South Carolina’s capital city of Columbia is one of the warmest (literally) and most inviting cities in the Palmetto State. Whether you’re a USC transplant or a Cola native, the city welcomes all with its local boutiques and cafes, bustling nightlife, and a deep-rooted sense of community. Not to mention the city’s central location makes it easy for residents to enjoy beaches, mountains, and South Carolina’s history-rich cities, all just a two-hour drive from the sweet southern charm of downtown Columbia

Whether you own your home in the capital city or are renting your Columbia abode—like 55 percent of Columbia residents—homeowners insurance is an important part of protecting your dwelling and personal belongings

While Columbia offers some pretty affordable housing costs (at roughly 11 percent cheaper than the national average), homeowners still have good reason to invest in protecting their homes. Columbia boasts the nickname,  “The Real Southern Hot Spot”. Unfortunately, violent and property crime rates are upwards of 125 percent higher than the national averages, home insurance in Columbia isn’t just nice to have—it’s necessary.  

But you don’t have to sort through your home insurance policy options alone; Insurify is here to help. Use Insurify’s tools to compare home insurance, view home insurance companies, coverages, and costs side by side to find the best policy for you in just minutes.

And keep reading for our full guide on home insurance in Columbia, South Carolina.

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How to Find Cheap Home Insurance in Columbia

Homes in Columbia are relatively cheap compared to the national average, so it isn’t surprising that over 56 percent of Columbia residents live in houses rather than apartments. Whether you rent or own your Columbia home, the best way to make sure it’s protected is with a home insurance policy. Although home insurance is not required by law, it is often required to get a mortgage (if you choose the home-owning route), and most landlords will require that residents purchase a renters policy. Even if you aren’t required to purchase a homeowners insurance policy, buying one will ensure that your home and personal belongings are protected in case of perils like natural disaster or theft.

The average cost of homeowners insurance in Columbia is nearly $400 cheaper than the overall average South Carolina home insurance rate. But the cost of a home, plus the living expenses of city life, can leave homeowners searching for savings wherever possible. So if you’re looking for home insurance discounts, we don’t blame you! 

One of the easiest ways to lower your average premiums is by bundling insurance policies

While you don’t necessarily need a car to traverse the sprawling streets of Soda City, most residents still have one. If you’re already paying a costly premium for auto insurance, ask your insurance agent about how much you could save by bundling your insurance products.

Implementing small improvements and safety measures to your home can also help you cut down on your premiums. Installing a home security system, reinforcing your roof, and even updating the plumbing in your home can increase your savings (as long as you can afford the improvement costs). 

If you aren’t in the market for any home improvements, measures like improving your credit score can also help you get cheap home insurance rates in Columbia.

MORE ON SOUTH CAROLINA HOME INSURANCE
For general information on South Carolina home insurance, check out our South Carolina homeowner insurance guide.

Cheapest Home Insurance in Columbia by Company

Homeowners insurance rates aren’t always designed with savings in mind. That’s where Insurify comes in. As of 2020, the average home insurance premium in Columbia costs $2,785 annually, and the median home value is $151,785. 

Your home insurance policy is meant to protect more than just your home. The best Columbia homeowners policy will cover your home, personal property, and other structures like garages and fences. It will even include liability protection to help cover medical expenses in case anyone is hurt on your property. 

Since every homeowner has different insurance needs, South Carolina best homeowners insurance companies offer various coverage options. It’s important to know what each insurance carriers’ policies entail so you can make sure you get the best homeowners insurance policy for you, no matter if it’s with State Farm, Allstate, or South Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance.

Best and Cheapest Homeowners Insurance in Columbia Average Annual Insurance Premium in Columbia
$2,785 $151,785

Cheapest ZIP Codes in Columbia for Home Insurance

Like property costs, home insurance varies in price depending on where you live, even down to your specific ZIP code. Factors like the volume of insurance claims filed in your neighborhood, crime rates, property costs, and risk variables, such as natural disaster frequency, can all affect how much you pay for annual premiums. 

Rates in Columbia are still relatively low compared to the state and national averages, but your specific rates will depend on which neighborhood you live in. Here are the most and least expensive ZIP codes in Columbia for home insurance.

Home Insurance Coverage Types in Columbia

There are several types of home insurance. Specific terms of insurance policies may vary by city, but in general, the standard policy types are as follows:

HO-1

Basic

  • The simplest and least comprehensive type of homeowners insurance
  • Provides coverage for a handful of potential problems, including
    • Dwelling coverage for damages from some natural disasters (storms, fires, wind, lightning, volcanic eruption), 
    • explosions, 
    • theft, 
    • damage from vehicles, 
    • or civil commotion. 
HO-2

Broad Form

  • Broad form homeowners insurance policies include all basic form coverage, plus protection from:
    • falling objects, 
    • damage from the weight of ice, snow, or sleet, 
    • freezing of household systems including HVAC and pipes, 
    • sudden and accidental damage to pipes and other household systems from artificially generated electrical current, 
    • accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam,
    • sudden and accidental damage. 
  • HO-2 policies typically cover both dwelling protection and personal property.
  • In some cases, broad form coverage may also include liability coverage. However, it still only covers the specific damages listed in the policy.
HO-3

Special Form

  • The most common form of homeowners insurance is known as a “special form” policy.
  • While HO-1 and HO-2 policies are “named peril” policies (meaning they only cover dangers that are specifically listed in the policy), HO-3 policies are “open peril” policies meaning they’ll cover all dangers except those specifically excluded in the policy documents.
HO-4

Tenant’s Form

  • HO-4 policies, also known as renters insurance, are for people who lease rather than own their homes. 
  • Tenant’s form policies typically cover all the same dangers as HO-2 policies. 
  • These policies include personal property coverage and liability coverage but don’t cover the physical structure of the house. 
  • Some HO-4 policies may also include loss of use coverage for the tenants.
HO-5

Comprehensive

  • Comprehensive form policies are usually the broadest and provide the highest level of coverage; not surprisingly, they also tend to be the most expensive type of homeowners insurance policies.
  • The biggest difference between HO-3 and HO-5 policies is that most HO-3 policies are “actual cash value” policies, whereas typically HO-5 policies are “replacement cost value” policies.
  • An actual cash value policy will only reimburse you for the actual value of a damaged or destroyed item, while a replacement cost value policy will reimburse you for however much it would cost to completely replace or repair the damaged or destroyed item (up to the coverage limits on the policy). 
  • HO-5 policies also provide personal property coverage against a wider range of dangers than the typical HO-3 policy. Many HO-5 policies also have extra coverage for high-value personal property, such as jewelry and artwork.
HO-6

Condo Form

  • Not surprisingly, condo form insurance is for condominium owners. HO-6 policies generally protect against the same types of dangers as HO-3 policies. 
  • They provide dwelling protection coverage with a twist: HO-6 policies cover the walls, floors, and ceiling of the condo unit but not the rest of the building. 
  • These policies also include personal property and liability coverage and may include loss of use coverage.
HO-7

Mobile Home Form

  • If you own a mobile home or manufactured home, you likely have an HO-7 policy. 
  • Mobile home form policies are typically identical to HO-3 policies, except they’re designed specifically for mobile and manufactured homes.
  • Like HO-3 policies, they provide dwelling protection coverage, other structures coverage, personal property coverage, liability coverage, and possibly loss of use coverage as well. 
  • HO-7 policies generally only protect the home when it’s stationary; if you plan to move your mobile or manufactured home, you’ll need to get a special policy to cover it while it’s in transit.
HO-8

Older Home

  • Older homes have generally been built to less stringent code standards than recently built homes, and so insurers have designed a specialized type of homeowners insurance policy for them. 
  • HO-8 policies often only cover the basic perils listed in HO-1 policies and generally apply to homes that are registered landmarks or otherwise deemed historic homes. 
  • Owners of registered landmarks are typically forbidden from making the updates to HVAC, electrical, and other parts of the home that would enable them to qualify for a standard HO-3 policy, so an HO-8 policy is often the only option for them.

Flood Insurance for Your Columbia Home 

Columbia homeowners are pretty fortunate when it comes to natural disasters. Cola residents rarely have to fear damages during tropical storm seasons, and winter perils are nearly nonexistent across the state. Still, the city isn’t safe from all of South Carolina’s coastal perils, and you’ll want to make sure your home insurance policy has you covered, just in case.

Home insurance policies help offset the cost of repairs from what seems like a long list of perils, but most policies still have some coverage gaps. One of the biggest concerns for South Carolinians is flood damage, which the average homeowners policy won’t cover on its own. The good news is that you don’t have to be left high and dry after heavy rainstorms or floods.

Columbia is part of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which means that residents are eligible to purchase flood insurance through the federal program. While you aren’t required to purchase flood insurance, these policies are the best––and really only––way to make sure your home and belongings are protected after water or flood damage

You can purchase a flood policy directly through the NFIP’s website or with the help of your insurance agent.

Property Crime Protection in Columbia 

Columbia is known for its college town status (Go Gamecocks!), but that doesn’t mean that it’s a safe haven for city dwellers. In fact, Columbia’s property crime rates are nearly double the national average. According to the FBI’s most recent Columbia crime report, the city reported over 1,000 burglaries and nearly 5,000 thefts in 2018.

Those are some pretty alarming numbers. So how can you be sure that your home and belongings are safe in case of theft or vandalism? 

The best way to make sure you won’t have to pay a penny beyond your deductible for repairing or replacing your damaged or lost items is with a replacement cost value policy. Compared to actual cash value policies, these policies offer homeowners the full cost of replacing any stolen or vandalized belongings, regardless of the item’s age or prior condition. An actual cash value policy, on the other hand, covers replacement or repair costs relative to an item’s age or condition before it was damaged or stolen. This means that if someone steals your 2002 LG TV, an actual cash value policy will offer you compensation for the amount your old TV was actually worth, not what it will cost you to replace it with a new TV. 

Purchasing a comprehensive home insurance policy (also known as an HO-5 policy) will ensure that you have replacement cost coverage, along with other additional coverages compared to the average special form (or HO-3) policies. HO-5 policies come at higher costs but also offer much more coverage options

Still have questions? We have answers. Keep reading for Insurify’s responses to some of Columbia homeowners’ most frequently asked questions.

Columbia, South Carolina Homeowners Insurance FAQs

Can I itemize my belongings on my Columbia renters insurance policy?

Most insurance carriers will allow you to create a home inventory for your policy. Even if your policy cannot factor in the individual costs of your belongings, creating a home inventory is a great way to make sure your renters policy offers enough coverage for the cost of your precious belongings.

How much is mobile home insurance in Columbia, South Carolina?

The cost of a manufactured home insurance policy (an HO-7 policy) will depend on a list of variables specific to you, your home, and your neighborhood. Everything from your age and credit score to the age of your manufactured home, the type of roof on your home, and the number of insurance claims filed in your neighborhood can leave you paying higher or lower home insurance rates. The best way to find the specific cost of an HO-7 policy for you and your home is to compare policies using Insurify’s comparison tools and then get a quote from a local insurance agent.

Is tornado damage a covered loss in my Columbia home insurance policy?

Yes, most homeowners insurance policies include tornado damage as a covered loss. The main exceptions to this coverage are if tornadoes are specifically excluded from an open peril policy or if a tornado causes any type of water damage in your home. If you have an open peril policy, check to make sure tornadoes are not excluded. You can also purchase an additional flood insurance policy to make sure your home is protected from any water damage that a tornado—or any other storm—may cause.

Conclusion: How to Find the Cheapest Home Insurance in Columbia

Finding a cheap home insurance policy in Columbia, South Carolina, doesn’t need to be difficult. You can use Insurify’s comparison tools to find the best policy and the cheapest annual premiums for you in just minutes. As long as you do your research and understand your personal coverage needs, you’ll have no problem securing savings.  

Use Insurify to compare home insurance premiums for your property in Columbia. Our comparison tools make homeowners insurance shopping (and saving) simple so you can be on your way to enjoying your newly insured home in no time.

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Browse, compare, and secure home insurance with Insurify today! 

Yep, it’s that easy. 

Updated November 30, 2020

Jacklyn Walters is a freelance writer for Insurify. Jacklyn has a background in journalism and is passionate about informing and serving others through writing. In her spare time, Jacklyn enjoys running, practicing yoga, and writing music.