutual, State Farm, and State Auto also being competitive. This demonstrates why it is critical to shop around with many companies to get affordable insurance quotes for seniors. Rates are calculated by many factors and change frequently, so the best option the last time you shopped your coverage around may now be one of the more expensive options.

How to find more affordable car insurance for seniors

It is possible to find better rates, and here are some of the recommended money-saving ideas that can help South Carolina drivers locate more affordable coverage.

The last tip is especially vital, as was emphasized in the article above. Rates can change considerably in a year, so drivers shouldn't be resistant to switch carriers if you find a cheaper price. Staying with the same company for years is fine, but it's not recommended if that inflexibility results in costing you money that could be going to better use. Take a couple minutes and compare prices and find cheaper car insurance for seniors.