Let’s be honest: buying car insurance is never fun, and it can be a headache trying to decide the kinds of coverage you should buy–if at all–beyond the bare minimum. But your decision now could mean the difference between thousands of dollars in compensation later. So what types of coverage should you buy?
In South Carolina, there are two kinds of coverage that are mandatory: 1) liability coverage and 2) uninsured motorist coverage. What’s the difference? Liability coverage protects the other driver if you are at fault. Uninsured motorist coverage protects you if the other driver is at fault but has no insurance. Note: the driver must be registered as uninsured in South Carolina for this kind of insurance to kick in.
The required minimums for both liability coverage and uninsured motorist coverage in South Carolina is the following:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person.
- $50,000 total for bodily injury or death per accident.
- $25,000 for property damage.
Under liability coverage, these amounts are the maximum payments that the other driver can receive if you are at fault. Under uninsured motorist coverage, these amounts are the maximum payments you can receive if the driver is registered as uninsured.
Drivers often stop at this minimum. But here’s the problem: what happens if you get into an accident with a driver who does have insurance, but their liability coverage is not enough to cover all of your damages? The medical bills related to personal injuries from a car accident will often exceed the other driver’s liability policy. If you are injured or if your car is totalled, the most you will be compensated for is $25,000. This means that If you have large or ongoing medical expenses or damages, you may have to pay a large portion of them out of pocket.
This is why I strongly encourage my clients to consider buying underinsured motorist coverage if possible. Underinsured motorist coverage protects you from personal injury or damage to your car by a driver who has only the bare minimum of liability coverage.
If you’ve been injured or had damage to your car in an accident and are facing this sort of scenario, there may be ways to recover damages that you haven’t considered. Contact Scott Allmon at Bagwell & Corley.