The words "low-cost" and "auto insurance" really shouldn't be used in the same sentence, in particular when comparison shopping for the best car insurance rates for high risk drivers. Let's go over some things that help determine insurance prices, and find a way to take the bite out of the next policy you buy.

The vehicle you are seeking coverage for is a large factor in finding economical coverage for high risk drivers. Vehicles with high performance engines, a lack of safety features, or a history of substantial liability claims will cost more to insure than safer models.

The next list illustrates auto insurance prices for a selection of the most affordable vehicles to insure.

Cheapest Vehicles to Insure for High Risk Drivers in South Carolina
Vehicle Estimated Cost for Full Coverage
Honda CR-V LX 4WD $3,047
Honda Accord LX-P 4-Dr Sedan $3,054
Ford Escape XLT 4WD $3,159
Toyota Prius $3,367
Chevrolet Silverado LS Regular Cab 4WD $3,408
Honda Odyssey EX $3,414
Ford Edge Limited 2WD $3,421
Toyota RAV4 Limited 4WD $3,447
Toyota Tacoma Double Cab TRD Off-Road Package 4WD $3,480
Dodge Grand Caravan CV $3,524
Volkswagen Jetta SE 2.5 Station Wagon $3,537
Honda Civic DX 4-Dr Sedan $3,571
Ford Focus S 4-Dr Sedan $3,581
Toyota Camry SE $3,602
Chevrolet Impala LT $3,608
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Data assumes single female driver age 40, two speeding tickets, two at-fault accidents, $1,000 deductibles, and South Carolina minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include multi-vehicle, homeowner, and multi-policy. Premium costs do not factor in vehicle garaging location which can impact rates significantly.

Based upon these rates, you can see that vehicles like the Honda CR-V, Honda Accord, Ford Escape, and Toyota Prius will be a few of the most affordable vehicles to insure for high risk drivers. The cost of auto insurance will tend to be higher just because there is more liability exposure for high risk drivers, but in general those particular models will tend to have the lowest insurance prices compared to all other vehicles.

Establishing which company has the best auto insurance rates for high risk drivers in South Carolina involves a little more sweat in order to find a policy that fits your budget.

Every car insurance company has their own formula to set their prices, so let's rank the overall cheapest auto insurance companies in South Carolina. We do need to point out that South Carolina auto insurance rates are determined by lots of factors that may substantially change the price of your policy. Simply having a birthday, getting married, or getting a DUI can cause premium changes that may make certain companies much cheaper than others.

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Cheapest South Carolina car insurance ranked by price
Rank Company Cost Per Year
1 The Hartford $768
2 USAA $1,025
3 State Auto $1,094
4 Auto-Owners $1,107
5 Southern Farm Bureau $1,260
6 SC Farm Bureau Mutual $1,286
7 National Grange Mutual $1,321
8 Travelers $1,343
9 State Farm $1,408
10 Allstate $1,637
11 Progressive $1,643
12 Encompass $1,691
13 Nationwide $1,760
14 Safe Auto $1,907
15 GEICO $2,061
16 Liberty Mutual $2,415
17 Bristol West $2,468
18 Safeco $2,690
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The Hartford generally has some of the cheapest car insurance rates in South Carolina at around $768 annually. USAA, State Auto, Auto-Owners, and Southern Farm Bureau also make the cut as some of the best South Carolina auto insurance companies.

In the rate table above, if you currently buy coverage from Southern Farm Bureau and switched to USAA, you may realize an annual premium reduction of in the neighborhood of $235. Customers with SC Farm Bureau Mutual could save as much as $261 a year, and National Grange Mutual customers might see rate reductions of $296 a year.

To see if you're overpaying, click here to get quotes or visit any of the companies below.

These premiums are averaged across all ages of drivers and types of vehicles and and are not figured with a price increase for high risk drivers. So the car insurance company that can offer the best rates for your situation may not even be in the list above. That point stresses why you need to get rate quotes using your own individual information.

One of the more important considerations that are looked at to determine the annual cost of car insurance is your zip code. Cities with larger populations or higher claim trends like North Charleston, Charleston, and Summerville will most likely pay more, whereas areas with lower crime rates and fewer weather claims benefit from lower coverage costs.

The illustration below ranks the most costly cities in South Carolina for high risk drivers to buy an auto insurance policy in.

South Carolina cities ranked by car insurance cost
Rank City Average Per Year
1 North Charleston $1,301
2 Florence $1,298
3 Charleston $1,285
4 Goose Creek $1,284
5 Summerville $1,252
6 Sumter $1,252
7 Columbia $1,225
8 Socastee $1,223
9 Mount Pleasant $1,177
10 Myrtle Beach $1,174
11 Hilton Head Island $1,173
12 Saint Andrews $1,160
13 Greenwood $1,132
14 Greenville $1,100
15 Aiken $1,097
16 North Augusta $1,095
17 Rock Hill $1,091
18 Wade Hampton $1,090
19 Greer $1,087
20 Anderson $1,083
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Rate quotes are estimated as vehicle location can alter auto insurance rates significantly.

Buying coverage from the highest-rated insurance provider can be challenging considering how many companies sell coverage in South Carolina. The information in the lists below could help you analyze which companies to look at when comparing insurance rates for high risk drivers.

These rankings are for large nationwide companies, so smaller companies that only insure vehicles in South Carolina will not be included in this list. To compare prices from these and other competitive companies, follow this link.

Top 10 Large Auto Insurance Companies in South Carolina Ranked by Claims Service

  1. Travelers
  2. Nationwide
  3. Allstate
  4. State Farm
  5. Liberty Mutual
  6. GEICO
  7. American Family
  8. Esurance
  9. Titan Insurance
  10. AAA Insurance

Top 10 Large Auto Insurance Companies in South Carolina Ranked by A.M. Best Rating

  1. Travelers - A++
  2. USAA - A++
  3. GEICO - A++
  4. State Farm - A++
  5. Titan Insurance - A+
  6. Esurance - A+
  7. Progressive - A+
  8. Nationwide - A+
  9. The Hartford - A+
  10. Allstate - A+

How accidents and violations affect rates

In a perfect world, the ideal way to receive low auto insurance premiums in South Carolina for high risk drivers is to drive attentively and avoid accidents and traffic violations. The chart below illustrates how speeding tickets and at-fault fender-benders influence premium costs for each different age category. The price estimates are based on a single male driver, comprehensive and collision coverage, $1,000 deductibles, and no other discounts are factored in.

In the previous chart, the average cost of auto insurance in South Carolina per year with a clean driving record and no accidents is $1,911. Get written up for two speeding tickets and the average cost rises to $2,516, an increase of $606 each year. Now add two accidents along with the two speeding tickets and the yearly cost of auto insurance for high risk drivers in South Carolina goes up to an average of $5,066. That's an increase of $3,155, or $263 per month, just for not driving responsibly!

The example below illustrates how your deductible choice can impact premium costs when quoting cheap insurance for high risk drivers in South Carolina. The price estimates are based on a single female driver, comp and collision included, and no policy discounts are applied.

The data above shows that a 40-year-old driver could lower rates by $322 a year by changing their physical damage coverage from a $100 deductible up to a $500 deductible, or save $488 by using a $1,000 deductible. Young drivers, like the Age 20 category, could reduce their rates as much as $824 or more just by using higher deductibles. If you make the decision to raise deductibles, it is important to have enough spare savings to offset the extra out-of-pocket expense, which is the one shortcoming of high deductibles.