One of the more important things that determine the amount you pay for auto insurance is where you keep your car in South Carolina. Areas with increased crime or more people like Goose Creek, North Charleston, and Summerville likely pay more, whereas areas with fewer weather claims and lower vehicle theft rates have the gratification of cheaper auto insurance rates.

The information below lists the priciest cities in South Carolina for good students to buy an auto insurance policy in.

South Carolina cities ranked by car insurance cost
Rank City Average Per Year
1 Goose Creek $1,284
2 Florence $1,272
3 North Charleston $1,262
4 Charleston $1,247
5 Summerville $1,240
6 Columbia $1,225
7 Sumter $1,202
8 Socastee $1,199
9 Myrtle Beach $1,186
10 Mount Pleasant $1,177
11 Saint Andrews $1,149
12 Greenville $1,144
13 Hilton Head Island $1,139
14 Rock Hill $1,135
15 Aiken $1,119
16 North Augusta $1,106
17 Greenwood $1,099
18 Anderson $1,094
19 Spartanburg $1,083
20 Greer $1,077
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Rate quotes are estimated as the specific garaging location can lower or raise coverage prices greatly.

Determining which company quotes the most affordable auto insurance rates for good students in South Carolina requires a bit more effort than just getting one or two price quotes. Each company uses their own calculation for setting rates, so let's take a look at the auto insurance companies with the overall best prices in South Carolina.

We do need to point out that South Carolina auto insurance rates are impacted by many factors that can increase the cost of having a policy. Simply improving your credit, moving to a new city, or getting a couple of tickets may prompt premium changes resulting in some rates now being affordable when they were higher priced.

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Cheapest South Carolina auto insurance companies
Rank Company Cost Per Year
1 The Hartford $775
2 USAA $1,025
3 State Auto $1,094
4 Auto-Owners $1,119
5 Southern Farm Bureau $1,260
6 SC Farm Bureau Mutual $1,298
7 State Farm $1,366
8 National Grange Mutual $1,375
9 Travelers $1,384
10 Allstate $1,621
11 Encompass $1,641
12 Progressive $1,643
13 Nationwide $1,778
14 Safe Auto $1,907
15 GEICO $2,001
16 Bristol West $2,420
17 Liberty Mutual $2,439
18 Safeco $2,744
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The Hartford has some of the lowest car insurance rates in South Carolina at around $775 per year. USAA, State Auto, Auto-Owners, and Southern Farm Bureau would also make the list of some of the cheapest South Carolina auto insurance companies.

As depicted above, if you are a policyholder with State Auto and switched to The Hartford, you could realize savings of upwards of $319. South Carolina drivers with Auto-Owners might save as much as $344 a year, and Southern Farm Bureau customers might reduce rates by $485 a year.

It's important to note that these policy rates are averages across all drivers and vehicles and are not factoring in a rate discount for good students. So the company that can offer you the best rate may not even be in the top 18 companies shown above. That affirms the importance of why you need to get auto insurance quotes using your own personalized driver profile and vehicle information.

Liability-only versus full coverage

Saving on auto insurance should be important to the majority of people, and one of the quickest ways to find cheaper insurance for good students in South Carolina is to only buy liability coverage. The illustration below visualizes the comparison of insurance rates with full physical damage coverage compared to only buying the minimum liability limits required in South Carolina. The data is based on no accidents or driving violations, $1,000 deductibles, single marital status, and no discounts are factored in.

Averaged out for all age groups, physical damage coverage costs $1,937 per year more than just insuring for liability. Many people question if paying for full coverage is a waste of money. There is no clear-cut formula of when to phase out physical damage insurance, but there is a guideline you can consider. If the yearly cost of comp and collision coverage is more than about 10% of the replacement cost minus the deductible, then it's probably a good time to buy liability coverage only.

The example below demonstrates how choosing different deductibles can raise or lower insurance costs when trying to find cheap insurance for good students in South Carolina. The information is based on a single male driver, full physical damage coverage, and no additional discounts are factored in.

In the chart above, a 30-year-old driver could lower their policy premium by $314 a year by switching from a $100 deductible to a $500 deductible, or save $476 by changing to a $1,000 deductible. Younger drivers, like the 20-year-old category, could shave $920 or even more by using higher deductibles when buying full coverage. When increasing deductibles, it is necessary to have emergency funds available to offset the extra out-of-pocket expense that deters many people from opting for higher deductibles.

Types of discounts on South Carolina insurance rates

Auto insurance companies that offer cheap quotes for good students may also give you discounts that can lower rates by 40% or more if you are eligible. Popular auto insurance companies and the discounts they provide are detailed below.

The illustration below illustrates the comparison of car insurance costs with and without policy discounts. Data assumes a male driver, no violations or claims, South Carolina state minimum liability limits, full physical damage coverage, and $1,000 deductibles.

The first bar for each age group shows the average rate with no discounts. The second shows the rates with passive restraint, paperless filing, anti-theft, paid-in-full, good student, and vehicle safety discounts applied. When drivers take advantage of discounts, the the average yearly reduction on auto insurance for good students is 28% or $515.

Why are you paying too much for South Carolina car insurance?

South Carolina auto insurance rates are calculated based on many things that will increase or decrease the price you pay for coverage. Simply having a birthday, buying a different home, or getting into an accident can trigger price changes that can now make some companies cheaper than others. Not only may your situation change, but insurers amend premium rates multiple times each year in order to maintain liquidity for claims. Higher than normal claim frequency or severity can cause rate increases, while lower claims may produce cheaper South Carolina car insurance rates.

For instance, the graph below analyzes the cheapest car insurance in South Carolina for a 30-year-old female driver with no violations or accidents, and great credit. If we look at prices based on her current risk factors, The Hartford might quote the lowest car insurance rates in South Carolina at $768 a year. This is $841 less than the average premium paid by South Carolina drivers of $1,609. USAA, State Auto, Auto-Owners, and Southern Farm Bureau are also on the list of the cheapest South Carolina auto insurance companies.

The example below compares rates after we give the driver in the first example an at-fault accident, a little lower credit rating, and a few blemishes on her driving record. Due to the fact that every insurance company uses their own formula for determing rates in each state, comparing prices may result in a different set of cheap South Carolina auto insurance companies as shown below.

National Grange Mutual now has the lowest car insurance rate in South Carolina with Travelers, USAA, State Farm, and The Hartford also being competitive. This demonstrates why drivers need to compare as many rates as possible when trying to get the lowest auto insurance quotes for good students.

Insurance prices can be altered by many risk factors and can decrease or increase without notice, so the most economical company six months ago may now be one of the higher cost companies.