Car insurance is the background noise of your daily driving experience. It is always there, but you probably never think about it other than when you have to pay your bill.
Despite being a major expense and a legal necessity, insurance is something that quite a few people struggle to understand. It certainly doesn’t help that insurance has different rules and that even automotive insurance is drastically different from state to state.
Understanding the basics of how insurance works in South Carolina will put you in a better position to advocate for yourself if you get into a crash that results in substantial property damage or injury to you or someone in your vehicle.
South Carolina has a fault-based system for insurance
Fault plays a significant role in South Carolina car insurance claims. The driver responsible for causing the crash is the one whose policy will pay for property damage and medical injury, in most cases.
Using fault to determine whose insurance pays for the cost of a crash is an effective deterrent that helps safer drivers keep their costs lower. However, it also means that those hurt in a collision must depend on the coverage of the other party.
There are mandatory minimum coverage levels a driver must carry
A driver needs to have at least $25,000 in property damage coverage and $25,000 per person in medical coverage, with a minimum total benefit of at least $50,000 for multiple injured people. Drivers typically need to carry the same amount of coverage and uninsured driver protection as well.
That uninsured driver coverage will protect you from big bills or lost wages if the other driver doesn’t keep an active policy on their vehicle.
Handling a settlement is hard no matter where you are
If there’s one rule about insurance but it’s consistent from location to location, it is that getting what you need from an insurance company is often an uphill battle.
You need to be ready to demonstrate the financial impact of the crash on your life through repair bills and statements about medical costs and lost wages. You may need to negotiate, especially if you receive a settlement offer that is far too low based on your current expenses.
Only when you understand the basics of car insurance can you take the necessary steps to seek compensation after you suffer personal injuries in a wreck.