Best homeowners insurance in South Carolina of 2021

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Becoming a homeowner is a major milestone, but it comes with responsibilities—including purchasing homeowners insurance. The average South Carolina homeowner pays $1,532 per year for $250K in dwelling insurance.

Because South Carolina is susceptible to hurricanes, high winds and other extreme weather events, having insurance coverage on your home is crucial. Without it, you run the risk of having to pay out-of-pocket to repair or even rebuild your home if it were to get damaged. After Hurricane Florence hit the coast in 2018, there were 19,205 claims filed for residential home damage in South Carolina, which equated to over $47 million in paid losses.

When shopping for the best homeowners insurance in South Carolina, there are a few things to consider. The value of your home, the type of coverage you choose and your deductible will impact how much you pay for an annual premium. Also, keep in mind that basic homeowners insurance will not cover certain events that are common in South Carolina, like flooding. If your home is close to the coastline, consider purchasing a separate policy to protect your home from flood damage.

Best home insurance companies in South Carolina

Finding the best homeowners insurance can be challenging. There are dozens of providers on the market, and it can be difficult to determine which company is ideal for your specific needs and budget.

To simplify your shopping experience, we looked at the highest rated insurers in J.D Power’s 2020 U.S. Homeowners Insurance Study, evaluating price, coverage options and customer service for each. Here are the best South Carolina home insurance providers at the top of the list:

Home insurance company Average annual premium for $250K dwelling J.D. Power customer satisfaction score
Allstate $1,290 829/1,000
Auto-Owners $1,272 843/1,000
Cincinnati Financial $1,464 N/A
State Farm $1,370 829/1,000
USAA $1,537 889/1,000

Allstate

Allstate is a great insurance company for South Carolina homeowners who want to customize their policy with optional coverages. 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, Allstate also has extra saving opportunities, like claim rateguard protection and a disappearing deductible program.

Auto-Owners

Auto-Owners does not just insure drivers. The company also sells comprehensive homeowners insurance policies, with add-ons like guaranteed replacement cost coverage, equipment breakdown insurance and the Homeowners Plus package, which comes with coverage for things like food spoilage if your power goes out. Auto-Owners’ home insurance policies are affordable, but you can get an even lower premium by taking advantage of generous discounts.

Cincinnati Financial

Cincinnati Financial is a good option for South Carolina homeowners who own a high-value home. The company sells three tiers of homeowners insurance—Executive Homeowner, Executive Capstone™ and Executive Classic™. The Executive Capstone™ policy covers homes with a rebuild value of $1 million and above, and the Executive Classic™ policy covers homes with a rebuild value of $500,000 and above. The company also offers a few discounts and endorsements for more protection.

State Farm

State Farm is the largest home insurance provider in the country, with 18% of the market share. State Farm is a solid choice for home insurance, with low rates, good discounts and helpful online tools and resources. We recommend State Farm to South Carolina homeowners who want to bundle their policies to save money. You can save up to $965 per year when you insure your car and home with State Farm, which is one of the most significant savings out there.

USAA

USAA is an insurance provider exclusively for active duty and retired military personnel, as well as their children and spouses. USAA offers excellent customer service, low prices and good coverage. USAA’s standard homeowners insurance policies include all the basics, plus earthquake insurance and identity theft coverage. The company also has discounts for being claims-free, bundling your policies and installing a security system in your home.

Average homeowners insurance cost in South Carolina

The average annual cost of homeowners insurance in South Carolina is $1,532 for a policy with $250K in dwelling coverage. For comparison, the national average home insurance premium for the same amount of coverage is $1,477 per year. South Carolina homeowners pay about 4% more for insurance than the average American.

Home insurance in South Carolina is more expensive than average because of the state’s weather risks and proximity to the coastline. Hurricanes are not uncommon in South Carolina, and as a result, homes in the state are at risk of significant damage. The cost of home insurance in South Carolina is comparable to neighboring states, including North Carolina ($1,515) and Georgia ($1,506).

Home insurance considerations 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 need to be aware of common insurance losses to ensure they have the right coverage to protect their home.

South Carolina common causes of loss

The biggest causes of homeowners insurance claims and losses in South Carolina are related to hurricanes, and related weather events, such as wind damage and flooding. According to data from CoreLogic, between 37,000 and 359,000 homes in South Carolina are at risk of damage from storm surge, which could cause up to $85 billion in damages. 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: Since 1950, there have been an average of 11 tornadoes every year in South Carolina. Tornadoes with strong winds and rain can cause serious home damage and they 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 with a high crime rate.

Recommended South Carolina home insurance coverage options

In every state, there are four main types of homeowners insurance coverage, including:

  • Dwelling coverage: Dwelling coverage specifically protects the structure of your home from damage. It also covers some detached structures, like your garage.
  • Personal property coverage: Personal property coverage protects your personal belongings such as clothing, furniture, electronics and appliances.
  • Liability protection: Liability protection covers you in a lawsuit if someone were to get injured on your property, or if you accidentally damage someone else’s home.
  • Guest medical protection: If someone gets hurt at your home, like falling down the stairs or slipping on a snowy walkway, guest medical protection will help pay for their medical bills.

This might seem like enough coverage, but remember that some disasters, like flooding and earthquakes are not covered under basic homeowners insurance policies. For South Carolina residents, it is it’s a smart idea to purchase a separate flood insurance policy to protect your home in the event of a flood, which are common during hurricane season. The average cost of flood insurance in South Carolina is $1,389.22 per year.

If you are familiar with hazard insurance, that will be included in your basic homeowners insurance policy. Specifically, hazard insurance pays to replace the structure and contents of your home if they are damaged or destroyed in a natural disaster.

Frequently asked questions

Is homeowners insurance required in South Carolina?

No, homeowners insurance is not legally required in South Carolina. However, if you have a mortgage on your home, your lender may require you to have a minimum amount of insurance coverage before you can get approved.

What is the cheapest homeowners insurance in South Carolina?

The cheapest homeowners insurance company is not the same for everyone. There are a variety of factors that influence your annual premium, so it is important to shop around and get multiple home insurance quotes.

How do I get homeowners insurance in South Carolina?

Getting homeowners insurance in South Carolina is simple. Whether you get a quote online, over the phone or in-person, you will have to submit some basic personal information, including your age, gender, marital status and income. The lender will most likely run a credit check before they give you a quote. You will also have to provide information about your home, like when it was built, where it is located, any safety features it has, the building materials and any recent improvements.

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 annual premium. First, find 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 score, or consider raising your deductible to save money.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 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 may be different.

Rates are determined based on 2020 Quadrant Information Services data.

About the author


Elizabeth Rivelli

Elizabeth Rivelli

Elizabeth has two years of experience writing for insurance domains such as Bankrate.com, The Simple Dollar, Coverage.com and NextAdvisor, among others. In addition to auto insurance, Elizabeth regularly writes about home insurance, renters insurance and life insurance. She also covers industry trends and general insurance education.