The average cost of home insurance in South Carolina for $250,000 in dwelling coverage is $1,142 per year. This is 15% less than the national average cost of home insurance of $1,312 per year, according to Bankrate’s 2021 study of quoted annual premiums.
South Carolina home insurance averages may be lower than the national average, but you may want to consider more than just price when picking a provider. Bankrate’s editorial team analyzed the largest homeowners insurance companies by market share to find the best home insurance companies in the Palmetto State for your individual needs.
Best home insurance companies in South Carolina
Bankrate’s insurance experts began the search for the best South Carolina homeowners insurance by obtaining 2021 quoted premiums from Quadrant Information Services for some of the largest insurance providers by market share. We also analyzed each company’s coverage options, available discounts, AM Best ratings for financial strength, National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint records and customer satisfaction scores from J.D. Power.
While the best home insurance company depends on your individual circumstances, you may want to consider getting quotes from these five major providers during your search:
|Home insurance company||Average annual premium for $250k dwelling coverage||J.D. Power customer satisfaction score|
Allstate, the second-largest U.S. home insurer based on market share according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I), may be a great insurance company for South Carolina homeowners who want to personalize their policy with optional endorsements. Allstate offers a variety of unique endorsements, including yard and garden coverage, sports equipment coverage, musical instruments coverage, green improvement reimbursement and more. In addition to standard discounts like multi-policy, Allstate also offers extra saving opportunities, including discounts for new homebuyers and responsible payers. The company is also fiscally solid, with an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best.
Learn more: Allstate Insurance review
Contrary to what the name might suggest, Auto-Owners does not just sell auto insurance policies. The super-regional company also offers robust homeowners insurance coverage, with add-ons like guaranteed replacement cost coverage, equipment breakdown insurance and its exclusive Homeowners Plus package, which includes unique coverage like food spoilage if your power goes out due to a covered peril. Auto-Owners’ average home insurance premium is slightly higher than South Carolina’s average, but you might be able to lower your premium by taking advantage of the company’s generous discounts. Auto-Owners carries an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best, the highest level possible.
Learn more: Auto-Owners Insurance review
Cincinnati may be a good option for South Carolina homeowners who own a high-value home. This super-regional company sells three tiers of homeowners insurance — Executive Homeowner, Executive Capstone and Executive Classic. The Executive Homeowner is for any home value, while the Executive Classic policy covers homes with a rebuilding value of $500,000 and above and the Executive Capstone policy covers homes with a rebuilding value of $1 million and above. The company also offers a few discounts and endorsements for additional protection. Cincinnati is rated A+ (Superior) by AM Best for its financial strength.
Learn more: Cincinnati Insurance review
State Farm, the largest U.S. home insurer with 17.9% market share according to the Triple-I, could be a solid choice for home insurance, with low rates, good discounts and helpful online tools and resources. As the largest home insurer in the U.S. by market share, homeowners looking for an established company with hundreds of local agents throughout South Carolina might find that State Farm is a good fit. The company’s premium is the highest on our list and above the average South Carolina homeowners insurance premium, but you may be able to get a lower rate if you have a new roof or a roof made with impact-resistant materials to mitigate storm losses. State Farm carries an A++ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best.
Learn more: State Farm Insurance review
If you are looking for a home insurance policy with an extensive options for add-ons, Travelers, the sixth-largest U.S. home insurer, may be worth checking out. Its annual premium is on the higher end, but the company’s robust home insurance offering could help you add important coverage like higher limits for valuable items and financial assistance for rebuilding with green materials after a covered loss. To get the most for your money, consider contacting one of Travelers’ nearly 700 independent insurance agencies in South Carolina to discuss which discounts you qualify for. Multi-policy discounts tend to be the most impactful, but there are also opportunities to save by being claim-free and having security systems and smart home technology installed.
Learn more: Travelers Insurance review
How much is homeowners insurance in South Carolina?
South Carolina homeowners insurance costs, on average, $1,142 per year for $250,000 in dwelling coverage. For comparison, the national average home insurance premium for the same amount of coverage is $1,312 per year. South Carolina homeowners pay about 15% less for home insurance than the average American. South Carolina homeowners also pay less for coverage than homeowners in neighboring states. North Carolina’s average home insurance premium is $1,295 per year and Georgia’s average annual premium is $1,376.
South Carolina is on the Atlantic Coast and prone to impacts from tropical cyclones, as well as frequent tornadoes. However, average real estate values across the Palmetto State are less than Georgia and North Carolina, resulting in a lower average cost to insure your home.
Home insurance in South Carolina
Many homeowners are drawn to South Carolina’s beautiful beaches, but living in a coastal state has risks. Homeowners in South Carolina should be aware of common insurance losses so they can protect their finances against the threat from severe weather events.
Common causes of loss in South Carolina
The biggest causes of home damage in South Carolina are related to tropical cyclones and related severe weather impacts, such as wind damage and flooding. According to data from CoreLogic, approximately 364,000 homes in South Carolina are at risk of damage from storm surge, which could cause up to $86.4 million in property damage. It is not uncommon for numerous hurricanes and tropical storms to hit the state each season. In late 2020, Tropical Storms Eta and Zeta created significant flooding issues throughout the state. South Carolina also sustained significant impacts from Hurricane Florence in 2018.
Other common causes of loss include:
- Wildfires: Wildfires are common in South Carolina during late winter and early spring. On average, wildfire management teams respond to more than 5,000 wildfires each year in the state.
- Tornadoes: According to data from the Triple-I, South Carolina ranks among the Top 10 states for tornadoes, with 57 twisters in 2020. Tornadoes with destructive winds, rain and hail can cause serious property damage and can occur anywhere in the state.
- Theft: In 2019, there were 26,449 reported breaking and entering incidents in South Carolina. Theft is not a prominent cause of loss, but it does happen, particularly in areas of the state with an above-average crime rate.
- Earthquakes: It may surprise you to learn that earthquakes are actually relatively common in South Carolina, with approximately 10 to 15 recorded each year. Only three to five of them are strong enough to be felt by residents, but a study conducted in 2001 concluded that South Carolina is at a high risk for earthquake activity. Earthquakes are not covered by standard home insurance policies.
Once you have a better understanding of what kinds of property damage commonly occurs in your area, you may feel better informed to choose endorsements to protect your finances.
Home insurance coverage options in South Carolina
When you get homeowners insurance quotes in South Carolina, you will notice that some common coverage types — like dwelling, personal property, liability and additional living expenses coverage — are included. And while a basic homeowners insurance policy may be the right fit for some, there are some optional coverage choices that you may want to consider if you own a home in South Carolina. These include:
- Flood insurance: Flood damage is not covered by standard homeowners insurance policies. Usually, you will need to buy a separate flood insurance policy through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or private flood insurers, although some companies offer flood coverage as an endorsement to your homeowners policy.
- Earthquake coverage: Although earthquakes that cause significant damage are not common in South Carolina, one could happen at any time. Many home insurance companies offer earthquake coverage as an endorsement, or you may need to purchase a separate policy if you are in a particularly high-risk area.
- Water backup coverage: Because South Carolina is at risk for heavy rains, it may be common for sewer and drain lines to back up with water. This can happen from any drain line, although it is more common in basements, crawlspaces and other below-ground areas. Also, your sump pump could fail due to a power outage and cause your basement to flood. To have coverage for this type of damage, you must have this endorsement as part of your homeowners policy.
Discussing your unique situation with a licensed insurance agent might be a good idea. A local agent should be able to help guide you to choose appropriate coverage so that your homeowners policy fits both your budget and your insurance needs.
Frequently asked questions
Is homeowners insurance required in South Carolina?
Homeowners insurance is not legally required in South Carolina. However, if you have a mortgage on your home, your lender will likely require you to have a policy. Typically, you will be required to have at least enough dwelling coverage to pay off your loan if your home is destroyed. However, even if you own your home outright, homeowners insurance is still recommended by most financial advisors and can help you protect your financial health and provide peace of mind for you and your family.
What is the cheapest homeowners insurance in South Carolina?
The cheapest homeowners insurance company depends on your individual characteristics. According to the Triple-I, a variety of factors influence your annual premium, including your ZIP code, claims history, the value and age of your home, age of your roof, your credit-based insurance score, proximity to a fire station and what coverage and deductibles you choose. It might be helpful to shop around and get multiple home insurance quotes to compare prices and coverage options.
How can I save money on my homeowners insurance?
Although homeowners insurance can be costly, there are a variety of ways that you can save on your premium. First, consider finding discounts you are eligible for. Many of the best home insurance companies in South Carolina offer discounts for customers that pay their premium in full, enroll in paperless billing, install home safety features, bundle their policies and are claims-free for a certain number of years. You can also work on improving your credit standing or consider raising your deductible to save money.
Does my homeowners insurance coverage hurricane damage?
Hurricane wind damage is covered by most standard homeowners policies in South Carolina but you may be subject to a separate windstorm deductible that ranges from 1% to 5% of your dwelling limit. You need a separate flood insurance policy for flood-related hurricane damage. Flood coverage is available from the federally-backed NFIP, private flood insurers or an endorsement to your home insurance policy.
When can a company cancel my homeowners insurance policy?
A home insurance company can cancel your policy at any time while your policy is active, and can “non-renew” your policy for any reason when the term ends. Home insurance policies can be canceled for a few reasons, such as misrepresenting information on your application. Perhaps most frequently, home insurance policies are canceled after an inspection. If the company discovers a structural issue, a roof in poor condition or an ineligible pet, you may receive a cancellation notice. You may be wondering what to do if your home insurance is canceled. Your provider is required by South Carolina regulations to send you a written notice 30 days prior to the cancellation or non-renewal date, so you’ll have time to search for a new policy. To find a new provider that suits your needs, you may want to compare policy offerings, get multiple quotes and review third-party ratings.
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.