Are There Insurance Options for High Risk Drivers in South Carolina?
South Carolina motorists who cannot find vehicle coverage through traditional means because of their high risk status have the option of taking part in the SC Associated Automobile Insurers Plan (SCAAIP). Through this plan, every insurer licensed to sell coverage in the Palmetto State agrees to share the risk associated with insuring non-standard drivers who cannot find policies in the regular market. This means that a certified agent can often match drivers up with insurers who are willing to provide adequate vehicle coverage even if they are unable to find them on their own.
Because motorists in the SCAAIP are by default high risk drivers and cannot choose a specific insurer, they can expect to encounter premiums that are higher than average. Finding affordable car insurance in SC as a motorist in the non-standard market may be difficult because insurers commonly increase rates for drivers who have greater chances of filing claims. Although the SCAAIP can be helpful for higher risk drivers, getting back into the standard market and shopping around for affordable options will amount to lower coverage costs.
Becoming a High Risk Driver
Insurers typically consider a wide range of characteristics and details when rating a motorist, and accident record can have a significant impact. Generally, motorists have difficulty finding affordable South Carolina auto insurance coverage if they have been involved in multiple accidents. And being at-fault for too many accidents or being convicted of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can greatly increase a driver's chances of being placed in the non-standard market. If a coverage provider concludes that a resident's driving history demonstrates too high of a likelihood of filing a claim, they may refuse to provide a policy.
Behavior behind the wheel is not the only reason a motorist may be considered a higher risk than other drivers. For example, when compared with other age groups, younger motorists under the age of 25 have a statistically higher chance of getting into accidents, taking unnecessary risks, and practicing unsafe driving. Insurers often consider these and similar statistics and set rates accordingly.
Looking for SC Auto Insurance in the Voluntary Market
While the SCAAIP may be the only option for some higher risk drivers, residents should eventually pursue low cost auto insurance coverage in the regular (voluntary) market.
Before a vehicle owner's plan is up for renewal, he or she should shop around and explore as many quotes as possible. One of the more efficient ways to shop around is to gather estimates on the Internet. These online tools can produce dozens of sample rates on one convenient website, allowing for simple comparisons.
In most situations, accidents and traffic citations remain on a driver's record for three years. Going an extended period of time without incident can get vehicle owners out of the non-standard market and into the standard or preferred market, where premiums are likely to be lower. Going at least three years without an accident may also warrant a discount from various coverage providers, potentially leading to lower coverage costs.