Driving without car insurance or paying the annual uninsured motorist fee in South Carolina can result in serious penalties. The state requires drivers to have a minimum level of insurance coverage, and if you're caught driving without it, you could face fines, jail time, and the cancellation of your registration. With the average cost of car insurance in South Carolina being the 16th most expensive in the country, it can be tempting for drivers to go uninsured to save money. But understanding the consequences of driving without insurance is essential for staying safe and compliant. When you're pulled over without insurance, your insurance company must submit an insurance certificate (SR-2) for three years from the date of suspension.
If you're not insured with another company when they find out, you may receive a letter asking the new insurance company to verify your coverage within 20 days. If you don't provide proof of insurance, your license and vehicle registration will be suspended. The penalties for driving without insurance in South Carolina can be severe. You could face fines of up to $550 and up to 30 days in jail. Your license could also be suspended for up to one year.
Additionally, if you're caught driving without insurance more than once, your license could be suspended for up to three years. Having coverage for the uninsured in your own policy means that you can repair your car or go to the hospital without worrying about where you'll get the money to pay your bills. Although state law doesn't require it, lenders and landlords often require that financed vehicles have collision and comprehensive insurance, and these types of coverage can help protect your finances. Because you're a high-risk driver, insurance companies will charge you higher rates and may even refuse to sell you a policy. South Carolina's Associated Auto Insurers Plan offers insurance coverage for people who have been turned down by at least one auto insurance company. You should know what the state requires in terms of minimums of insurance coverage, as well as the penalties for driving without insurance. You must certify that you have car insurance when applying for or renewing a driver's license, and you must give the name of your insurance company when applying for or renewing your vehicle's license plate. Matt's education and experience provide valuable information on how insurance companies approach the litigation process.
Understanding the consequences of driving without insurance is essential for staying safe and compliant.