Home insurance costs in South Carolina 2021

Home insurance costs in South Carolina

 

Living in South Carolina has many perks for lovers of the sea, warm climate, and nature. Homeowners may like their cities and neighborhood, as well as the relatively low cost of living, but certainly don’t underestimate the importance of comprehensive home insurance. In fact, the position of the State creates weather issues like high winds and hailstorms that have caused lots of damages and also losses, clearly indicating that will continue to do so. Therefore, not only is recommended to buy insurance but having a good grasp of the types of coverage, buying the right amount of them by choosing the company that best comes towards your priorities.

The main perils for homeowners in South Carolina are hurricanes, heavy rains, floods, and earthquakes. Because of the frequency and severity of these phenomenons, many claims have been filed, especially in the last decade: this has brought the costs of home insurance very high, way above national standards.

The average premium to be paid through the State is $1,458, as we found from our analysis*, ranking only after Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas. Going into more details, we took home samples for ten of the most populous urban centers in South Carolina, obtaining quotes from multiple companies: Allstate, Amica, Chubb, Liberty Mutual, Farm Bureau Insurance, Nationwide, Progressive, Statefarm, Travelers, and USAA. These result to have the best offers for their service and are recognized by insurance rating institutions, like JD Power. Most important, during hard times you can be sure to receive enough coverage, because they all have great financial strength, as assessed by the Better Business Bureau and AM Best.

See how much the premium, which we infer from the average of quotes, may look like in your city.

 

City Home median value Square ft Premium
Charleston
$310,000
1,615
$2,485
Columbia
$160,000
2,025
$1,130
North Charleston
$230,000
1,780
$1,550
Mount Pleasant
$375,000
1,850
$2,530
Rock Hill
$215,000
2,010
$1,170
Greenville
$250,000
2,100
$1,130
Summerville
$210,000
1,745
$1,590
Goose Creek
$255,000
1,865
$1,820
Sumter
$210,000
1,945
$1,040
Florence
$225,000
1,855
$1,340

These rates are intended for a $1,000 deductible and $100,000 liability coverage. Each house is insured for a dwelling coverage close to the home market value, that is the median value in the respective city. However, it must be said that the premium depends on a lot of factors, besides the size and worth of the house, for instance, age, equipment with safety systems, precise location, householder financial condition, and marital status.

 

What coverages do you need in South Carolina?

 
 

The most purchased and sufficiently comprehensive policy is H0-3, which covers 16 perils including fire, theft, thunders, wind, hail, snow/ice. However, homeowners of South Carolina must be aware also of floods, that will require additional insurance, as well as to buy enough amounts of coverages for both building and personal properties.

Hurricanes and windstorms are a constant peril for States facing the Atlantic Coast. While wind coverage is assured by a standard policy, householders must pay hurricane deductibles, which come into play if a named windstorm is reported to cause damage to homes through the State territory. Some coastal residences can’t obtain insurance through companies due to high risk; the South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association provide windstorms and hail coverage for such cases.

Heavy rains and hail storms go often with high winds and can inflict direct harm to houses, as breaking windows or leaking through the roof, but especially indirect, like making rivers overflow. Damages caused by sky water are covered, but floods deriving from ground water aren’t. Several inland residences in South Carolina are in a floodplain, while others are exposed to the flood risk due to proximity to Ocean: in these cases, flood insurance is certainly recommended and can be bought through major insurance companies who adhere to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), or private specialized providers. As for NFIP, in the county and community of Beaufort, where there is the largest number of policies in force, homeowners pay $540 yearly; in Charleston County, North Charleston City, we found the annual premium is $968. Private companies can offer cheaper rates, and more ample coverage possibilities, but may have strict eligibility requirements, and demand some research on your own.

Earthquakes are not a particular concern in South Carolina, either for frequency or severity. According to homefacts.com, one event a year hit the State as average. If you want to be covered for it anyway, you must purchase earthquake insurance, which can be a policy apart, or endorsement of your underlying home insurance. The rates are quite low in this State, and if you have resources it might be an excellent investment.

 

How can you save on home insurance in South Carolina?

 
 

There are many factors that determine the final amount of your premium, some of which are intrinsic to the characteristics of your house, others are purely financial matters. Fortunately, you can take action on a few of them: the concept is that any move increasing the safety of your home, or improving your economic status will decrease your likelihood to file a claim, then lower the insurance costs.

  • The best absolute way is to shop around companies: get at least three quotes, choosing the one that accomplishes more for your needs, with the lowest price. There are always differences of several hundred dollars among insurers.
  • Raise the deductibles: this is a practical yet risky method to manually change the premium. By paying a lower rate, you decide to pay that deductible amount if and when a claim is settled.
  • Bundle home and car insurance: most insurance companies regularly offer discounts in the range of 20-30%, compared to how much you would spend separately.
  • Renovate your home over time: an old house is costlier to insure, especially if dates to more than forty years. That is why repairing or rebuilding it in case of damage/loss would be more expensive, if you consider the replacement cost coverage, while it is considered more prone to actually suffer any damages. Refurbishing, or retrofitting some interiors (e.g. furnishings, windows, parquet), upgrading the HVAC system, or the electrical apparatus will be rewarded.
  • Take care of your roof: this is a crucial element to which insurers look at. It is of utmost importance that it can resist high winds, heavy rains, and thunders: mind if it’s made of proper materials, possibly the newest; check for eventual crackings and expiration date. If it’s partially broken or old, repair, replace or upgrade it. The safer the roof, the lower the premium.
  • Mitigate the wind damage: make installing anchor systems for the roof, have automated closing shutters, remove tree branches in the yard, strengthen doors and windows. Nearly all insurers will offer a more comfortable price.
  • Be prepared for floods: if living in a high-risk area, consider elevating the foundations, sealing your roof deck, or at least using water-repellent materials for the exteriors, preventing water seepages by filling the gap around access points.
  • Prevent fire: having smoke alarms, and/or a fire extinguisher within reach make a difference in premium, as well as using any fire-retardant system.
  • Prevent crime: use anti-theft systems, including special locks and vaults. The property crime rate in your neighborhood makes the premium vary compared to other districts in your city.
  • Do not hold dangerous pets: liability coverage is generally the major burden an insurer wants to avoid. If the issue exists, you will get significantly higher rates, while some companies might even refuse to allow you a policy.
  • Avoid claims if not strictly necessary: every claim will inevitably raise your future premium, even if you change insurance provider.
  • Be an on-time payer: insurers will evaluate your credit history using the credit score: to be good, it must be between 670 and 739. That means you get optimal premiums because tells you are likely to rely upon your money to fix at least minor issues with your house, and that you won’t pay the rates late. Improve your score if fair or poor, closing any pendant debts as soon as possible; in the other hand, having from 740 onwards will make you get discounts.
  • Stay with the same company if comfortable with it: usually, you get loyalty benefits, in the form of discounts.

Use our calculator to see how much your annual insurance premium could be, along with the specific coverages, based on the values you input, and without leaving personal data. Mind how changing the deductibles, your rate will accordingly modify. Then, choose among the best insurance companies from our selection. 

* Methodology: we aggregated and averaged multiple quotes for every city of the State, assuming a 35 years old individual, married, with a good credit score. Our effort is to keep data always updated and the most accurate possible, so as to satisfy at best the consumer’s expectations.