Many people feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start when it comes to selecting an auto insurance plan in South Carolina. As South Carolina personal injury attorneys with decades of combined experience handling car accident cases, our lawyers have a unique understanding of how uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance coverage works and can benefit you following an unexpected accident. 

Understanding South Carolina Auto Insurance

In South Carolina, there are three major parts of an auto insurance policy:

  1. Liability insurance for bodily injury
  2. Liability insurance for property damage, and
  3. Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage

Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) in South Carolina

South Carolina law requires every motorist to purchase Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM). UM coverage protects the policyholder directly, compensating you for damages resulting from an accident involving an uninsured driver or hit-and-run driver. In 2022, it was estimated that 12.3% of South Carolina drivers were uninsured.

South Carolina requires you to carry a minimum of $25,000 in coverage per person for bodily injury, $50,000 for all person(s) injured in an accident, and $25,000 in property damage coverage. This is commonly referred to as a 25/50/25 policy.

So, should you or a loved one be injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver or one who flees the scene, you can rely on your own UM policy to seek compensation for damages like medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and more.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage vs Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) is required by SC law and designed to help you seek compensation to cover your damages after being hit by an uninsured or hit and run driver.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM), on the other hand, is an optional coverage that you can utilize if your damages exceed the at-fault driver’s liability insurance coverage. Many times, the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage is not sufficient to cover the costs of serious injuries or if multiple people were injured in the accident. 

Can I “Stack” Motor Vehicle Insurance Policies in South Carolina?

In some cases, you may be able to combine or “stack” your UM or UIM coverage limits if you have multiple cars and/or policies. What does this mean?

Stacking On One Auto Insurance Policy

Let’s say you and your spouse have three vehicles on the same insurance policy with UM on each car. Then, you may be able to stack the minimum limits of $25,000 in personal injury coverage per car together to get $75,000.00 in bodily injury coverage.

Stacking Across Car Insurance Policies

Another option may be available to you if your name is listed on two vehicle insurance policies within your household. In this case, you may be able to stack across policies to maximize your UM coverage for the accident.

Understanding what insurance coverage may be available to you and from where can become very confusing very quickly. Luckily, our team has the experience and resources needed to identify all forms of coverage available for your case, optimize your claim, and get you the entirety of the compensation you deserve for all past, present, and future costs related to the accident.

Compensation After a South Carolina Car Accident

One of the most common mistakes we see car accident victims make, especially in the case of uninsured or underinsured car accident cases, is underestimating the value of your case. If you don’t have years of experience handling car accident claims, then the insurance company’s first offer may seem like a great deal to take. However, many times, even when it’s coming from your own insurance company, they are offering you much less than the true value of your case.

When it comes to a settlement offer, you must be keeping in mind ALL past, present, and future costs associated with the accident. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Doctor and hospital bills
  • Physical therapy, chiropractor, and rehabilitation bills
  • Orthopedist, neurologist, and other medical specialist costs
  • Time missed from work
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Vehicle damage
  • Property damage
  • Permanent disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Wrongful death
  • And more.

While this list is a good starting point, it’s in your best interest to discuss the specifics of your case with a reputable car accident attorney. For a free case evaluation, contact our team today.

Contact the Car Accident Lawyers at Cavanaugh & Thickens, LLC Today

For help understanding your options after a South Carolina uninsured or underinsured car accident, give our team a call today at (803) 888-2200. We’re available 24/7 and are here to get you the best outcome possible for your future. 

Our team offers free case evaluations so you can get your questions answered and regain confidence after a wreck. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you owe us nothing up-front or out-of-pocket.