Like in other states, auto insurance is compulsory in South Carolina. Drivers must keep valid
liability coverage that covers any claims they may face if they’re found to be even a portion at
fault in an accident. While some insurance coverages are elective, liability coverage is mandatory.
Liability Coverage in South Carolina
Liability coverage handles physical damages and injuries to another party if you were the one
who caused the accident. South Carolina requires that you carry minimum liability coverage in
the following amounts:
● $25,000 for bodily injury or death of a person
● $50,000 for bodily injury or death for one accident
● $25,000 for property damages for one accident
What these limits mean is that if you cause an accident with another vehicle and there is only
one occupant of that vehicle, then there is up to $25,000 available to pay for injuries and
$25,000 for property damage. Now, if you cause an accident with another vehicle that has six
occupants who are all injured, there will only be $50,000 in coverage available that must be
apportioned between all occupants. While these minimum limits might seem adequate, even a
straightforward rear-end accident with two other vehicles can exceed your property damage
limits quickly. Drivers should always carry the highest limits they can afford premiums on
because it’s likely inevitable that you will need that coverage.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured motorist coverage pays for damages and injuries when the at-fault party did not have
insurance or the incident was a hit and run. It may also involve someone whose coverage didn’t
meet the minimum liability requirements set forth by South Carolina, or their insurance company
denied the claim. State limits vary, but South Carolina sets forth the following amounts as
minimum UM coverage:
● $25,000 for injuries or death per person
● $50,000 for injuries or death for one accident
● $25,000 for property damages per accident
You may see uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage referred to as UMBI and uninsured
motorist property coverage abbreviated as UMPD.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)
Another important coverage to consider is underinsured motorist or UIM coverage. This
coverage is an extension and kicks in for bodily injury and property damages in an accident
caused by another person. This provides you with additional coverage beyond what the other
party’s liability coverage limits are. For example, you’re involved in an accident where the other
party is completely at fault and your medical bills exceed $100,000, while the at-fault party only
has the state minimum of $25,000 in liability coverage. If you had a UIM policy, your underinsured motorist coverage would cover additional damages, up to your limit. If you have
another $25,000 in UIM, then your policy would apply here as the other party didn’t have
sufficient coverage to pay the entire claim.
Retaining a South Carolina Car Accident Attorney
If you’ve been involved in a vehicle accident that was not your fault, it’s important to retain a
South Carolina car accident attorney as soon as possible. The other insurance company and/or
their legal counsel will not help you to find all available coverages that can cover your claims,
which is why you need someone to help protect your interests. The attorneys at Elrod Pope Law
Firm have been working in personal injury and accident matters for over 30 years. Contact our
office at 803-599-3080 to schedule a consultation.
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.