Charleston has a homeownership rate of 62%, which is slightly lower than the national average of 66%. Charlestonians pay an average of $1,213 per year for a house with $250,000 dwelling coverage to live in The Holy City, which is also below the national average of $1,312 per year. Homeowners policies take careful thought in Charleston, since there are areas vulnerable to flooding and the city is in the path of multiple hurricanes. Despite the challenges Mother Nature gives to this coastal gem, it is still possible to find the best cheap homeowners insurance in Charleston.
Bankrate reviewed several carriers based on customer service ratings, financial strength, average rates and discounts to find the best homeowner policy options for you. The result is a number of well-known national carriers that can offer full coverage options and discounts for you.
Best home insurance companies in Charleston
To choose the best home insurance companies in Charleston, it is important to look at a variety of components. In addition to average annual premiums provided by Quadrant Information Services, Bankrate reviewed the J.D. Power 2020 Home Insurance Satisfaction study, the financial strength ratings of each carrier and speciality coverages and discounts.
|Home Insurance Company||Average Annual Premium for $250K Liability||J.D. Power Score|
The largest provider of insurance in the country, State Farm is not only known for auto insurance policies but also homeowners policies. Whether you want the convenience of an online quote, working through the mobile app or an agent, State Farm offers both strong customer service in-person or online. Although it did not score the highest with the JD Power rankings, State Farm only has three complaints with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) customer complaint index, well below the national average.
Travelers offers the typical homeowners policy coverages — dwelling, personal property, liability and loss of use coverage. But where Travelers stands apart is with the numerous specialty coverage options available to policyholders. You can expand your coverage by adding on a specialty personal property coverage option. You can also insure your jewelry and high value items with higher limits. If you need content replacements cost or additional replacement cost coverage, then you have the option through Travelers. You can even purchase water backup and sump pump coverage if you need it.
Allstate is another carrier offering both the basics and the expanded coverage options with homeowners policies, including identity theft restoration and coverage for your lawn and garden. Another area where Allstate sets itself apart from others is with the number of generous premium discounts available. For instance, you can earn up to a 25% discount if you bundle your policy with your auto insurance. Or you can receive up to a 20% discount if you are claims-free and switch from another carrier to Allstate.
Auto-Owners consistently ranks as one of the top providers for high customer satisfaction, both with JD Power and online reviews. Not only is a strong in this area, but the A++ Superior rating for financial strength with AM Best is another indication of the strength of Auto-Owners. For policyholders, you have access to both standard coverage options, as well as specialty coverages for high value items, additional structures and water damage. And you will find multiple discounts available to help lower your premiums too.
Other Charleston home insurance options
The state of South Carolina does not require residents to purchase a homeowners policy. However, having proper coverage protects both your finances and your peace of mind for your home. Homeowners policies typically include dwelling coverage, liability, personal property protection and medical coverage if someone else gets hurt on your property. But adding optional coverages could offer greater protection and give you a more well-rounded policy. Charlestonians may want to consider adding:
- Flood insurance: Charleston is highly prone to flooding, not only because of the location on the Atlantic coast, but also because of the higher occurrence of hurricanes. Flood insurance may even be required in your specific flood zone.
- Storm surge coverage: Talk to your agent about how you are protected in the event of a storm surge. The coastal communities are at the highest risk and the result is billions of dollars of damage during hurricane season.
- Home sharing coverage: As one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, you may find yourself renting out your home for both income and others to enjoy. If you rent your home out through popular services such as Airbnb, look for policies offering coverage against property damage for you as the homeowner.
- Tornadoes: Living in South Carolina means you could experience tornadoes, as the state ranks 26th overall for most tornadoes in the country. Make sure your policy offers the adequate coverage to repair and rebuild if you experience a tornado.
Home insurance discounts in Charleston
Living in South Carolina’s Lowcountry does not mean you should pay high homeowners insurance rates. There are a wide variety of discounts available for homeowners and you should take advantage of all of them if you want to save on your premiums.
- Policy bundling: Combining your homeowners policy with the same carrier who provides your auto (or another policy) is a potentially easy way to save. Almost every carrier offers this discount when you have more than one policy.
- Home security system: If you pay for a home security system, you can reap the benefits not only from added security protection, but also from discounts on your premiums.
- Automatic payments: If you choose to have your premiums deducted each month from your account automatically, you can save an additional amount. Not only is this a convenience for you, it helps you save over the year.
- Loyalty discount: The longer you stay with your carrier, the lower your premiums could be. Many carriers offer loyalty discounts where you save additional money each year you continue purchasing your policy through them.
No matter what discounts you end up earning, be sure to review all available ones with your agent or with customer service. The ones mentioned above are only a fraction of the discounts available to homeowners, which means you could potentially save even more.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best home insurance company?
Finding the best home insurance company is based on different factors that are most important to you. While reviewing, be sure to look at a carrier’s customer service ratings and reviews, financial strength, rates and discounts and digital assets. Bankrate has used these same benchmarks and found Allstate and Auto-Owners to be some of the best in South Carolina.
How much does home insurance in Charleston cost?
Homeowners insurance in Charleston averages $1,213 per year for a home with $250,000 in dwelling coverage, which is below the national average of $1,312. However, it is important to keep in mind your rates are based on numerous personal factors, including your age, gender, marital status, zip code and credit rating.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on 40-year-old male and female homeowners with a clean claim history, good credit and the following coverage limits:
- Coverage A, Dwelling: $250,000
- Coverage B, Other Structures: $25,000
- Coverage C, Personal Property: $125,000
- Coverage D, Loss of Use: $50,000
- Coverage E, Liability: $300,000
- Coverage F, Medical Payments: $1,000
The homeowners also have a $1,000 deductible and a separate wind and hail deductible (if required).
These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes will differ.