It's hard to avoid all the catchy commercials from companies like GEICO and Liberty Mutual that make promises of enormous savings, so you should just choose the one with the flashiest ad, right?

Unfortunately, it's just not that easy, as there are a whole bunch of unknowns such as the number of miles you drive in a year, if you are a homeowner, and the vehicle you are insuring, that all influence how much you pay for auto insurance. This article will discuss the best ways to compare rates and educate you enough to have a good beginning to your quest for cheaper car insurance in South Carolina.

The make and model of vehicle needing coverage is one of the largest considerations when shopping around for low-cost coverage for welfare recipients. Vehicles with limited speed and performance, excellent safety ratings, or a low likelihood of having liability claims will cost much less to insure than fast, unsafe models.

The data below ranks car insurance rates for a number of the most economical vehicles to buy coverage for.

Cheapest Vehicles to Insure for Welfare Recipients in South Carolina
Make, Model, and Trim Level Estimated Cost for Full Coverage
Honda CR-V EX 2WD $811
Ford Escape XLS 4WD $927
Chevrolet Silverado LS Regular Cab 2WD $960
Ford Explorer Limited AWD $976
Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T 4-Dr Sedan $1,025
Ford Fusion SE 4-Dr Sedan $1,030
Dodge Grand Caravan CV $1,039
Ford Focus S 4-Dr Sedan $1,076
Ford F-150 STX Super Cab 2WD $1,088
Kia Optima SX $1,095
Nissan Altima 2.5 S 2-Dr Coupe $1,101
Chevrolet Malibu LS $1,097
Toyota RAV4 2WD $1,104
Chevrolet Impala LT $1,097
Chevrolet Equinox LS 2WD $1,106
Toyota Prius $1,105
Toyota Tacoma Double Cab 4WD $1,117
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport 4WD 4-Dr $1,135
Ford Edge SE AWD $1,152
Hyundai Elantra GLS 4-Dr Sedan $1,154
Toyota Camry LE $1,174
Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8 4WD $1,182
Hyundai Sonata GLS 4-Dr Sedan $1,178
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Data variables include single female driver age 40, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $1,000 deductibles, and South Carolina minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include multi-policy, multi-vehicle, homeowner, safe-driver, and claim-free. Prices do not factor in specific South Carolina garaging location which can revise auto insurance rates noticeably.

Based upon the table data, makes and models like the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, and Chevrolet Silverado are some of the cheaper vehicles to insure for drivers on welfare.

For drivers on welfare, one of the more important criteria that aid in calculating the cost of insurance is where you call home in South Carolina. Areas with more people or more claims like Florence, North Charleston, and Goose Creek tend to have higher rates, whereas more rural areas can boast about having cheaper rates.

The next table sorts the most expensive areas in South Carolina for welfare recipients to purchase a policy in.

How much does car insurance cost in South Carolina?
Rank City Annual Rate
1 Florence $1,311
2 Summerville $1,290
3 North Charleston $1,288
4 Charleston $1,247
5 Goose Creek $1,246
6 Mount Pleasant $1,225
7 Sumter $1,215
8 Columbia $1,213
9 Myrtle Beach $1,210
10 Socastee $1,187
11 Saint Andrews $1,160
12 Hilton Head Island $1,127
13 Aiken $1,119
14 Greenville $1,111
15 Greenwood $1,110
16 North Augusta $1,106
17 Rock Hill $1,102
18 Anderson $1,094
19 Spartanburg $1,083
20 Mauldin $1,071
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Rates are estimated as specific location information can impact rates significantly.

Types of discounts on South Carolina car insurance rates

Auto insurance companies that offer coverage for welfare recipients may provide special discounts that may potentially lower prices by 40% or more if you can meet the requirements. Popular insurance companies and the discounts they provide can be read below.

The illustration below shows the comparison of annual premium costs with and without some available policy discounts. The data is based on a male driver, no tickets, no at-fault accidents, South Carolina state minimum liability limits, comp and collision included, and $500 deductibles.

The first bar for each age group shows the price with no discounts. The second shows the rates with claim-free, multiple vehicle, defensive driving course, anti-theft, marriage, and accident-free discounts applied. In this example, the average savings per year on insurance for welfare recipients is 28% or $599.

Full coverage rates compared to liability-only

Saving money when shopping for insurance is the goal of the majority of drivers, and an effective way to reduce the cost of insurance for welfare recipients in South Carolina is to buy liability only. The information below illustrates the difference between premium costs with full coverage compared to only the South Carolina minimum liability coverage. The premiums assume no violations or accidents, $500 deductibles, drivers are not married, and no discounts are factored in.

If the expense is averaged for all age categories, full coverage costs $2,146 per year more than carrying just liability coverage. At some point, about every driver wonders if it's a good idea to buy full coverage. There is no written rule for eliminating comp and collision coverage, but there is a general school of thought. If the yearly cost for physical damage coverage is more than around 10% of the replacement cost minus the deductible, then it could be time to drop full coverage.

For example, let's say your vehicle's settlement value is $5,000 and you have $1,000 physical damage deductibles. If your vehicle is severely damaged, you would only receive $4,000 after paying your deductible. If you are paying over $400 annually for comprehensive and collision coverage, then it may be the right time to buy liability only.

The example below illustrates how choosing a deductible can increase or decrease insurance premiums when searching for cheap insurance for welfare recipients in South Carolina. The rate quotes are based on a single male driver, full physical damage coverage, and no discounts are applied to the premium.

The data above shows that a 50-year-old driver could lower their policy premium by $378 a year by changing their physical damage coverage from a $100 deductible up to a $500 deductible, or save $570 by using a $1,000 deductible. Youthful drivers, like the age 20 example, could lower their rates up to $1,266 every year by using higher deductibles when buying full coverage.

If you do raise deductibles, it will be important to have plenty of savings on hand to offset the extra out-of-pocket expense, which is the main inconvenience of larger deductibles.

Don't stick with an overpriced policy

South Carolina insurance rates are impacted by many factors which can substantially decrease or increase the price of your policy. Simply having another birthday, moving to a new city, or having an at-fault accident can trigger changes in premium that can cause some rates to be more affordable than others.

Not only that, but auto insurance companies change prices every year in order to protect their financial rating. Higher than normal claims can cause price increases, while a lower level of claims can cause lower-cost South Carolina car insurance rates.

The data below shows which company has the cheapest car insurance in South Carolina for a 45-year-old male driver with a good driving record, no prior claims, and solid credit. If we estimate rates based on his current rating profile, The Hartford has the lowest car insurance rates in South Carolina at $775 a year. This is $834 less than the average policy premium paid by South Carolina drivers of $1,609. USAA, Auto-Owners, State Auto, and SC Farm Bureau Mutual round out the rest of the top five cheapest South Carolina auto insurance companies.

The chart below compares rates after we give the driver from the above example an accident claim, a little lower credit rating, and an imperfect driving record. Since each company has a unique formula to determine rates, analyzing rate quotes most likely will result in a new list of the cheapest South Carolina car insurance companies as shown below.

Travelers now has the best car insurance rate in South Carolina with National Grange Mutual, State Farm, USAA, and Auto-Owners completing the list. This demonstrates why South Carolina drivers need to compare lots of rates to get the lowest car insurance rates for welfare recipients. Rates are determined by many different factors and can change without notice, so the most affordable company the last time you compared rates may now not even be in the top five.