Cost of SR-22 Insurance in South Carolina and How Coverage Works

Cost of SR-22 Insurance in South Carolina and How Coverage Works

Find Cheap SR-22 Auto Insurance Quotes

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If you are a driver in South Carolina and have been convicted of a serious violation, such as a DUI (driving under the influence), or have had your license suspended, you may be required to purchase SR-22 insurance. An SR-22 insurance policy is simply an auto insurance policy that meets the South Carolina minimum liability requirements, but the insurer also files an SR-22 form of financial responsibility on your behalf.

SR-22 insurance rates are often significantly higher, though this is primarily due to the conviction that required you to get an SR-22 — the filing fee charged by insurers is usually less than $50.

How to get SR-22 insurance in South Carolina

If you've had your license suspended or have been convicted of a serious violation in South Carolina, you may be required to file an SR-22 form of financial responsibility in order to reinstate your driving privileges. The SR-22 form acts as proof to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that you carry the liability insurance coverage required by state law:

  • $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person injured in an accident
  • $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident
  • $25,000 property damage coverage

Here are the steps you'll need to take to get SR-22 coverage in South Carolina:

contact

Find an eligible insurer or contact your current carrier. You aren't allowed to file an SR-22 yourself, so an auto insurance company licensed to do business in South Carolina needs to do it on your behalf. Even if you move out of the state, you'll need to purchase coverage from an insurer that also writes policies in South Carolina in order to maintain your SR-22 filing and driving privileges.

money

Pay the appropriate SR-22 fee. Your insurance company will likely charge a filing fee from $15 to $50 for filing the SR-22 form on your behalf.

form

Have your insurer file proof of insurance. Once your insurer has submitted the SR-22 form, the DMV will send you a letter confirming it and you'll be able to drive legally again, assuming any other terms of your conviction have been met. In South Carolina, drivers are usually required to maintain SR-22 insurance for three years, though this could extend longer depending on your conviction or if you have a lapse in coverage.

insurance policy

Receive confirmation. Your insurer is required to submit an SR-26 form notifying the South Carolina DMV if you cancel or fail to renew your policy.

If your SR-22 insurance lapses, you will lose your driving privileges again. You may also have to pay a fine to regain them, and your cost of insurance will likely increase due to the lapse in coverage.

We recommend you renew your policy at least a month in advance for the period of time you're required to carry SR-22 insurance in order to avoid any gaps in coverage and the accompanying fees.

If you intend to change insurers, you should purchase a policy and get confirmation that your new insurer filed an SR-22 before terminating your existing coverage.

After you've carried SR-22 insurance for at least three years, you should contact the South Carolina DMV or a local licensing office to confirm that the requirement is completed. Once this is confirmed, you can notify your insurer that the form no longer needs to be filed on your behalf.

Cost of SR-22 insurance in South Carolina

The cost of SR-22 insurance in South Carolina will generally be higher than that of a standard auto insurance policy. This is primarily because the violations that lead to an SR-22 requirement also cause insurers to see you as a high-risk driver.

Among the insurers we looked at in South Carolina, USAA offered the lowest prices for SR-22 coverage, with an average of $468 per year. Travelers had the smallest percentage increase of 26% for our SR-22 drivers. On the other hand, Auto-Owners' rates increased by 268% for a driver who needed SR-22 coverage.

This graph ranks SR-22 insurance quotes for 30-year-olds across varying insurers.
This graph ranks SR-22 insurance quotes for 30-year-olds across varying insurers.

Find Cheap SR-22 Auto Insurance Quotes

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The table below gives a comparison of various insurer quotes for a 30-year-old male with and without an SR-22 filing. The drastic difference in percentage increase for each insurer suggests that shopping for multiple quotes will help you find the cheapest and most comprehensive option.

CompanyAnnual average premiumAnnual average premium with SR-22 and DUIPercent increase
State Farm$495$80462.42%
USAA$468$90092.31%
Progressive$756$1,25465.87%
GEICO$511$1,303154.99%
SC Farm Bureau$829$1,33160.55%
Allstate$848$1,865119.93%
Standard Fire$1,519$1,91726.20%
Nationwide$1,426$2,53477.70%
Auto-Owners$1,332$4,903268.09%
After a DUI, auto insurance rates often increase by about 30% to 50%, depending on your insurer and where you live. So, if your premiums were $800 per year in Charleston, you could end up paying over $1,040 per year for SR-22 insurance after a DUI conviction. Insurers also charge a one-time fee to file an SR-22, but this typically ranges in cost from $15 to $50.

To get the cheapest SR-22 insurance in South Carolina, we recommend you compare quotes from at least three different insurers. Not all auto insurance companies offer SR-22 insurance, so you may not be able to obtain coverage from the company that previously insured you.

When would you be required to get SR-22 insurance in South Carolina?

Drivers in South Carolina may be mandated by the court to obtain SR-22 insurance in order to reinstate their license or driving privileges if they've been revoked. This can occur for a number of reasons:

  • You were convicted multiple times of driving without insurance or are required to be on mandatory insurance supervision.
  • You were involved in an accident and failed to fully pay for damages that the court determined you were responsible for.
  • Your license was suspended due to unsatisfied judgments.
  • Your license was revoked or restricted.
  • You were convicted of a DUI. If it's your first DUI offense in South Carolina, you may be required to carry a provisional license for several months, during which you'll also need to have SR-22 insurance to drive legally.

If you're uncertain about the status of your license, you can check if it has been suspended in South Carolina by going to the DMV's website. The DMV provides a driving record search, and you can determine if your license is suspended by entering your driver's license number, Social Security number and birthdate.

Nonowner SR-22 insurance in South Carolina

If you don't own a car, you'll still be required to carry SR-22 insurance in South Carolina in order to reinstate your driving privileges if they've been suspended. But, instead of a traditional auto insurance policy, you can add an SR-22 filing to a nonowner car insurance policy.

Nonowner SR-22 insurance is generally cheaper than owners or operators coverage since the policies only include liability coverage and the insurer expects you'll drive less frequently than a vehicle-owner.

Note that you won't be able to get a nonowner policy if you have regular access to a particular car, even if you don't own it, so you'll need to get a standard SR-22 insurance policy instead. For example, if your roommate owns a car and lets you drive it most weekends, that would be considered regular access to the vehicle, and you'd either need to buy your own operators SR-22 insurance or be added to your roommate's policy.

Mark is a Senior Research Analyst for ValuePenguin focusing on the insurance industry, primarily auto insurance. He previously worked in financial risk management at State Street Corporation.

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