Although South Carolina residents can opt to pay a fee instead of purchasing auto insurance, purchasing coverage may actually be the cheaper route.
Online PR News – 22-September-2010 – – Although 49 states require drivers to carry auto insurance, two of them — South Carolina and Virginia — allow residents to pay a fee in order to waive this requirement. While it might sound tempting to get out on the road without a South Carolina auto insurance policy, residents of the Palmetto State should carefully consider their options.
In order for a South Carolinian to forgo purchasing car insurance, he or she must register with the state Department of Safety and pay a $550 fee. According to the state’s Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA), $50 dollars of this fee goes to reducing recoupment, $50 goes to the state to enforce anti-discrimination laws and the rest goes toward reducing the cost of uninsured motorist coverage for other drivers.
Shoppers should keep in mind that the National Association of Insurance Commissioners estimated that, in 2007, the average cost for liability coverage in the state was estimated to be $475. This sum is significantly lower than the $550 fee, and it is very likely to be much lower than the price of paying out of pocket for a serious accident.
With the option of waving the requirement granted to S.C. residents by their government, drivers also may want to consider getting uninsured motorist coverage. This may pay the policyholder if he or she is involved in an accident with a hit-and-run driver or a driver without insurance.
Interestingly, South Carolina — which, at the end of the 1990s, became one of the only states allowing drivers to waive the insurance requirement — saw a dramatic decrease in the estimated percentage of uninsured motorists between 2000 and 2007. The Insurance Research Council (IRC) estimated that, at the beginning of the decade, S.C. had a 28 percent uninsured motorist rate, which was the third highest in the nation. But the IRC later estimated in 2007 that the state’s uninsured motorist rate had sunk to 9 percent — the 38th highest in the nation that year.
Although this a great gain for drivers in the state, it still means that approximately one in ten of the motorists driving down S.C. roads may be doing so without any form of coverage. Considering that protection against these drivers can be found for relatively cheap rates, acquiring this type of protection may still prove to be a smart decision.
To find the lowest rates for an S.C. policy, consumers can visit http://www.onlineautoinsurance.com/south-carolina/ and use the free quote-comparison generator.