Picking out South Carolina auto insurance can be scary when often what comes out of your agent's mouth doesn't sound like English. They may quickly list coverage amounts and you have no idea what they mean. 50/100 liability, 50/100 uninsured motorist… You’re left confused, which is it 50 or 100? The first number is the amount of coverage in thousands that for each individual person. The second number is the amount that covers each incident. So if you have 50/100 liability coverage if you hit another vehicle and injure its passengers your policy would cover up to 50,000 per person to a maximum of 100,000. If there were four people injured, they could not all receive 100,000. However if you had a single limit policy of 300,000 then that could be split up between multiple people or go to just one. Although single limit policies are not nearly as common as split limit policies. The state minimum legal requirements are often 15,000 per person and 30,000 per incident. If you're involved in a serious accident these amounts would be used up in a day or two of inpatient hospital care. Therefore Triest Agency recommends carrying higher limits. It's smart to carry higher amounts if you can at all find it in your budget to do so. Oftentimes it doesn't cost that much more. An insider's secret from agents here in Charleston is that if you have prior higher limits a new policy will often cost less because they look at you as a more responsible insured. So carrying higher limits can actually save you money over time in the lowcountry, midlands and piedmont.
Property Damage Liability is a little easier to understand. The amount is listed in thousands and it’s how much you have to cover the property of others that you harm. Whatever you crashed into property-wise would be covered if you’re found to be at-fault. The state minimum levels are often low around $10,000. Keep in mind that many vehicles are worth substantially more than $10,000. It’s also possible to damage two or more vehicles in an accident. State minimum coverage means there is a good possibility that you could be coming out of pocket or be sued for more than your insurance. We recommend never buying just the minimum property damage limit required by South Carolina. That could be a foolish mistake.
Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist coverage's pay for you and your passenger’s medical expenses if you are not at fault, however the at fault driver either doesn't have insurance or doesn't have adequate insurance to cover the cost of your injuries. It's important to note you can't carry more for uninsured/underinsured motorist that you do for liability.
Medical Payments coverage pays out regardless of fault and is the only medical coverage you personally would have if you were at fault in an accident. The most common amount of coverage is 1,000 or 5,000 to match the health insurance deductible since this is a supplemental coverage. This means it will not pay out in addition to health insurance and will only fill in the gaps where health insurance doesn’t pay. If you currently have no health insurance than carrying a higher amount here would be wise.
This might seem confusing, but the amount listed for comprehensive and collision coverage is the amount insurance won't pay rather than the amount that it will pay. This is known as a deductible. This is your share of the loss and is meant to be a disincentive for people making numerous claims for every little ding that may happen to their car. The higher the deductible the lower the premium will be. However it is important to remember that you have to be able to afford the deductible. If you wouldn’t be able to come up with $1,000 if you were in an accident, then you should stick with a $500 deductible or less. Comprehensive and Collision aren't required unless you have a loan on your vehicle. If your car is a relatively new and still has a decent amount of value, then it is a good idea to maintain these coverage’s.
These are the main coverage’s that are most prevalent to a South Carolina auto insurance policy. It's important not to gloss over them and just automatically going with the cheapest without giving it some thought. If you are in an accident, you'll be glad you took the time to make sure you had the right coverage to meet your needs.