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Best homeowners insurance in South Carolina for 2022

Updated Sep 08, 2022
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South Carolina homeowners pay an average of $1,165 per year — or about $97 per month — for a home insurance policy with $250,000 in dwelling coverage. That’s quite a bit less than the national average of $1,383 for the same coverage, but then again, price isn’t everything. Bankrate’s analysis of the South Carolina homeowners insurance market looked at several factors in addition to average premium. Our research could help you find the best homeowners insurance in South Carolina for your unique circumstances.

How Bankrate chose the best home insurance companies in South Carolina

Bankrate’s insurance experts chose the best homeowners insurance in South Carolina by using a series of key metrics. These included reviewing average home insurance premiums from Quadrant Information Services, as well as coverage options, discounts and mobile accessibility. We also considered third-party industry rankings for customer service and financial strength.

From there, the performance of home insurance companies in each of these categories was summed up in a Bankrate Score, which could help you get a full picture of a company and compare it with other carriers. The better a company did in each of these separate metrics, the higher its overall Bankrate Score for a maximum score of 5 out of 5.

Best home insurance companies in South Carolina

Based on our research, which included an analysis of average rates from Quadrant Information Services and a number of other metrics, including customer satisfaction scores from the 2021 J.D. Power U.S. Home Insurance Study, the best South Carolina homeowners insurance companies include State Farm, Auto-Owners and Allstate. While only one carrier on our list have average rates lower than the state average of $1,165 per year, the others offer a range of coverage options, digital tools and other policy features that make them stand out amid the competition. While only one carrier on our list have average rates lower than the state average of $1,165 per year, the others offer a range of coverage options, digital tools and other policy features that make them stand out amid the competition.

If you’re looking for the best South Carolina home insurance, shopping around and comparing quotes from several carriers can be a helpful strategy, and you may want to start with these five companies.

HOME INSURANCE COMPANY BANKRATE SCORE AVERAGE ANNUAL PREMIUM FOR $250K IN DWELLING COVERAGE J.D. POWER SCORE AM BEST RATING
State Farm 4.7 $1,474 835/1,000 A++
Auto-Owners 4.3 $1,187 831/1,000 A++
Allstate 3.9 $927 829/1,000 A+
Travelers 3.7 $1,404 800/1,000 A++
Cincinnati Not rated $1,345 Not rated A+

State Farm

Best for: Customer satisfaction

State Farm, the largest U.S. home insurer with 18.4% market share according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I), could be a solid choice for home insurance. Homeowners looking for an established company with 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.

Learn more: State Farm Insurance review

Auto-Owners

Best for: Numerous home insurance discounts

Contrary to what the name might suggest, Auto-Owners does not just sell auto insurance policies. The 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.

Learn more: Auto-Owners Insurance review

Allstate

Best for: Low average rates

Allstate, the second-largest U.S. home insurer based on market share according to the Triple-I, may be a company worth considering for South Carolina homeowners who want to manage their policies online and learn more about insurance. Allstate also offers a variety of unique endorsements, including yard and garden coverage, sports equipment coverage, musical instruments coverage, green improvement reimbursement and more. Of all the South Carolina homeowners insurance companies we reviewed, Allstate has one of the lowest average rates. It does have a lower AM Best financial strength rating than some competitors, though.

Learn more: Allstate Insurance review

Travelers

Best for: Optional homeowners insurance endorsements

If you are looking for a home insurance policy with extensive options for add-ons, Travelers may be worth checking out. Its average 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. Unfortunately, though, Travelers does have the lowest J.D. Power customer satisfaction rating on our list; the score is well below the industry average.

Learn more: Travelers Insurance review

Cincinnati

Best for: High-value homes

Cincinnati may be a good option for South Carolina homeowners who own a high-value home. This 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 endorsements for additional protection, but its average premium is above the state average.

Learn more: Cincinnati Insurance review

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How much is homeowners insurance in South Carolina?

South Carolina homeowners insurance costs, on average, $1,165 per year for $250,000 in dwelling coverage. For comparison, the national average home insurance premium for the same amount of coverage is $1,383 per year. South Carolina homeowners pay about 16 percent less for home insurance than the average American, and they also pay less for coverage than homeowners in neighboring states. North Carolina’s average home insurance premium is $1,317 per year and Georgia’s average annual premium is $1,373.

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 lower than Georgia and North Carolina, which could result in a lower average cost to insure your home. There may also be a lesser risk for other types of losses in South Carolina, depending on specifically where you live in the state.

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, nearly 364,000 homes in South Carolina are at risk of damage from storm surge, which could cause up to $86.4 billion 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 20 states for tornadoes, with 24 twisters in 2021. Tornadoes with destructive winds, rain and hail can cause serious property damage and can occur anywhere in the state.
  • Theft: In 2020, there were 22,359 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 a few 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.
  • Identity theft coverage: Many home insurance companies offer an endorsement for identity theft, which can help you pay for the costs associated with a stolen identity. This could include lawyer fees and credit monitoring expenses.

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

Written by
June Sham
Insurance Writer

June Sham is an insurance writer for Bankrate. Before joining the team, she worked for nearly three years as a licensed producer writing auto, property, umbrella and earthquake policies.

Edited by Insurance Editor
Reviewed by Director of corporate communications, Insurance Information Institute