South Carolina is known for its pristine marshlands and picturesque, moss-draped squares. The state boasts 200 miles of coastline—making it a magnet for tourists and tempests alike. In fact, South Carolina ranks fifth among the most hurricane-prone states in the U.S. Three of the 10 costliest hurricanes ever recorded made landfall here, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
If you live in the Palmetto State—or are considering a move there—it pays to do your homework before a natural disaster strikes. Whether you plan to put down roots in Charleston, Greenville, or Mount Pleasant, we want to make sure you have the very best home insurance policy to protect your family and personal belongings.
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How to Get the Best Homeowners Insurance in South Carolina
Buying a home is a huge financial commitment, and, inevitably, the decision to do so involves some level of risk. While this is unavoidable, homeowners can take steps to minimize this risk and protect their property from unforeseen disasters.
The first step in protecting oneself is purchasing homeowners insurance. Though not required by law, home insurance protects your personal belongings from natural disasters or theft. Different coverage options are available for different property types, locations, and other factors.
Keep reading for a full guide on South Carolina home insurance.
Get the Cheapest Quotes in South Carolina
Homeowners Insurance Rates in South Carolina by Company
Homeowners insurance companies don’t always have your best interest in mind. That’s where Insurify comes in.
In 2020, the average home insurance premium in South Carolina cost $2,785 annually, and the median home value was $161,800.
That’s a lot of cash. How can you cover these costs and still provide for you and your family?
|Average Home Cost in South Carolina||Average Annual Insurance Premium in South Carolina|
Homeowners Insurance Costs in South Carolina by City
Home insurance rates will differ from customer to customer based on the specific insurance products purchased, the bundling of those products, and the risk profile of the property being insured.
Insurance companies decide a customer’s risk profile based on ZIP code–specific variables like the number of nearby claims that have been filed, local crime rates, property values, and weather patterns. For this reason, premiums can vary by city and even neighborhood.
Rates in South Carolina can be relatively high or low compared to the national average; it all depends on where you live. Here are the ZIP codes in South Carolina where home insurance is the most and least expensive.
|Most Expensive Real Estate in South Carolina||Cheapest Real Estate in South Carolina|
|Isle of Palms||$823,562||Columbia||$147,135|
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What does home insurance cover in South Carolina?
There are several types of home insurance. Specific terms of insurance policies may vary by state, but in general, the standard policy types are as follows:
Mobile Home Form
Mobile Home Insurance Coverage
Mobile homes make up a higher percentage of total households in South Carolina than in any other state except New Mexico. In fact, there were nearly 300,000 occupied mobile homes in the state in 2018, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Unfortunately, given their vulnerability to extreme weather events, mobile homes are considered a higher risk by home insurance companies and can be difficult to insure. A standard home insurance policy will not cover a mobile home. Instead, you’ll need a specialized policy. Not all providers offer these policies and those that do sometimes do so only through affiliates.
Whichever company you choose, remember that a standard policy usually will cover your home only while it is stationary. If you want to be protected during transit, you’ll need to buy additional coverage.
Windstorm and Flood Insurance
South Carolinians are no strangers to severe weather events. Hurricanes and floods are both common, and they’ll only become more so as the climate continues to warm. This fact was brought into tragic relief when the state was hit with a so-called “thousand-year flood” in 2015. According to the National Weather Service, the disaster cost the state 19 lives and $1.5 billion in flood damage.
How do you protect against such disasters? Contrary to popular belief, “hurricane insurance” is not the answer. In fact, it doesn’t even exist. Instead, storm damages are covered under two discrete hazards: “windstorm” and “flood.” If you live on or near a coastline, neither of these will likely be included in your standard homeowners insurance policy.
You can often purchase supplementary windstorm coverage either from your existing insurance provider or through a separate, state-sponsored program. You can purchase flood coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The law requires that property owners purchase flood insurance for some homes, especially those in high-risk areas.
Talk to your insurance agent to learn what options are available.
South Carolina Homeowners Insurance FAQs
How much is home insurance in South Carolina?
The average cost of homeowners insurance is higher in South Carolina than many other states—mainly due to its proximity to the coast. As discussed above, hurricanes and floods are commonplace, and insurance companies charge higher premiums to account for this risk. The only way to avoid paying this premium entirely is to avoid buying property close to the water. However, if an ocean view is non-negotiable, you can still save money by comparing quotes from multiple providers. Online tools like Insurify make it easy to find the best deal—no matter where you live.
What does “wind pool” mean?
The South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association (SCWHUA) —commonly called the “wind pool”—is the residual property insurance market in South Carolina. State lawmakers established the pool in 1971 to provide wind and hail coverage for the state’s coastal property owners, many of whom had struggled to find coverage up until then. While the wind pool is a much-needed safety net for many, it’s not always the cheapest option. Officials recommend that homeowners consider all options before purchasing coverage through the pool. Online tools like Insurify make it easy to compare policies.
What is the Excess Insurance Premium Tax Credit?
Insurance can be very expensive, especially if you live in a state that is prone to natural disasters. Fortunately, some state governments offer special incentives to reduce these risks and encourage people to invest in property within their borders. In South Carolina, homeowners can claim an income tax credit of up to $1,250 if they spend more than five percent of their income on home insurance. Any unused credit can be carried forward for five years. This provision, known as the “Excess Insurance Premium Tax Credit,” applies only to state income tax and is only applicable to your legal residence.
Special Home Insurance Situations in South Carolina
Unique elements of your home may affect homeowners insurance prices. Check out these quotes for some special situations that may impact your home insurance in South Carolina.
Cheapest Home Insurance for Houses With a Swimming Pool in South Carolina
|Insurance Company||Average Annual Premium|
|Homeowners of America||$850|
Cheapest Home Insurance for Houses Less Than 20 Years Old in South Carolina
|Insurance Company||Average Annual Premium|
|American National P&C||$380|
Conclusion: How to find the cheapest home insurance in South Carolina
Just like with groceries or clothes, you can find a good bargain on home insurance. With a little research and the right tools, you’ll be on your way to big savings.
Use Insurify to compare home insurance premiums for your property in South Carolina.
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