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Do you need motorcycle insurance in South Carolina?

The Carolina Law Group > Blog  > Do you need motorcycle insurance in South Carolina?

Do you need motorcycle insurance in South Carolina?


Julian Cabra | Attorney

If you ride a motorcycle in South Carolina, you may be wondering do you need motorcycle insurance? The answer is yes, you do need motorcycle insurance in South Carolina. While motorcycle insurance is very similar to car insurance, there are a couple differences you should know about when looking for a policy to cover you.  

Types of insurance every motorcyclist should have

Like car insurance, motorcycle insurance is made up of several components that cover different eventualities. Here’s what to look for in a motorcycle insurance policy:

Bodily injury and property damage liability.

This liability coverage pays expenses related to injuries to another person or to property in an accident that’s your fault. In South Carolina, the minimum coverage requirements are 25/50/25, meaning the policy will pay out a maximum of $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident, and $25,000 to cover property damage. (Read our blog on why minimum insurance may not be enough.)

Guest passenger liability.

Car insurance automatically includes coverage for passengers who may be injured in an accident. However, since motorcycles are typically considered a vehicle for one person, this kind of coverage is not automatic. Guest passenger liability insurance covers your passenger if they’re injured in an accident that’s your fault. If you ever plan to have a passenger ride with you, make sure that your motorcycle insurance policy includes this, or have it added on.  

Comprehensive and collision coverage.

This covers your motorcycle if something were to happen to it. Collision coverage applies when damage was sustained in a collision. Comprehensive coverage applies to damage from vandalism, theft, hail, fire, flood, and so on.

Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage.

South Carolina requires drivers to carry uninsured motorist (UM) coverage at the same minimum levels as bodily injury and property damage liability coverage – 25/50/25. This type of coverage pays in the event that the at-fault driver doesn’t have any insurance. Similarly, underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage pays in the event that the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage doesn’t completely cover the expenses resulting from the accident. While UIM is not required in South Carolina, it’s a good idea to carry it.

Medical insurance.

This type of insurance, also known as MedPay in South Carolina, provides no-fault coverage that pays for medical (or funeral) expenses resulting from an accident, regardless of who caused the accident. Again, this coverage is optional in South Carolina, but it’s smart to include it in your motorcycle insurance policy, since motorcycles offer much less protection in the event of an accident and bodily injuries are more common. (Read more about this type of coverage in our blog about MedPay.)

Penalties associated with not having motorcycle insurance in South Carolina

Do you have to have motorcycle insurance with you? Yes. Not only do you need to have a valid policy, but you need proof of coverage while driving a car or riding a motorcycle in South Carolina.

If you don’t have any insurance coverage at all, your driver’s license, license plate, and registration will be suspended, and in addition to getting valid insurance, you’ll be subject to fees to have them reinstated. If you simply don’t have proof of coverage with you when you’re pulled over by an officer, the most likely outcome is a ticket and 30 days to provide proof of insurance.

(Read more about the consequences of driving without motor vehicle insurance in South Carolina.)

Motorcycle accident? Call the personal injury attorneys of The Carolina Law Group

Why do you need motorcycle insurance? To protect yourself. Riding a motorcycle is risky and accidents can result in injuries to you, other people, and property, all of which can be very expensive and potentially devastating.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, call the motorcycle accident attorneys at The Carolina Law Group. They have experience fighting for the rights of their clients who have been involved in a motorcycle accident, both in and out of court, and they’re ready to do the same for you. Call today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case.

The Carolina Law Group has three offices in upstate South Carolina for your convenience: Greenville (principal office; call 864.312.4444), Greer (principal office; call 864.757.5555), and Spartanburg (principal office; call 864.757.5555). Call today.


Julian immigrated to the US from Colombia in 2001 (later becoming a citizen in 2010) and started working as a Spanish-English interpreter for a Greenville law firm in early 2004. Julian then attended Charlotte School of Law in Charlotte, NC, and finished his legal education at Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, VA. Julian graduated in May 2018 and passed the bar in 2019, and has been admitted to the SC bar where he was sworn in by the Supreme Court of South Carolina in January 2020. As an attorney, Julian is focusing on personal injury and workers’ compensation cases. And with Spanish as his mother tongue and previous experience as an interpreter, Julian is passionate about helping the Hispanic community. He serves as the Education Chair for the Greenville Chapter of Prospanica, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting education and professional opportunities in the Hispanic community.

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