Studies on car insurance rates rank SC, show disparities by location
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Two different studies took a look at car insurance premiums, revealing not only the post-claim increase in South Carolina rates but higher rates depending on where the policy holder lives.According to a report from InsuranceQuotes.com, South Carolina premiums increase by 31 percent after a single claim, giving the Palmetto State the 29th steepest increase in the country.Nationwide, the report says the average hike is only 38 percent after one claim and 86 percent after two claims. Massachusetts has the largest post-claim increase at 67 percent. Maryland has the smallest at 20 percent."The biggest lesson for consumers is not to file a claim unless absolutely necessary," said Laura Adams, a senior analyst at insuranceQuotes.com. "Making a claim for a few hundred dollars doesn't make sense if your premium is going to skyrocket as a result."The study found the type of claim also has an impact. Bodily injury and property damage claims are the most expensive at over 40 percent while comprehensive claims for events such as theft are the cheapest at two percent.The full study, as well as a "Should I Make a Claim?" calculator, is available here. Another similar study was done by the folks at OnlineAutoInsurance.com who looked into the concept of "territorial rating." The study explored how insurers predict how likely a customer is to file a claim by analyzing the claims histories of other drivers in the area.The study found that Oconee had the lowest premiums in South Carolina, 10 percent below the state average.Colleton and Hampton were found to have the highest prices, with their average quotes at 7.7 percent above the statewide average.On average, the difference in price between the cheapest and most expensive territory at a single insurer was $283.Prices also fluctuated between insurance companies with the average price gap between the cheapest and most expensive insurer at $751 over 46 territories.To view the full study and the data for all 46 territories, click here.