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Bill increases mandatory SC uninsured motorist insurance

A South Carolina Senate bill, if enacted, would increase the mandatory minimum coverage for uninsured motorist insurance from $10,000 to $25,000. Uninsured insurance coverage would equal the liability policy minimum that motorists are required to have to pay other drivers for car accidents under this proposal.

Where liability coverage pays for coverage that is the covered driver's fault, an uninsured policy pays for auto accident damage caused by another driver, who does not have an insurance policy or flees the accident. Minimum liability insurance coverage was raised to $25,000 in 2006 in a law making general increases to all car insurance. However, the mandatory amount for uninsured motorists' policies was buried in a separate section of this law, and remained unchanged at $10,000.

Most South Carolina drivers already have uninsured motorist policies meeting or exceeding $25,000, according to the chairman of a Senate and Banking subcommittee, Senator Ronnie Cromer. An attorney for the USAA Insurance Company also estimated that 60 to 65 percent of drivers in this state had more than the minimum coverage when the law changed in 2006, and that even more drivers now have uninsured motorist policies exceeding $25,000.

The state Department of Insurance could not state the number of South Carolina drivers having at least $25,000 in uninsured motorists' coverage. The South Carolina Insurance News Service stated that each insurance company would have different rates for the increased coverage.

Insurance coverage is one of many issues facing accident victims requiring advice. A civil lawsuit may also seek compensation for medical treatment, lost wages and other losses for victims. Families may seek compensation for the loss of a relative in an auto crash. An accident investigation should begin promptly to obtain evidence, determine liability and because time periods limit the time for filing a lawsuit.

Source: The State, "S.C. Senate bill would increase mandatory minimum coverage for auto insurance policies," Lou Krasky, March 6, 2013.

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