Did you know that the minimum liability coverage for automobile insurance in South Carolina is $25,000.00 per person or $50,000 per accident for bodily injury and $25,000.00 per accident for property damage? This requirement is set out in S.C. Code Ann. § 38-77-140. If an at-fault driver has minimum coverage limits, then the most one injured party can get is $25,000.00 from the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. Also, under minimum limits coverage, the at-fault driver’s insurance will not pay more than $50,000.00 for a single accident, no matter how many people are injured or how badly they are injured. The minimum limits coverage for property damage works the same way. The most the at-fault driver’s insurance will pay for property damage for a single accident under a minimum limits policy is $25,000.00, no matter how many vehicles are involved.
What happens when you’re hit by a driver with the minimum limits and that coverage is not enough to fully compensate you for your injuries or damage to your property? You could attempt to go after the at-fault driver personally. However, most at fault drivers we have encountered do not have the income or assets to fully compensate an injured victim. Also, pursuing at-fault drivers personally will usually delay obtaining the at-fault driver’s liability coverage and cause the incurrence of litigation expenses that may not be recovered.
Hopefully, you have underinsured motorist coverage to help further compensate you for your injuries and damages. Under S.C. Code Ann. § 38-77-160, your automobile insurance carrier is required to offer underinsured motorist coverage up to the limits of your liability coverage. Underinsured coverage is meant to help compensate you for injuries and damages when the at-fault driver’s liability coverage is insufficient to fully compensate you for the injuries and damages you sustain. Underinsured coverage is a fairly low-cost expense that will provide added protection for you and your family if you or they are severely injured by another driver. Underinsured coverage is something every vehicle owner should seriously consider.
If you have questions regarding the benefits of underinsurance coverage, automobile insurance coverage in general or have been hurt in an accident and want to discuss your rights, do not hesitate to contact us at 803-996-3333. We are here to help you and your family.