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SC Department of Insurance Tips on Saving Money on Your Automobile Insurance

Driving safely is the key to keeping your premium down. Here are some other suggestions which may help lower your costs:

  • Think twice before buying a high performance, high powered, expensive or sporty car. It will be expensive to repair or to replace, and it is tempting to car thieves.

  • Don't buy unnecessary physical damage insurance. For instance, the premium for collision coverage on an older car may cost more than the car is worth.

  • Increase the amount of your deductible when purchasing physical damage coverage. Higher deductibles will reduce your premium, so decide how much of a loss you can pay and then choose your deductible accordingly.

  • Have every youthful operator in your household complete a driver education course approved by the State Department of Education or other responsible educational agency. Most high schools offer such courses. Companies give a discount of 10% to qualifying drivers for driver training in South Carolina, but more importantly, your youthful operator will be a safer driver.

  • If you own two or more cars and you insure them with one company, you may be entitled to a multi-car discount.

  • MOST IMPORTANT, SHOP AROUND. Compare the price and service offered by three or more companies. Try to find an agent who's interested in saving you money, and in protecting you when you need help.


After you choose an insurance company, there are other things to consider.

  • If you sometimes drive outside the area where you bought insurance, you might have an accident and need to contact the company right away. Find out where the company has claims offices before you buy your insurance. Keep the company's phone number with you.

  • Be sure to notify your company when you move, or change cars. Changing your address can change the cost of your insurance. A different car might not be covered if you don't notify your insurance company.

  • Remember that you add to the cost of your insurance if you pay on the installment plan. You are paying extra for the convenience of making payments, instead of paying the whole premium at one time.

  • You might pay much more if you finance your premium with your agent, premium finance company, your bank or credit union. Even if you cancel your insurance or forget to pay, you still owe the finance charges, plus the premium for any protection you had before the date of cancellation. The finance company also can charge you extra for paying late.

  • Try to pay the whole premium at once, if you can afford it.

  • You can buy liability insurance from the company of your choice as long as you pay your premium; have a valid drivers license; and are a resident (or student) of South Carolina. If your license was suspended or revoked but you need an insurance policy to get your license back, you can still buy liability insurance with a letter from the South Carolina Department of Motor Vechile stating you are eligible to get your license back.

  • If the agent can't explain insurance so that you understand it or if the agent suggests one of the highest-priced companies, find out why.

  • The agent should:

  •  Try to save you money on your insurance.

  • Represent a company with convenient claims offices.

  • Keep you informed about possible changes in your insurance.