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Purchasing Vehicle Insurance in South Carolina

Purchasing Vehicle Insurance in South Carolina

South Carolina Car Insurance Laws

Purchasing vehicle insurance in SC can be confusing, but, in the event of an auto accident, the type of insurance you buy may be critical not only to compensate other motorists but to compensate you if

  1. you are injured, and the accident is your fault or
  2. the accident is not your fault, but the other driver does not have sufficient insurance to cover your damages.

Some considerations when purchasing vehicle insurance in SC include:

  • Whether you should buy underinsured motorist coverage (UIM),
  • The benefits of uninsured (UM) and underinsured (UIM) coverage,
  • PIP or MedPay insurance coverage,
  • Comprehensive insurance coverage, and
  • Whether you will need an umbrella policy to protect your assets.

Uninsured Motorist (UM) And Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage

When purchasing vehicle insurance in South Carolina, you are required to have uninsured motorist coverage (UM) on your vehicle, but not underinsured motorist coverage (UIM).

Both types of insurance coverage protect you when you are hit by a negligent driver that does not have auto insurance or who does not have enough auto insurance to cover the damage that they caused to you…

What is Uninsured Motorist (UM) Insurance?

What if the other driver doesn’t have insurance?

Uninsured motorist coverage for property damage will pay for damage to your vehicle, and uninsured motorist coverage for personal injury covers other categories of damages like medical costs, hospital stays, lost wages, or other expenses that the uninsured negligent driver would have been liable for.

SC requires you to have uninsured motorist coverage (UM), so, to some extent, you should be covered.

UM insurance covers situations where:

  • You are in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance;
  • You are in an accident with a driver who does not carry the minimum amount of insurance that SC requires;
  • You are in an accident with a hit-and-run driver; or
  • The at-fault driver’s insurance company refuses to pay your claim.

What is Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Insurance?

What if the other driver doesn’t have enough insurance?

UIM coverage is not required under SC law, but it can be a lifesaver if you are in an auto accident.

The at-fault driver’s insurance should cover your damages up to the limits of their policy. If that’s not enough to cover your costs, you will have to pay the rest out of your pocket – unless you have UIM.

When the at-fault driver has insurance, but their policy limits are too low to cover your damages, your UIM coverage will pay the difference up to your policy limits.

What happens if you are in an auto accident, you suffer severe, long-term injuries because of the other driver’s negligence, but the at-fault driver’s insurance policy only covers the minimum amount required by SC law?

If you do not have UIM coverage that is enough to cover the costs, you are out of luck… when purchasing vehicle insurance in SC, buy UIM coverage. If you don’t have it already, you can add it to your auto insurance policy.

Why Do I Need Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

South Carolina, like most states, has passed laws that require insurance coverage. Despite this, many people do not follow the law and they will continue driving after their insurance has lapsed. Drivers who do follow the law and carry insurance will often purchase only the minimum coverage required which may not be enough to cover your injuries.

Protect yourself and your loved ones by thinking ahead and purchasing enough coverage to pay for unforeseen accidents.

Comprehensive Coverage, PIP/MEDPAY, and Umbrella Policies

Comprehensive insurance, umbrella policies, and PIP/MedPay coverage are also not required under SC law, but you should seriously consider them when purchasing vehicle insurance.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive insurance, also called “other than collision” insurance, will repair or replace your vehicle if it is stolen or if it is damaged in an event other than a collision. For example, comprehensive insurance should cover damage caused by:

  • Theft,
  • Vandalism,
  • Fire,
  • Falling trees,
  • Hurricanes,
  • Hail,
  • Riots or civil unrest, or

Comprehensive insurance will not cover damage caused to your vehicle by a collision, damage caused to someone else’s vehicle by a collision, or personal injury damages.

PIP/MedPay Insurance

PIP or MedPay Insurance provides some relief for your medical expenses after a car wreck, regardless of who was at fault in the accident.

Umbrella Policies

An umbrella policy can provide additional protection for catastrophic events that your homeowner’s or automobile insurance policy limits would not cover, in some cases up to $10 million in coverage.

Do you need an umbrella policy?

Most people purchase an umbrella policy because they have substantial assets that they need to protect. If you are at fault in a car wreck that causes a lifelong disability for the other driver, and you are facing millions of dollars in a potential verdict, the plaintiff may not be satisfied with your policy limits – they might also come after your personal assets.

If you want to protect your personal assets from the potential of a devastating accident and the resulting lawsuit, buy enough insurance to protect yourself and ask your insurer about an umbrella policy.


Your Myrtle Beach auto accident lawyer on the Axelrod team will investigate your car crash, help you to determine who is responsible, and find all possible sources of recovery to get maximum compensation for you whenever possible.

Call today at (843) 916-9300 or fill out our contact form to set up a free initial consultation to discuss your case.


Need help? Contact Axelrod & Associates, P.A.

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