Although you have to purchase insurance to operate a motorcycle in South Carolina, that doesn't mean every motorcycle insurance provider offers the same price or coverage benefits. We found the cheapest annual motorcycle insurance rate in the state to be $586.
Compare Motorcycle Insurance Quotes from Providers in South Carolina
After gathering more than 90 quotes from across South Carolina, we came up with a list of some of the state's best insurers. To find other cheap motorcycle insurance in your area, use our free quote box tool or continue reading our analysis of the top companies in South Carolina.
Best motorcycle insurance for most people: Progressive
- Most affordable coverage on average
- Wide range of coverage options
- Not the best customer service in South Carolina
Progressive is the best motorcycle insurance for most people in South Carolina. Its combination of affordability and policy features are unmatched by the other providers we surveyed in the state. For example, full coverage motorcycle insurance from Progressive comes with replacement cost coverage and $3,000 of custom parts protection.
Additionally, you can supplement your motorcycle insurance with other add-ons offered by Progressive, like:
- Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts coverage
- Total loss protection for motorcycles less than one year old or two years old upon renewal
- Enhanced injury protection that pays $250 per week for up to two years if you're injured while riding
- A payment of up to $25,000 to your family if you're killed while riding your bike
- Roadside assistance, including $500 for food and other expenses if you're stranded
The average cost of motorcycle insurance from Progressive is $586 per year — 25% cheaper than the typical premiums in South Carolina. Progressive is the only insurer we found that's cheaper than the state's average price.
You can also save money with Progressive through the insurer's discounts. Many of Progressive's discounts are easy for many riders to qualify for. For instance, you could lower your motorcycle premiums by requesting a quote ahead of time, scheduling automatic payments or simply by having a motorcycle endorsement.
Best motorcycle insurance for military families: USAA
- Roadside assistance included with a standard policy
- Great customer service
- Coverage isn't widely available to everyone
The best motorcycle insurance for the thousands of armed service members that call South Carolina home is USAA. Coverage from USAA is available to active, reserve or retired military members and their families. Only these individuals can request quote information and detailed policy details from USAA.
A standard USAA motorcycle insurance policy includes enough coverage to meet South Carolina's motorcycle insurance requirements for liability protection. Policies also come with the ability to add un/underinsured motorist coverage, comprehensive and collision protection.
Unlike other providers, USAA doesn't require you to purchase roadside assistance as an endorsement. USAA policies include this protection as a standard feature with the price already baked into your premium. USAA doesn't offer many ways to lower the costs of your motorcycle insurance, but you could save by insuring multiple bikes or completing a safety course.
USAA motorcycle insurance comes with highly regarded customer service, too. In addition to price, we examined complaint information for each of the motorcycle insurance companies we surveyed. USAA receives fewer complaints than its size indicates, and it's also the highest-ranked customer in our study on J.D. Power's evaluation of auto insurance providers.
Best for customer service: Auto-Owners Insurance
- Highly rated customer service
- Numerous available discounts
- You must contact an agent to get a quote
If the quality of a company's customer service is the most important factor when you're shopping for coverage, consider motorcycle insurance from Auto-Owners. Data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) reveals that Auto-Owners Insurance receives only about 11% of the complaints its market share suggests – the best ratio in our study.
Additionally, Auto-Owners Insurance is ranked highly by J.D. Power. Among auto insurance companies in the American Southeastern region, the insurer is ranked 7th. Unlike USAA, which is ranked 2nd by J.D. Power, Auto-Owners is available to everyone.
The downside of motorcycle insurance from Auto-Owners is that you're required to contact an agent to request a quote and purchase coverage. However, if you're the type of rider who would rather have a one-on-one relationship with a provider, this could be a strength of Auto-Owners motorcycle insurance.
Auto-Owners Insurance offers the most discounts of any motorcycle insurance company we investigated. Like other providers, you can save money by bundling, paying your bills on time and being claims-free. Notably, you can also save money if you're a long-distance rider and own a touring-style motorcycle.
How we chose the best motorcycle insurance in South Carolina
We assessed the quality of motorcycle insurance companies in South Carolina by comparing each insurer's:
- Affordability: How much the company charges for a typical motorcycle insurance policy
- Coverage options: The scope of the insurer's basic coverage and the upgrades it offers
- Customer service: The company's reputation for responding quickly and fairly to claims
Coverage from the best motorcycle insurance companies should be cheap enough that you can purchase add-ons if you want. However, a basic policy without endorsements should provide you with enough protection that you don't have to spend more money on upgrades. The best motorcycle insurance companies also tend to be known for consistently meeting the needs of their policyholders.
Affordability: comparing motorcycle prices in South Carolina
For many people, the cost of motorcycle insurance can be one of the biggest factors in their decision on what to buy. Keeping this in mind, we gathered rate information by requesting quotes from addresses across South Carolina. This way, we were able to calculate the typical cost of motorcycle insurance in the state.
On average, the price of motorcycle insurance in South Carolina is $781, nearly $80 more expensive than national mean, which we found to be about $701 per year.
After averaging rates from across the state, we found that the cheapest motorcycle insurance company in South Carolina is Progressive, which sells policies for $586 per year. On the other hand, the most expensive company is Dairyland, where protection costs an average of $891 annually.
|Insurer||Average cost||% difference from statewide average|
It's common that your quoted rate will differ from another person's, even if you have the same bike. This is because the price of your premiums depends on the amount of coverage you want to purchase, your personal driving history and the type of motorcycle you're insuring.
To get our rates, we requested motorcycle insurance quotes for a 45-year-old married male homeowner with 20 years of riding experience. This sample profile insured a 2019 Harley-Davidson FLHX Street Glide. We purchased insurance for the bike itself in addition to liability protection.
- Bodily injury liability coverage: $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident
- Property damage liability coverage: $50,000 per accident
- Collision coverage: Included/$500 deductible
- Comprehensive coverage: Included/$500 deductible
- All other coverages: Not included
Find Cheap Auto Insurance Quotes in Your Area
Coverage options: evaluating motorcycle insurance policies and features
The providers we've highlighted all offer more than enough coverage to meet South Carolina's insurance minimums. Each offers additional endorsements you can use to upgrade a standard policy, too.
Before deciding which motorcycle insurance company works best for you, evaluate whether an insurer's standard policy contains sufficient coverage for your motorcycle. Also be sure that a provider grants you the ability to change your coverage limits and purchase practical endorsements as your insurance needs evolve.
The following table displays the policy features available with the provider's we've mentioned in this study. Additionally, we've tabulated policy data for Dairyland motorcycle insurance, a provider we sourced quotes from while gathering rate information.
|Insurance provider||Maximum liability limit||Replacement cost coverage||OEM parts replacement||Custom parts||Roadside assistance||Rental reimbursement|
Customer service: considering insurer quality in service and claims satisfaction
We checked three measurements of an insurer's customer service to find the best motorcycle insurance provider in South Carolina: the Complaint Index maintained by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the scores awarded to each provider on J.D. Power's U.S. Auto Insurance Study of companies in the Southeast and A.M. Best's Financial Strength Ratings (FSR).
|Motorcycle insurance company (by size)||NAIC complaint index||J.D. Power survey score (of 17)||AM Best financial strength rating|
|SC Farm Bureau||0.11||Not rated||B++|
NAIC Complaint Index: The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) measures the number of complaints an insurer receives relative to its size, or market share. The number of complaints an insurer is expected to receive is represented by 1.0, meaning a company which receives fewer complaints than expected has a Complaint Index under 1.0.
J.D. Power Auto Insurance Study: Taken up by the consumer-intelligence analysts at J.D. Power, this study evaluates the service of 17 auto insurance providers in the Southeast. J.D. Power ranks providers on criteria such as policy offerings, consumer interaction and the claims process.
A.M. Best: A.M. Best assesses the ability of insurance providers to satisfy their financial obligations, such as paying claims to policyholders, if an economic recession or large-scale natural disaster were to occur. Many companies are highly ranked by A.M. Best, but this tool allows you to determine which companies are more likely to present a financial risk.
South Carolina motorcycle insurance costs by city
Using the rates we collected for this study, we found the average costs of motorcycle insurance in cities and towns across South Carolina. This information is displayed below, along with each location's difference from the state's average price of $781.
Rock Hill is the cheapest place to buy motorcycle insurance in South Carolina, while Cayce is the most expensive city in the state, where coverage costs about $975 per year.
|City (by population)||Average||% difference from statewide average|
|Hilton Head Island||$727||-7%|
South Carolina motorcycle insurance requirements
South Carolina's motorcyclists must get the same amount of minimum coverage as other drivers. Nearly all states require motorists to purchase liability insurance, but South Carolina also calls for its drivers to purchase un/underinsured motorist insurance — a coverage that protects your vehicle from damage caused by other drivers.
We've displayed South Carolina's motorcycle insurance requirements below.
|Coverage type||Required minimums|
|Bodily injury liability||$25,000 per individual / $50,000 per accident|
|Un/underinsured motorist||$25,000 per individual / $50,000 per accident|
|Property damage liability||$25,000 per incident|
How do you get a motorcycle license in South Carolina?
Getting a motorcycle license or Class M endorsement is straightforward in South Carolina. If you don't already have a regular driver's license, you must get a learner's permit before you can get a motorcycle license. Learner's permits have to be carried for at least 180 days before you can qualify for a full license.
If you already have a license, you can bypass the process of getting a motorcycle learner's permit. Instead, you have to take a motorcycle skills test at a South Carolina DMV branch. You can take the test up to three times, but after too many failed attempts you must enroll in a motorcycle safety course before you can get a license.
For this survey, we collected 93 motorcycle insurance quotes from across South Carolina. The rates we requested were for a 45-year-old male homeowner, married, with 20 years of experience riding bikes recreationally. Our sample bike was a 2019 Harley-Davidson FLHX Street Glide. Prices will fluctuate depending on individual factors.