Uninsured and underinsured motorists in South Carolina

South Carolina residents should learn the full laws governing automobile insurance requirements in order to stay safe against uninsured motorists.

Motorists in Lexington, South Carolina face several different hazards on the roads every day. Drunk drivers, distracted drivers, road hazards, dangerous weather conditions and more can all increase the chance of accidents or the severity of injuries that result in accidents.

While not a risk factor for the actual accidents, a collision involving a driver without any automobile insurance or with too little automobile insurance is yet another situation that can make crashes more complicated for victims. Whether accidents result in property damage only or serious personal injury, the need for compensation is real and the lack of sufficient insurance can make this more complicated.

How much insurance is required in South Carolina?

Every state has unique laws governing automotive insurance. In South Carolina, there are three levels of insurance with minimum amounts that are required by law, as outlined by the state Department of Insurance:

  • A minimum of $25,000 of coverage must be provided for bodily injury to one person in an accident and a minimum of $50,000 of coverage must be provided to cover all bodily injury claims regardless of the number of persons per accident.
  • A minimum of $25,000 of coverage must be provided for property damage to another person's vehicle per accident.
  • Coverage for uninsured motorists or underinsured motorists with a $200 state-mandated deductible is required.

Coverage for collision or comprehensive is available but not legally mandated. The state Department of Motor Vehicles is notified by insurers when insurance is cancelled by any driver. The system for this reporting is known as the Automobile Insurance Liability Reporting System.

What is the difference between uninsured and underinsured?

An uninsured motorist is a person who holds no insurance coverage at all. An underinsured motorist is a person who may carry not only the legally required minimum coverage but even more yet the amount of insurance carried may not be sufficient to pay for all of the damage done in an accident.

For example, if the amount of medical expenses incurred by one accident victim is $35,000 but the driver responsible for the accident only has $25,000 worth of insurance, that driver is said to be an uninsured motorist.

What can victims do?

When involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, victims should seek the help of an attorney. There can be different way to collect appropriate compensation and the right legal input can make the difference.

Keywords: accident, uninsured, underinsured, motorist