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Charleston, SC Homeowners Insurance
Charleston is one of South Carolina ’s hottest tourist cities, and the longer you stay in Chucktown, the more you’re sure to love it. From the city’s extensive history to its nationally renowned food scene, it’s no wonder that Charleston has landed the number one spot on Condé Nast’s “Best Cities in the U.S.” for the last 10 years. If you prefer to spend your days in the sun and sand or you enjoy the occasional Bill Murray sighting, Charleston is the place for you.
But the city’s coastal location on the Cainhoy Peninsula makes Charleston susceptible to natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes. These perils leave Charleston homeowners facing some of the highest home insurance rates in the state, only behind its coastal neighbors, Mount Pleasant and Myrtle Beach.
Don’t let Charleston ’s average cost of homeowners insurance get in the way of protecting your home. Insurify can help you compare South Carolina homeowners insurance companies and coverage options so you can find the best home insurance policy for you. Use Insurify’s comparison tools to secure savings in just a few minutes.
Cheapest Home Insurance Companies in Charleston
For homeowners in Charleston, it's important that you evaluate all of your potential insurance options to ensure you are finding the best rate. Comparing the right insurance companies will allow you to get the best possible insurance rate for your home.
To simplify comparing companies, Insurify has analyzed rates from top insurance providers in Charleston. The following are the best insurance rates from carriers that offer homeowners insurance in Charleston.
|Cheapest Companies||Quotes The car insurance quotes, statistics, and data visualizations on this page are derived from Insurify’s proprietary database of over 4 million car insurance applications from ZIP codes across the United States. Insurify’s data science team performs a comprehensive analysis of the various factors car insurance providers take into account while setting rates to provide readers insight into how car insurance quotes are priced.|
How to Find Cheap Home Insurance in Charleston
Housing costs in Charleston are nearly 60 percent higher than the South Carolina average, so buying a home in the Holy City may be one of the largest financial investments of your lifetime. With investment, inevitably, comes risk. In Charleston, those risks include serious natural disasters ranging from hurricanes to windstorms, and even wildfires. However, there are steps homeowners can take to minimize risk and protect their investment.
The first step to protecting your property is homeowners insurance. Though not required by law, home insurance provides financial liability protection for your property and belongings from natural disasters, theft, and vandalism. Different coverage levels are available for different property types, locations, and other factors.
Keep reading for a full guide on Charleston home insurance.
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Cheapest Home Insurance in Charleston by Company
Homeowners insurance rates aren’t always designed with savings in mind. That’s where Insurify comes in. Our free home insurance comparison tool allows you to find the best policy for the best rate fast. And your information stays private and protected.
As of 2021, the average home insurance premium in the Charleston area costs $2,686 annually, and the median home value is $348,489
The best homeowners insurance company will offer affordable rates, comprehensive coverage options, and top-notch customer service. Check out the cost of policies with various home insurance companies like Allstate, State Farm, and Nationwide below.
|Average Home Cost in Charleston The car insurance quotes, statistics, and data visualizations on this page are derived from Insurify’s proprietary database of over 4 million car insurance applications from ZIP codes across the United States. Insurify’s data science team performs a comprehensive analysis of the various factors car insurance providers take into account while setting rates to provide readers insight into how car insurance quotes are priced.||Average Annual Insurance Premium in Charleston The car insurance quotes, statistics, and data visualizations on this page are derived from Insurify’s proprietary database of over 4 million car insurance applications from ZIP codes across the United States. Insurify’s data science team performs a comprehensive analysis of the various factors car insurance providers take into account while setting rates to provide readers insight into how car insurance quotes are priced.|
Average Annual Home Insurance Premium in Charleston by Company
Average prices for standard homeowners insurance for a 7-15 year old home, $200,000 in coverage
Cheapest ZIP Codes in Charleston for Home Insurance
Charleston ’s coastal and downtown homeowners pay much higher home insurance premiums than North Charleston homeowners, and this is largely because of the risks associated with coastal living. So if you feel like you’re getting the short end of the stick with your premiums, you probably are.
This is because home insurance pricing is determined by ZIP code–specific variables, such as the volume of claims filed nearby, crime rates, and property costs, and risk variables, such as natural disaster frequency. Even the specific street you live on may determine if you pay more or less on your annual premiums.
Rates in Charleston are still high compared to the national average, but you could save—or spend even more—on home insurance rates just because of the area you live in.
Home Insurance Coverage Types in Charleston
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:
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),
- damage from vehicles,
- or civil commotion.
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.
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 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.
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 policy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For more detailed South Carolina city level guides, check out these below.
Finding Flood Insurance in Charleston
Charleston is vulnerable to hurricanes and flooding, but you’ll find that your Charleston home insurance policy lists flooding as an exclusion. This means that the cost of repairing any water damage your home sustains, no matter the cause, will come out of your own pockets unless you secure flood insurance coverage.
The good news is that Charleston participates in the Federal Emergency Management Association’s (FEMA) National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), so even the most at-risk homes can still get the coverage they need. You can purchase a flood insurance policy directly through the NFIP or with your private insurance provider.
Charleston Earthquake Coverage
According to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, Charleston is located in one of the most seismically active areas along the East Coast. But home insurance alone doesn’t cover damages caused by earth movement, including earthquakes.
While you can’t stop earthquake damage from happening, the best way to make sure you aren’t left paying for the expensive repair costs is with earthquake insurance. This coverage will come at an additional cost to your (already high) home insurance premiums, but it will be worth every penny if an earthquake strikes.
And be sure to protect your home with a flood insurance policy, as well, since earthquake insurance won’t cover water damage, even if it’s caused by earth movement.
How to Find the Cheapest Home Insurance in Charleston
Charleston is one of the best cities in the U.S., and not just for vacationers. Finding affordable home insurance for your Charleston home shouldn’t interrupt your life in the number one city in America. So sit back, relax, and let Insurify’s comparison tools do the work for you.
Use Insurify to compare home insurance quotes for your property in Charleston, South Carolina.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best way to save on Charleston home insurance premiums?
Making sure your Charleston home has all the coverage it needs shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg. There are plenty of ways to save on annual premiums, including increasing your deductible (although this is a risky option and will leave you paying more for property damage) or installing a home security system. One of the easiest ways to save if you need home and car insurance is to bundle your policies. Homeowners can save upwards of 20 percent on their home insurance and auto insurance premiums by bundling, so ask your insurance agent if this could help you save.
Why is mobile home insurance more expensive in Charleston?
Mobile home insurance is often more expensive than a standard HO-3 policy because of the additional risks of insuring manufactured homes. They are more susceptible to flood and fire damage and perils like theft. Home insurance rates in Charleston are already high, but Insurify can help you compare your insurance options and find savings.
Multiple insurance companies won’t cover my Charleston home. What are my options?
If you’re having trouble finding an insurance provider, look no further than SC MarketAssist. The South Carolina Department of Insurance created the MarketAssist tool to help coastal homeowners secure home insurance policies. You can access SC MarketAssist on the Department of Insurance website.
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