Cheap Car Insurance in Columbia, SC

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Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about auto insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and ...

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Written by Chris Tepedino
Insurance Feature Writer Chris Tepedino

Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent Rachael Brennan

UPDATED: Sep 13, 2021

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Do you require some cheap auto insurance in Columbia, SC? With, you’ll get the lowest possible price on local insurance rates. To find free car insurance estimates from the highest-rated providers right away, enter your postal code into the quote box on this site.

The fact that Columbia is both centrally located and the state capital is by design, not coincidence. The city boasts a robust and diversified economy, serving the state as an industrial, agricultural, historical, and cultural powerhouse. Columbia has also been ranked #2 on the Partners for Livable Communities list of “Most Livable Mid-Sized Cities.”

  • Fun fact: …are we there yet? Because Columbia is #100 on the list of “Top 100 cities with shortest commuting times (pop. 50,000+)”. Interested in finding out more about Columbia? Click here!

Auto Insurance Coverage Requirements in South Carolina

Driving legally in Columbia requires:

Coverage Requirements Most Common
Bodily Injury Liability 25,000/50,000 100,000/300,000
Property Damage Liability 25,000 50,000
Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury 25,000/50,000 25,000/50,000
Medical Payments Not required 2,000
Collision Not required 250 deductible
Comprehensive Not required 250 deductible

South Carolina is unique in that it doesn’t require you to buy extra forms of coverage, such as Roadside Assistance or Medical Payments. This is good in that it makes your monthly rates cheaper. However, it also makes it that much more likely that you will incur serious financial expenses in the event of getting injured, or getting stranded out in the middle of nowhere.

The state average in South Carolina can range around $110 per month, but rates in Columbia can be as low as $35/mo* for many drivers. Depending on your personal circumstances, you can get great coverage for a low monthly rate, too.

Average Monthly Auto Insurance PremiumsLegend: Columbia Nationwide Sothern Farm Bureau Allstate State Farm State Auto 5101520253035$31$37$37$37$33


The most affordable rates in Columbia come from providers such as Nationwide and State Auto. But does a lower rate automatically make them the best company? There are other factors to consider, such as customer service and the claims filing process, before you decide which company gets your business.

Companies which provide you with auto insurance policies evaluate numerous factors while calculating insurance rates, including gender, driving violations, type of vehicle owned, education, and theft protection devices. Also remember that rates may vary from carrier to carrier. To ensure that you are still being offered the lowest-cost premium, review cheap Columbia auto insurance quotes right now online.

Enter your ZIP code below to compare auto insurance rates.

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Major Car Insurance Factors in Columbia

Any time your automobile insurance company prepares to come up with your policy, they take lots of aspects under consideration. Some of these, such as the make/model of your vehicle or your exact address, can be unfeasible to improve. Here are a few additional examples:

Your Zip Code

For most people, the most affordable auto insurance is generally associated with cities with a smaller population density. Because there are less cars on the roads and highways, there are a lesser number of possibilities to get involved in a significant car accident with a different driver. The population of Columbia is actually 133,358 and also the common family earnings are $41,095.

Auto Insurance by Zip CodeLegend: Charleston Columbia Mount Pleasant North Charleston Rock Hill Nationwide Sothern Farm Bureau Allstate State Farm State Auto 510152025303540$29$31$32$39$29$31$37$35$42$31$31$37$39$39$31$32$37$40$39$32$34$33$44$40$34


Automotive Accidents

If your zip code has high accident rates, then odds are you will have to face higher insurance premiums than drivers in nearby cities. As you can see in the chart below, Columbia has its fair share of deadly accidents. However, considering the total population, these numbers are relatively low. Talk to your insurance company about safe driver discounts if you think these numbers may be influencing your rate.

Fatal Accidents in Columbia, SCLegend: Columbia Fatal accident countVehicles involved in fatal crashesFatal crashes involving drunk personsFatalitiesPersons involved in fatal crashesPedestrians involved in fatal accidents 510152025301424714304


Auto Thefts in Columbia

Acquiring inexpensive auto insurance will often be difficult should you be at a high risk for auto theft. Specific common automobile models are more desirable to thieves, and vehicles that are left often in huge urban centers are particularly vulnerable. The total quantity of vehicles stolen in 2013 amounted to 791 for the city of Columbia. Not only is per capita theft high, but it’s on the rise from previous years. So having Comprehensive coverage on your policy is a very important thing for Columbia drivers.

Basic vs. Comprehensive Auto PolicyLegend: Basic Coverage Comprehensive Coverage Nationwide Sothern Farm Bureau Allstate State Farm State Auto 102030405060708090100$31$70$37$89$37$96$37$82$33$105


Your Credit Score

Your credit score is one of those elements which you probably don’t think about often, but has a significant influence nonetheless. For those with good or even excellent credit, you can look forward to really low monthly rates. Those with poor credit, however, might face monthly charges which are significantly higher.

Auto Insurance by Credit ScoreLegend: Excellent Credit Poor Credit Nationwide Sothern Farm Bureau Allstate State Farm State Auto 10203040506070$29$45$34$58$34$64$30$70$28Do Not Sell


Your Age

Young drivers face a particularly harrowing burden when paying for their first auto insurance policy. Because of their inexperience, they are significantly more likely to get into a serious accident. That’s why some companies charge them 2x-3x higher premiums than someone twice their age.

Auto Policy Age ComparisonLegend: 34 Year Old 17 Year Old Nationwide Sothern Farm Bureau Allstate State Farm State Auto 20406080100120140160$31$129$37$124$37$113$37$174$33$145


Your Driving Record

As one would expect, the cleaner your driving record is, the less you can expect to pay for your automotive insurance each month. However, your rates will likely go up if you start collecting speeding tickets or other moving violations. Some companies offer “Accident forgiveness” discounts, which might be helpful if your record is less than perfect.

Driving violationsLegend: Perfect Record Minor Speeding Ticket DUI/Reckless Driving Major At-Fault Accident Nationwide Sothern Farm Bureau Allstate State Farm State Auto 5101520253035404550556065$31$37$58$44$37$44$37$45$37$47$57$68$37$41$41$45$33$42$63$49


Your Vehicle

If you have a common, inexpensive car, it will be much easier to fix or replace should the worst happen than an expensive, luxury vehicle. And an inexpensive car doesn’t require an extensive, comprehensive insurance policy.

Car Insurance by Make/ModelLegend: 2015 Honda Accord 2012 Porsche Boxster Spyder Nationwide Sothern Farm Bureau Allstate State Farm State Auto 153045607590105120$31$123$37$98$37$123$37$102$33$111


Minor Car Insurance Factors in Columbia

Of course, the following factors are also important for South Carolina drivers:

Your Marital Status

It’s not that being married makes you more or less likely to get into an accident, statistically speaking. However, insurance companies love it when you bundle policies together. Spouses are in a great position to save by giving their insurance company what they want and bundling their policies. You can even bundle homeowners, renters, or other forms of insurance (as long as all policies are offered by your insurer).

Your Gender

For most insurance providers, there is little more than a 1-3% difference in rates between men and women – if they charge a different rate at all. In the grand scheme of things, all other factors being equal, your gender doesn’t make it significantly more or less likely to get into an accident.

Your Driving Distance to Work

Getting around in Columbia might take a little longer than it does in some other areas. Average commute times tend to run between 11 to 21 minutes for most residents, who overwhelmingly prefer to travel alone in their own car or truck (64%). A surprising 12% prefer walking in order to get around, and 8-10% will likely be carpooling.

It doesn’t matter why you drive, or how many miles you drive each year – even though insurance companies do tend to ask such questions. In reality, your answers will only change your premiums by a few percentage points. Business vehicles, however, tend to cost around 10-13% more to insure on average.

Your Coverage and Deductibles

Most auto insurance providers offer some flexibility when it comes to your policy. For example, you can reduce your monthly payments and increase your coverage by asking to raise your deductible. Yes, it may make repairs or replacements more expensive, but you can save up the extra money with lower payments.

Education in Columbia, SC

More than 21% of Columbia residents have a bachelor’s degree, while another fifth of the population (20%) have successfully made it through all of high school. But did you know that owning an advanced degree can give you hundreds of dollars’ worth of savings on car insurance? It’s true!

There are several well established universities which call Columbia their home. The University of South Carolina offers nearly 100 different bachelor’s degrees (and almost 350 degree programs in total). The school is a public university, whereas Columbia College is a private institution which began as an all-girls school back in 1854. And if you want a more focused degree in less time, you might want to look into the Midlands Technical College.

Car insurance is without doubt one of the most essential financial investments you may make as an automobile owner. You’ll want to ensure you discover a genuine, responsible company which will follow through on their claims. Some auto insurance agencies are usually much better at this than others, and performing a thorough web based investigation may help you distinguish the good from the undesirable.

How We Conducted Our Car Insurance Analysis

*We calculated our average rate based on the following metrics: a married, 34 year old male with good credit, a 12-month history of maintaining auto insurance, a clean driving record, who owns his own home. Miles driven annually were based on the national average. The average rate was also calculated based on a financed 2015 Honda Accord with a pre-installed anti-theft device.


South Carolina Department of Insurance

South Carolina State Board of Financial Institutions

Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

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