MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Car insurance rates in the Palmetto State have increased, on average, 20 percent since 2013, ranking South Carolina at number 27 in the county when it comes to rates.
According to the South Carolina Department of Insurance, the 10 largest auto insurers in the state have increased rates on an average of 8.9 percent from last year, which is more than double the rate of change that was recorded in 2015.
Kristen Saurini, an agent with Davis & Massey Insurance Agency, Inc., said that a number of things can cause insurance rates to increase. A person’s age, driving record, credit score and kind of vehicle they drive can all factor into a rate increase.
The amount of traffic in an area and the number of accidents will also play a role. According to Saurini, the number of crashes last year in South Carolina topped 140,000.
There are things you can do to try and alleviate some of the cost when it comes to your own car insurance. Saurini said becoming part of a loyalty program and paying more on your deductible can lower your rate.
It’s also not a good idea to jump from company to company as years go by, because there’s no loyalty there. However, just because you’ve been with a company for a number of years, does not necessarily mean you are getting the best rate. “Make sure you shop around,” Saurini said.
Young drivers, like college and high school students, are usually able to get a good drivers discount as well. Those drivers training courses aren’t just for teen drivers, if you take one of those and show the certificate to your insurance company, you are likely to get a discount through that, too.
"Bundling is also a great thing to do. Combining your insurance policies into one agency will give you discounts. If you take your home and auto together, sometimes there's discounts there,” Saurini said. “Your credit. If you have good credit, insurance companies do take that credit score into effect."
A thriving economy can also be to blame. More business brought to one area means more people on the road, which can mean more accidents.