It's hard to miss the catchy commercials from companies like State Farm and GEICO that promise enormous savings. So you should just pick the one with the catchiest commercial, right?
Unfortunately, it's just not that easy, as there are a whole bunch of unknown factors such as what coverage limits you want, whether or not you own a home, any driving violations you may have, and the safety features built into your vehicle, that all impact the cost of coverage. If you keep reading, we will teach you about the causes of high insurance rates and will give you a good beginning to your search for cheaper coverage.
The car, truck, or SUV you are insuring is one of the largest factors when looking for the best insurance for first-time drivers. Vehicles with economical engines, modern passenger safety features, or a track record of few liability claims will cost much less to insure than high performance models.
The next list showcases coverage rates for a number of the most economical automobiles to buy insurance for.
|Vehicle Make and Model||Estimated Cost for Full Coverage|
|Ford Escape XLT 2WD||$2,987|
|Honda CR-V LX 4WD||$2,993|
|Ford F-150 XLT Regular Cab 2WD||$3,326|
|Jeep Wrangler Sport Islander Package 4WD 2-Dr||$3,336|
|Volkswagen Jetta SE 2.5 Station Wagon||$3,422|
|Honda Odyssey EX W/Rear Entertainment||$3,516|
|Ford Focus SE 4-Dr Sedan||$3,522|
|Ford Edge Limited 2WD||$3,516|
|Chevrolet Impala LS||$3,524|
|Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 2WD||$3,545|
|Toyota RAV4 2WD||$3,555|
|Chevrolet Equinox LS 2WD||$3,545|
|Ford Explorer Limited AWD||$3,574|
|Dodge Grand Caravan SXT||$3,580|
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Data based on single female driver age 17, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $1,000 deductibles, and South Carolina minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include safe-driver, and claim-free. Table data does not factor in the specific area where the vehicle is garaged which can lower or raise prices substantially.
Based upon the table data, vehicles like the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Toyota Prius, and Ford F-150 are likely to be the cheapest vehicles to insure for new drivers. The price of auto insurance will be more expensive because there is more claim exposure for first-time drivers, but generally speaking those makes and models will most likely have the lowest insurance prices compared to other vehicles.
One of the more important things that help determine the amount you pay each year for auto insurance is where you call home. Areas with high crime rates or more dense population like Florence, Charleston, and Goose Creek tend to pay slightly more, whereas less populated areas have the enjoyment of a little cheaper coverage.
The illustration below ranks the most expensive areas in South Carolina for first-time drivers to purchase a policy in.
|Rank||City||Average Per Year|
|13||Hilton Head Island||$1,139|
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Price information shown is approximated as specific South Carolina garaging address can alter insurance rates substantially.
Careless driving habits raise car insurance rates
The common sense way to maintain low car insurance rates in South Carolina for new drivers is to drive safe and avoid accidents and traffic violations. The illustration below illustrates how traffic citations and accidents can affect auto insurance costs for different age groups. The data is based on a single male driver, full coverage, $500 deductibles, and no discounts are factored in.
The data above shows the average cost of an auto insurance policy per year with no violations or accidents is $1,610. Receive two speeding tickets and the average cost jumps to $2,124, an increase of $515 each year. Then include one accident along with the two speeding tickets and the yearly cost of car insurance for first-time drivers in South Carolina goes up to an average of $2,643. That's an increase of $1,033, or $86 per month, just for not driving attentively!
Get discount South Carolina auto insurance rates
Insurance providers that sell policies for first-time drivers may provide policy discounts that can lower rates by 30% or more if you meet specific eligibility requirements. A few of the larger companies and some of their more popular discounts include:
- Progressive offers discounts including continuous coverage, multi-vehicle, good student, multi-policy, homeowner, and online quote discount.
- SAFECO offers discounts for anti-theft, multi-car, accident prevention training, teen safety rewards, drive less, anti-lock brakes, and bundle discounts.
- American Family may include discounts for air bags, multi-vehicle, TimeAway discount, defensive driver, accident-free, mySafetyValet, and good driver.
- MetLife discounts include claim-free, defensive driver, accident-free, good student, multi-policy, good driver
- GEICO includes discounts for anti-theft, seat belt use, good student, multi-vehicle, multi-policy, and defensive driver.
- The Hartford has discounts for air bag, bundle, defensive driver, vehicle fuel type, anti-theft, and good student.
The illustration below shows the comparison of car insurance rates with and without policy discounts. The premiums assume a male driver, no claims or driving citations, South Carolina state minimum liability limits, full physical damage coverage, and $250 deductibles.
The first bar for each age group shows premium with no discounts. The second bar shows the rates with passive restraint, paid-in-full, continuous coverage, paperless filing, anti-theft, and vehicle safety discounts applied. When these discounts are applied to the policy premium, the average amount saved each year on car insurance for first-time drivers is 28% or $865.
Chances are good that you're overpaying for South Carolina car insurance
South Carolina car insurance rates are based on many factors which can substantially change the cost of having a policy. Simply turning a year older, having a teen driver, or getting into an accident may generate price changes resulting in some rates now being cheaper than competitors. Not only that, but insurance companies change rates every year or even multiple times each year as an adjustment for underwriting gains or losses. Heavy losses can cause higher rates, while lower claims can cause cheaper South Carolina car insurance rates.
The data below shows which companies have the cheapest car insurance in South Carolina for a 40-year-old female driver with no prior accidents, a clean driving record, and good financial standing. If we look at prices based on her current situation, The Hartford offers the lowest car insurance rates in South Carolina at $775 annually. This is $834 less than the average policy premium paid by South Carolina drivers of $1,609. USAA, State Auto, Auto-Owners, and Southern Farm Bureau are the rest of the cheapest South Carolina auto insurance companies.
Now we will pretend the driver from the first set of rates a chargeable accident, poor credit, and a traffic citation. Since each auto insurance company has a unique formula for setting prices, comparing rates may result in a completely different list of cheap South Carolina auto insurance companies as shown below.
Travelers now has the best insurance rate in South Carolina with National Grange Mutual, State Farm, USAA, and State Auto completing the list. This example demonstrates why it is so important to shop around with many companies to get affordable car insurance rates for first-time drivers. Car insurance prices are influenced by many things and change frequently, so the most affordable company the last time you shopped around may now be an over-priced policy.