About South Carolina Insurance Laws, Health Insurance and Regulations…
The South Carolina insurance industry is home to a multitude of prosperous sectors that have favored well over the recent years of regulatory changes that have affected markets throughout the country. The South Carolina insurance industry is governed by the state’s Department of Insurance. This agency is responsible for ensuring that consumers are treated fairly and that insurance providers can operate as free businesses. Insurers must comply with state and federal regulations or risk facing serious repercussions.
The South Carolina insurance industry boasts of a burgeoning auto insurance sector. Because the cost of auto insurance can vary widely depending on a multitude of factors, the state’s Department of Insurance has determined that drivers may carry a minimum level of coverage in order to be considered insured.
This coverage must account for: $25,000 per person for bodily injury coverage; $50,000 per accident; and $25,000 for personal property.
As in other states, auto insurance is mandatory for drivers in South Carolina.
Drivers are not required by the state to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage in South Carolina. According to the state’s Department of Insurance, the average cost of auto insurance coverage in the state is $1,795, above the national average of $1,725.
Homeowners in South Carolina are not required to purchase or maintain any level of property insurance protection. The South Carolina insurance industry does offer a wide variety of property insurance policies that are suited for the needs of homeowners, however, and the Department of Insurance encourages consumers to protect their properties with the appropriate levels of coverage. While the state does not require homeowners to purchase insurance for their property, insurance policies are often a requirement of mortgage plans with financial institutions.
Health insurance will be mandatory for all residents in South Carolina, and throughout the country, in 2014 per the Affordable Care Act. States are compelled to prepare for this mandate by developing health insurance exchanges. These systems are meant to provide consumers with access to affordable health insurance policies, thus mitigating the financial impact of the insurance mandate. South Carolina has determined that it will not build its own health insurance exchange.
The South Carolina insurance industry serves approximately 4.5 million people, though 16% of the state’s population currently lacks health insurance coverage. An exchange program will be set up and operated by the federal government and is expected to begin selling policies at the end of 2013. The exchange program will be populated with companies from the South Carolina insurance industry.
South Carolina Insurance Resources:
South Carolina Insurance Commissioner: Raymond G. Farmer, Interim Director
South Carolina Department of Insurance Website: http://doi.sc.gov/Pages/default.aspx
South Carolina Insurance Agent Licensing Info: http://doi.sc.gov/licensing/Pages/index.aspx
File Insurance Complaint: https://online.doi.sc.gov/Eng/Public/Consumer/Complaint.aspx