South Carolina Personal Injury Protection Insurance (PIP)

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  • South Carolina Personal Injury Protection Insurance (PIP)

While car insurance laws in the Palmetto State mandate all drivers to have active policies with certain coverages, personal injury protection (PIP) isn’t one of them. PIP is a first-party medical benefit (FPMB) available in some states for policyholders to invoke should they be injured in an accident, regardless of who was at fault. PIP is most often referred to as no-fault coverage.

South Carolinians can’t add PIP to their policies, as insurers in the state don’t offer this coverage. Let’s check out what PIP is, why it isn’t offered in the Palmetto State, and what other types of FPMBs drivers can add to their South Carolina auto insurance policies.

South Carolina PIP Insurance Explained

While all drivers are required to have auto insurance in South Carolina, policyholders aren’t required to carry PIP coverage. In fact, PIP isn’t even offered by insurers in the Palmetto State. Instead, drivers must select another FPMB to reap similar benefits to PIP.

In many cases, PIP is only required in no-fault states, of which South Carolina isn’t one. Instead, the Palmetto State is a tort state, meaning at least one driver must be considered at fault in every accident. Then, the victim in an accident can use the at-fault driver’s required liability coverage to help them cover their medical expenses and vehicle repairs. 

In South Carolina, drivers are required by law to have at least $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 in bodily injury liability per accident, $25,000 in property damage liability per accident (25/50/25 liability coverage, and the same 25/50/25 limit of uninsured motorist coverage (UM).

Those who lease or finance their vehicles may be legally required to carry collision and comprehensive coverages as a stipulation of their legally binding leasing or financing agreement. Driving without insurance in the Palmetto State is illegal and can result in hefty fines, license and registration suspension, or even jail time.

Since South Carolina auto insurance laws only mandate drivers to have liability coverage and uninsured motorist coverage, many drivers don’t have coverage that will protect them in the event of an at-fault accident. Carrying a full coverage policy with optional coverages like an FPMB, such as medical payments coverage (MedPay), underinsured motorist coverage (UIM), collision coverage, and comprehensive coverage, can help drivers protect themselves in various accident scenarios regardless of who’s at fault.

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What Is Personal Injury Protection in South Carolina?

South Carolina PIP coverage doesn’t exist, as the coverage type isn’t offered in the state. However, PIP is a type of FPMB, but not the only one. South Carolinians may opt for a similar FPMB to PIP, called MedPay.

In states that offer PIP, policyholders can invoke it to cover a range of medical expenses they incur due to an accident, regardless of who’s at fault. After reaching one’s deductible, PIP in other states may cover any of the following costs up to a policyholder’s coverage limit: doctor’s visits, hospital stays, prescription medications, diagnostic tests, surgeries, ambulance rides, loss of wages, funeral expenses, and many more.

While MedPay and PIP are both FPMBs, they don’t cover the same things. The most significant difference between the two coverages is the loss of wages coverage. PIP coverage extends a bit further than MedPay, as MedPay strictly covers medical or funeral expenses and doesn’t reach much further outside those two arenas. PIP is a bit more expansive, covering things like work loss, childcare, home help, etc.

However, MedPay is still valuable coverage on one’s policy, even if it doesn’t offer as much coverage as PIP. While a policy with MedPay may not be the cheapest policy in the state, one doesn’t have to sacrifice coverage for savings. Many of the state’s top insurers offer full coverage policies with MedPay for lower-than-average base rates. Plus, several insurers in the Palmetto State offer a range of stackable discounts policyholders can use to further reduce their premiums. 

The average full coverage policy in South Carolina costs about $1,640 annually, just $30 below the national average of $1,670 annually. With some quote comparison and calculated discount stacking, policyholders can get the coverage they need at a price that won’t break the bank.

Does South Carolina Have PIP Coverage?

PIP coverage in South Carolina doesn’t exist, but the state offers another FPMB in its place. Typically, states with no-fault laws in place will require residents to carry PIP coverage or some form of a FPMB. Since South Carolina is a tort state, residents are only required to carry liability and UM coverages.

While PIP isn’t offered in the Palmetto State, there is an FPMB available to policyholders that acts similarly to the no-fault coverage. MedPay is very similar to PIP in that it covers the policyholder’s medical expenses in the event of an accident, regardless of who was at fault. The only difference between the two coverages is that PIP covers a bit more, whereas MedPay strictly covers explicit medical and funeral costs. 

PIP is especially useful in states with a high population or a higher-than-average number of uninsured drivers. Since South Carolina’s metrics for both categories rest at or below the national average, drivers aren’t required or offered PIP coverage. However, policyholders may carry MedPay to protect themselves in various accident scenarios. 

How To Find Car Insurance Quotes in South Carolina

If you’re looking to add an FPMB to your policy or are curious about the rates you’re eligible for, the best way to see all your policy options is to get and compare quotes online. By getting and comparing quotes, you can see which insurers offer excellent coverage at a price that’s within your budget, and you may even save a few dollars, too.

Lucky for you, quotes are our specialty here at Clovered. We have a free quoting tool you can use to get quotes tailored to your needs in minutes. If you prefer to chat with a professional about your quotes, you can contact one of our licensed agents at 833-255-4117 or

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The editorial content on Clovered’s website is meant to be informational material and should not be considered legal advice.

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