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South Carolina homeowners insurance

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If you’re on the hunt for South Carolina homeowners insurance,  here you can learn everything you need to know. We provide average South Carolina homeowners insurance rates by coverage level, ZIP code and company. You’ll also learn how much insurance you need for your particular situation. That means you’ll know what to expect when shopping for South Carolina homeowners insurance – and you won’t overpay for it.

Whether you’re a new homeowner buying insurance or you’re shopping your existing policy, it’s wise to know the home insurance basics about coverage to ensure you’re shielded from big financial losses if calamity ensues. We explain how much coverage you need to buy, how it works to protect your home and provide information on South Carolina homeowners insurance from Allstate, Liberty Mutual, USAA and Nationwide,

Here we will also outline insight on:

What is the average cost of homeowners insurance in South Carolina?

Home insurance: South Carolina rates by ZIP code

South Carolina home insurance rates by coverage level

South Carolina home insurance rates by company

Best South Carolina home insurance companies

South Carolina homeowners insurance laws

 

What is the average cost of homeowners insurance in South Carolina?

South Carolina’s average homeowners insurance rate is $1,402, which is $174 more than the national average of $1,228. That makes it the thirteenth most expensive in the nation. Those costs are for the coverage level of:

  • $200,000 dwelling coverage
  • $1,000 deductible
  • $100,000 liability

When buying a homeowner insurance policy, you decide the coverage amount for the following:

  • dwelling
  • liability
  • medical payments

The limits of your coverage for the following are typically a set percentage of your dwelling coverage limit as shown below:

  • other structures – 10 percent
  • personal property – 50 percent
  • loss of use – 20 percent

A deductible is the fee you pay before your insurance kicks in. For example, if your home is damaged to the tune of $3,000 and you have a $500 deductible, you will need to pay the first $500 out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in.

Some deductibles are based on dollar amounts, such as $500 or $1,000. Others are based on a percentage of your home's value. If your home is insured for $200,000 and your deductible is 2 percent, you will owe $4,000 before insurance coverage kicks in.

You  choose a home insurance deductible amount, which applies to claims for damage to your home or belongings, but not if you’re sued or a medical claim is filed by someone injured in your home. These are typically in the amounts of $500, $1,000, $1,500, $2,000 and $2,500.

When buying home insurance, you should insure your home based on its replacement cost, which is the amount you need to rebuild it if damaged or destroyed, and not its market value, which is what you could sell your home for in its current condition. Replacement cost offers more protection because the cost of building a home often exceeds its market value.

When shopping for a policy, you will have to choose a “dwelling coverage” amount. You should select a dwelling coverage limit that best matches the cost to repair damage to your home or rebuild it completely at equal quality — at current prices. This can be an arduous task, so using online calculators or hiring an appraiser to give you a replacement cost valuation will save you time.

Homeowners insurance: South Carolina rates by ZIP code

As you can see at the bottom of Insurance.com’s South Carolina Average Home Insurance Rates tool below, regions on the coast are among the highest for home insurance, while those inland are among the lowest. The good news is that even the most expensive communities are still paying less to insure homes than places like Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.

ZIP codes in Myrtle Beach are among the most expensive places to insure a home in South Carolina, more than four times the cost of the cheapest areas in Greenville and Marietta. Insurance.com analyzed home insurance rates from major  insurance companies for 75 coverage levels in nearly every ZIP code in South Carolina.  For $200,000 dwelling coverage with a $1,000 deductible and $100,000 liability limits, the average rate of $3,858 in Myrtle Beach ZIP code 29577 is not only the highest for the state, but is the sixth most expensive ZIP code in the country for home insurance.

Now let’s see what home insurance companies are charging in your neighborhood. By entering your ZIP code in the search box, you’ll see the average home insurance rate for that area, as well as the highest and lowest premium fielded from major insurers. This will give you an idea of how much you can save by comparing home insurance rates, whether you have a modest home inland or a high-end house near the beach. For example, the highest rate ($6,908) for Charleston ZIP 29412 is $5,441 more than the lowest ($1,467). That means you can save over $5,000 just by comparing rates and shopping around.

Note: These numbers are for $200,000 dwelling coverage with a $1,000 deductible and $100,000 liability. You can increase or decrease those amounts to see how those numbers fluctuate.

Here are average home insurance rates for some of the state’s largest cities:

  • Mount Pleasant -- $2,911
  • Myrtle Beach – $2,893
  • Hilton Head – $2,654
  • Charleston -- $2,410
  • Greenville – $1,148
  • Columbia – $1,064

South Carolina home insurance rates by coverage level

Here we show the average cost of South Carolina homeowners insurance for 75 coverage levels, based on a rate analysis by Insurance.com. Enter one of the following dwelling coverage amounts  from $200,000, $300,000, $400,000, $500,000 or $600,000. You will see annual average rates based on five deductible amounts (from $500 to $2,500) for each liability limit of $100,000, $300,000 and $500,000.

Coverage levelAverage annual rate
$200,000 with $2,500 Deductible and $100,000 Liability$1,227
$200,000 with $2,500 Deductible and $300,000 Liability$1,241
$200,000 with $2,500 Deductible and $500,000 Liability$1,253
$200,000 with $2,000 Deductible and $100,000 Liability$1,255
$200,000 with $2,000 Deductible and $300,000 Liability$1,269
$200,000 with $2,000 Deductible and $500,000 Liability$1,281
$200,000 with $1,500 Deductible and $100,000 Liability$1,314
$200,000 with $1,500 Deductible and $300,000 Liability$1,328
$200,000 with $1,500 Deductible and $500,000 Liability$1,340
$200,000 with $1,000 Deductible and $100,000 Liability$1,402
$200,000 with $1,000 Deductible and $300,000 Liability$1,417
$200,000 with $1,000 Deductible and $500,000 Liability$1,428
$200,000 with $500 Deductible and $100,0000 Liability$1,517
$200,000 with $500 Deductible and $300,000 Liability$1,531
$200,000 with $500 Deductible and $500,000 Liability$1,543
$300,000 with $2,500 Deductible and $100,000 Liability$1,868
$300,000 with $2,500 Deductible and $300,000 Liability$1,883
$300,000 with $2,500 Deductible and $500,000 Liability$1,896
$300,000 with 2$,000 Deductible and $100,000 Liability$1,907
$300,000 with $2,000 Deductible and $300,000 Liability$1,923
$300,000 with $2,000 Deductible and $500,000 Liability$1,936
$300,000 with $1,500 Deductible and $100,000 Liability$1,975
$300,000 with $1,500 Deductible and $300,000 Liability$1,990
$300,000 with $1,500 Deductible and $500,000 Liability$2,004
$300,000 with $1,000 Deductible and $100,000 Liability$2,093
$300,000 with $1,000 Deductible and $300,000 Liability$2,110
$300,000 with $1,000 Deductible and $500,000 Liability$2,123
$300,000 with $500 Deductible and $100,000 Liability$2,237
$300,000 with $500 Deductible and $300,000 Liability$2,254
$300,000 with $500 Deductible and $500,000 Liability$2,267
$400,000 with $2,500 Deductible and $100,000 Liability$2,517
$400,000 with $2,500 Deductible and $300,000 Liability$2,534
$400,000 with $2,500 Deductible and $500,000 Liability$2,548
$400,000 with $2,000 Deductible and $100,000 Liability$2,568
$400,000 with $2,000 Deductible and $300,000 Liability$2,585
$400,000 with $2,000 Deductible and $500,000 Liability$2,600
$400,000 with $1,500 Deductible and $100,000 Liability$2,635
$400,000 with $1,500 Deductible and $300,000 Liability$2,652
$400,000 with $1,500 Deductible and $500,000 Liability$2,667
$400,000 with $1,000 Deductible and $100,000 Liability$2,780
$400,000 with $1,000 Deductible and $300,000 Liability$2,797
$400,000 with $1,000 Deductible and $500,000 Liability$2,811
$400,000 with $500 Deductible and $100,000 Liability$2,949
$400,000 with $500 Deductible and $300,000 Liability$2,967
$400,000 with $500 Deductible and $500,000 Liability$2,982
$500,000 with $2,500 Deductible and $100,000 Liability$3,228
$500,000 with $2,500 Deductible and $300,000 Liability$3,246
$500,000 with $2,500 Deductible and $500,000 Liability$3,261
$500,000 with $2,000 Deductible and $100,000 Liability$3,290
$500,000 with $2,000 Deductible and $300,000 Liability$3,308
$500,000 with $2,000 Deductible and $500,000 Liability$3,323
$500,000 with $1,500 Deductible and $100,000 Liability$3,356
$500,000 with $1,500 Deductible and $300,000 Liability$3,374
$500,000 with $1,500 Deductible and $500,000 Liability$3,390
$500,000 with $1,000 Deductible and $100,000 Liability$3,533
$500,000 with $1,000 Deductible and $300,000 Liability$3,552
$500,000 with $1,000 Deductible and $500,000 Liability$3,567
$500,000 with $500 Deductible and $100,000 Liability$3,726
$500,000 with $500 Deductible and $300,000 Liability$3,744
$500,000 with $500 Deductible and $500,000 Liability$3,760
$600,000 with $2,500 Deductible and $100,000 Liability$3,920
$600,000 with $2,500 Deductible and $300,000 Liability$3,939
$600,000 with $2,500 Deductible and $500,000 Liability$3,955
$600,000 with $2,000 Deductible and $100,000 Liability$3,992
$600,000 with $2,000 Deductible and $300,000 Liability$4,011
$600,000 with $2,000 Deductible and $500,000 Liability$4,027
$600,000 with $1,500 Deductible and $100,000 Liability$4,061
$600,000 with $1,500 Deductible and $300,000 Liability$4,080
$600,000 with $1,500 Deductible and $500,000 Liability$4,096
$600,000 with $1,000 Deductible and $100,000 Liability$4,268
$600,000 with $1,000 Deductible and $300,000 Liability$4,287
$600,000 with $1,000 Deductible and $500,000 Liability$4,304
$600,000 with $500 Deductible and $100,000 Liability$4,487
$600,000 with $500 Deductible and $300,000 Liability$4,507
$600,000 with $500 Deductible and $500,000 Liability$4,524

Let’s take a closer look at the average South Carolina homeowners insurance rates by coverage level. As you’ll see in the chart above, the cheapest South Carolina home insurance rates are those with the highest deductible amount and lowest liability limit. Let’s look just at dwelling coverage of $200,000 as an example, outlined below. The premium with a deductible of $2,500 – the highest deductible amount-- with $100,000 liability limits – the lowest liability amount-- is $1,227. That’s nearly $300 less than the same policy with a $500 deductible.

$200,000 dwelling/$100,000 liabilityRate
$2,500 Deductible$1,227
$2,000 Deductible$1,255
$1,500 Deductible$1,314
$1,000 Deductible$1,401
$500 Deductible$1,517

South Carolina home insurance rates by company

Because costs are not uniform, it's crucial to shop around for the best home insurance rate.

Many factors influence the price you pay for insurance. Here are some that have the biggest impact:

  • Your home's square footage
  • Building costs in your area, and your own home's construction, materials and features
  • Local crime rates
  • The likelihood of certain types of disasters, such as hurricanes

 

So, shop around for the right policy. III suggests getting at least three price quotes when shopping for coverage, and says that doing so can save you up to hundreds of dollars annually.

Although South Carolina home insurance costs can be expensive, it's a mistake to cut corners in an attempt to save. III recommends that you get enough insurance to cover the costs to:

  • Repair or replace the structure of your home and personal possessions
  • Defend yourself against liability costs if someone is hurt on your property
  • Pay for a temporary place to live while your home is repaired or replaced

 

Here are home insurance rates by company for six coverage sets. Based on our rate analysis, you’ll see USAA was the cheapest insurance company in South Carolina, followed by South Carolina Farm Bureau, and Allstate was the most expensive insurance company for the coverage levels analyzed.

Chart

$200,000 dwelling/$1,000 deductible/$100,000 liability$200,000 dwelling/$1,000 deductible/$300,000 liability
USAA$963USAA$963
Farm Bureau$992Farm Bureau$998
Travelers$1,392Travelers$1,410
Farmers$1,659Farmers$1,676
Allstate$1,667Allstate$1,702
State Farm$1,740State Farm$1,750
$300,000 dwelling/$1,000 deductible/$300,000 liability$400,000 dwelling/$1,000 deductible/$300,000 liability
USAA$1,309USAA$1,628
Farm Bureau$1,431Farm Bureau$1,837
Travelers$1,971Travelers$2,571
State Farm$2,333State Farm$2,906
Farmers$2,727Farmers$3,765
Allstate$2,886Allstate$4,075
$500,000 dwelling/$1,000 deductible/$300,000 liability$600,000 dwelling/$1,000 deductible/$300,000 liability
USAA$2,001USAA$2,384
Farm Bureau$2,224Farm Bureau$2,608
Travelers$3,295Travelers$3,945
State Farm$3,620State Farm$4,275
Farmers$4,906Farmers$6,059
Allstate$5,263Allstate$6,451

 

Best South Carolina home insurance companies

The homeowners insurance company with the cheapest rates isn’t necessarily the best. Other factors to consider are customer service and claims processing. Insure.com’s 2018 Best Home Insurance Companies report ranks major insurers on feedback from 3,700 customers. They are asked about the value for the price, customer service, claims service and if they’d recommend the company.

Here are the top 10 for the Southern region of the country:

  • Chubb
  • Allstate
  • AIG
  • USAA
  • Farmers
  • Erie
  • Progressive
  • Nationwide
  • State Farm
  • Liberty Mutual

South Carolina home insurance discounts

There are several ways to reduce your South Carolina home insurance costs. Many insurers will lower your bill if you purchase more than one type of insurance policy from them. This process – known as "bundling" – can cut your costs by up to 15 percent, III says.

You can also cut your costs by making your home more disaster-resistant. Installing hurricane glass or accordion shutters might net you a discount.

According to III, other possible discounts include:

  • Installing smoke detectors, a burglar alarm or dead-bolt locks -- 5 percent each
  • Installing a sprinkler system, and a fire and burglar alarm -- 15 to 20 percent
  • Loyalty discounts -- up to 5 percent after three to five years, and 10 percent for six years or more

 

South Carolina home insurance laws

 

Why do I need flood insurance?

South Carolina is no stranger to flooding. Two of the biggest flood events of the past decade in the U.S. - Hurricane Matthew (2016) and Hurricane Irma (2017) -- impacted the region. And even more devastating flooding occurred when Hurricane Florence swept into the region in 2018.

Flooding can occur with any rain storm. In fact, the Insurance Information Institute says floods occur more often than any other natural disaster in the U.S. Despite this fact, just 12 percent of U.S. homeowners had a flood insurance policy in 2016, according to III.

The National FLood Insurance Program provides most of the flood coverage in the U.S. Nationwide, the average policy costs $700 annually, according to FEMA. An NFIP policy provides coverage of up to $250,000 for the structure of the home, and up to $100,000 for personal possessions.

You must buy flood insurance through an agent or company that participates in NFIP. To find coverage in South Carolina, speak with your insurance agent or visit the official NFIP website for more help.

What is windstorm insurance?

Hurricane Florence was an unsettling reminder of how vulnerable South Carolina is to hurricanes and tropical storms.

Because of the high-risk associated with the state's vulnerability, South Carolina is among 19 in the U.S. in which insurance companies are allowed to charge a hurricane deductible, according to the Insurance Information Institute. That means that you will pay a separate deductible before your insurance kicks in for damages resulting from a hurricane.

By South Carolina law, insurers must tell residential property owners if their insurance policy has a separate deductible for hurricane, wind or named-storm damage. If such a deductible exists, the insurer is responsible for explaining how the deductible works in a policy valued at $100,000.

The insurer also is required to give a full explanation of which events trigger the deductible.

South Carolina residents who cannot secure wind coverage on the open market -- due to being in vulnerable areas along the coast -- can get coverage through the South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association.

The association is made up of insurance companies that offer wind and hail property insurance to homeowners and businesses in coastal areas who are unable to buy insurance through the standard market.

How do hurricane deductibles work?

As noted above, an increasing number of insurance companies are turning to percentage deductibles when insuring homes. This is especially true for windstorm coverage.

A percentage deductible can be considerably more expensive than a traditional deductible. Instead of paying a flat fee of $1,000, you could be charged a percentage of your overall  home insurance coverage amount. A 2 percent deductible on coverage of $100,000 leaves you on the hook for $2,000.

Is hail damage covered?

South Carolina gets its fair share of severe weather, and that means the risk of hail damage is always present.

Homeowners insurance typically will cover hail damage to the structure of your home, including the roof, windows, a deck or the garage.

Hail damage to your car is covered only if you have comprehensive coverage on your auto insurance policy.

In some cases, homeowners in areas more vulnerable to hail damage - such as along the coast - might have trouble securing coverage on the open insurance market. Those homeowners can turn to the South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association for coverage.

Is mold covered?

Mold that results from a covered peril -- such as a burst pipe -- typically is covered under a South Carolina home insurance policy. However, the amount of mold coverage often is capped at around $10,000. It might be possible to increase such limits by paying an additional premium amount. It's important to note that some policies do not cover mold damage at all.

Do I need earthquake insurance?

Although South Carolina does not appear to be "earthquake country," that impression can be misleading. In fact, the United States Geological Survey has designated South Carolina as one of 16 states at high risk for earthquakes.

Most earthquakes in South Carolina occur in the coastal plain region. But temblors have impacted many other areas of the state. An 1886 earthquake that struck the state was among the worst ever recorded on the U.S. East Coast.

Despite this history, significant earthquakes in South Carolina remain rare. For this reason, earthquake insurance tends to be much cheaper in states like South Carolina than in more earthquake-sensitive places like the Pacific Coast. According to the Insurance Information Institute: "A brick home would cost approximately $3 to $15 dollars per $1,000 in the Pacific Northwest, while it would cost between 60 to 90 cents in New York."

 

What can I do if I can't get homeowners insurance in South Carolina?

 

If you are struggling to find the right homeowners insurance coverage in South Carolina, ask for help via the South Carolina Department of Insurance's SC MarketAssist program. You can request assistance online or call 1-843-577-3415.

Once you make a request, a representative of the Department of Insurance will contact you with a list of insurers willing to sell you a policy.

 

Where do I get claims processing info or file a complaint?

In some instances, you may have a dispute with your insurance company that remains unresolved. The South Carolina Department of Insurance can investigate your situation if you file a complaint at the department website.

You can also call the department at 1-800-737-6180.

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