If you drive in South Carolina, you are required to have auto insurance. Of course, even without the legal requirement, it would be dumb not to have it.
Auto insurance protects you from the kinds of financial losses that can result from an accident and from other auto mishaps. If you are at fault in an auto accident in SC, you could find yourself having to pay out-of-pocket for medical bills, vehicle damage, and other property damage.
From the perspective of the driver who was not at fault in an auto accident – the other driver’s insurance policy is usually your primary source of compensation after the car wreck.
What Types of Insurance Does SC Require?
South Carolina requires drivers to buy auto insurance to cover the following:
- Bodily injury, with a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. If you are at fault in an accident, this protects you from having to pay out of pocket for the medical bills, missed wages, or pain and suffering of anyone else who is injured.
- Property damage, with a minimum of $25,000 per accident. This covers not only other vehicles, but also any other property damaged in the accident, such as buildings, fences, or equipment.
- Uninsured motorist, with a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. This covers damage to your property caused by a hit-and-run driver or anyone who is driving without insurance.
The insurance you are legally required to carry protects you from a lot of costs. But it doesn’t cover everything that can go wrong when you own a vehicle – what other “optional” auto insurance is available in SC?
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
When you buy an auto insurance policy, the insurance company is required to offer underinsured motorist coverage, but the law does not require you to buy it. Though it is not required, you should buy it. Underinsured motorist coverage would pay for injuries or property damage that exceed the limits of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy – but only up to the limits of your policy.
Collision coverage pays for damage to your vehicle that results from hitting or being hit by another vehicle or an object. This could mean a car, a tree, or even the road – collision coverage would pay for damage if you flipped or rolled your vehicle.
It is important to understand that your liability policy does not cover damage to your own vehicle – it only pays for the damage you cause if you hit someone or something else. So, while collision coverage is not legally required, you should have it.
Collision coverage can be especially important if you wreck an older car or if you “total” your vehicle, meaning that the cost of repairs would exceed the actual value. In these cases, a collision policy would pay for the cash value of your vehicle, minus your deductible.
Comprehensive coverage pays for damage that results from something other than an auto accident. For example, comprehensive coverage would pay for damage from vandalism, fire, flooding, or hitting an animal in the road. Comprehensive coverage would also pay for replacing damaged windshields or other glass. With comprehensive coverage in SC, you do not have to pay a deductible for most safety glass repairs and replacements.
Getting the Insurance Company to Pay Your Claim in SC
After an auto accident in SC, the insurance company may refuse to pay your claim – they will either deny your claim or they will offer to settle your claim for less than its value. This is just one reason why you need to have a Myrtle Beach personal injury lawyer help you to gather the evidence that you need to prove your claim after a car wreck and to file a lawsuit when necessary.
Your SC auto accident attorney at Coastal Law will help you to determine all potential sources of compensation and how to either make a claim or file a lawsuit for damages. Call us now at (843) 488-5000 or fill out our online form to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.