South Carolina Homeowners Insurance
The average South Carolina homeowners insurance rate is $66 per month, but the options and coverages you choose will affect your final rates. Use our guide to determine the levels of South Carolina home insurance coverage you need, from dwelling coverage to policies for other structures on your property. Enter your ZIP code below to start comparing South Carolina homeowners insurance quotes for free.
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UPDATED: Dec 9, 2020
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The average cost of home insurance in South Carolina is $789/yr or $66/mo, but the options and coverages you choose can affect the final cost you have to pay, and could result in paying lower premiums than the average.
Before you buy home insurance, it is a good idea to become familiar with the basic parts of your homeowners policy, and then to explore the risks associated with insuring a home in South Carolina.
With that information at your disposal, you can better determine what coverages you need, and where you would do well to carry more or less coverage than what is provided by default.
Your dwelling is the part of the insured property where your family lives. It includes the entire home and any permanently attached buildings such it as an attached garage, a bedroom that was added on after construction of the home, or other rooms such as an atrium or sun room which open directly off the main dwelling. As long as the construction affixes the room permanently to the dwelling, it is classified as part of the dwelling.
- Other Structures
The other structures section of your home insurance policy includes every building on the property except the dwelling. Others structures are not limited to places where people live, and can include structures rather than buildings, such a fence around the property, a boat dock, or a greenhouse constructed away from the house. Other structures can be numerous because they are defined so broadly. For example, a permanently installed swing set or jungle gym would be an “other” structure as long as they are permanent, and not portable.
- Personal Property
Portable structure such as a light utility shed or dog house are considered personal property, and the personal property section of your policy typically includes a lengthy list of items. One of the best ways to make sure your personal property is protected is to make a home inventory, which can either be a line by line list, or a video recording. To make the home inventory, move around the property you are going to insure and record all of the things which belong to you. Even inexpensive items need to be included, because you will want to replace the small things along with the large ones if your home is destroyed by fire or bad weather.
- Loss of Use
When you cannot use a portion of your home, the loss of use portion of the policy provides for reimbursing you for any expenses related to that loss of use. The loss can be total, such as your home being destroyed or rendered temporary uninhabitable, or it can be partial, such as a kitchen fire destroying your means to prepare meals. Saving the receipts associated with your loss of use is important because it will allow the claim to be processed faster and accurately verified by the insurance company.
Average South Carolina Homeowner Insurance Rates vs. US
Cheaper South Carolina Home Insurance
Keeping the cost of your homeowners insurance down begins with you and your home. Security devices, home maintenance, and your credit score are all important factors that can lead to cheaper home insurance. Not everything you do will give you an immediate discount, but there are many ways to reduce the costs, both now and in the future. Here are some basic ideas you can use, and these should give you an idea of others you could be looking for.
- Home Security
Homes in South Carolina face a burglary rate of 9.98 for every 1000 people. By comparison, the national burglary rate is 5.17. To make your home safer, you can put up a fence around the property or install burglar bars on the ground floor windows and doors. Those two things can also net you a discount on your home insurance premiums, as well as having deadbolt locks installed in your front and back doors. And the biggest discount, security-wise, comes from having an alarm system installed that is constantly monitored by a company at another location.
- Reduce Insurance Risks
Reducing the risks associated with your home will also reduce the cost of home insurance. One way to do that is to avoid filing claims. If your home sustains damage that only costs a little more than your deductible, you can pay for the repairs out of pocket, saving the claim and avoiding an insurance increase. You can also reduce the risks by performing regular maintenance on the home. Remember, going without a claim filed on the insurance helps keep your premiums as low as they can be.
- Credit Score and Insurance Risk
A credit score of at least 650 will result in a discount on your home insurance as well as other liability insurance policies such as your car insurance. The reason for this is a simple one: Insurance companies regard your credit score as a sign of your financial risk, so a higher score means you present a lower personal financial risk. This is why it is important to keep an eye on your credit score and have any errors investigated as quickly as possible.
Home Characteristics Affecting South Carolina Insurance Rates
In South Carolina, the average cost of a home is $137,500, which plays a major role in determining your insurance rates. The age of the home is also a factor, and South Carolina houses have an average age of 25 years, which means that without proper maintenance your rates could be much higher than the average. Other characteristics include the type of the home and the materials it was built from. For example, a mobile home is more risky than a wood frame home, but a brick house is far more durable than even the best-made wood house.
Local Natural Disasters South Carolina Homeowners Should Consider Protecting Against
All states experience some types of natural disasters, but they change from region to region. It is your responsibility to know what dangers your home faces and to make arrangements to protect it from them. You may find that most problems are already covered, but some things, such as flooding, will require you to purchase coverage separately from your home insurance policy.
Ranked at 24 out of 51, your state is not a place that is often afflicted by earthquakes. If you think that you would be better protected by having coverage, contact high risk insurers for your area, or call the state Department of Insurance for information on where you can get earthquake protection.
South Carolina homeowners experienced 191 claims reported flooding cases in 2009, compared to 46,621 flood claims. Flooding is one peril that is never included in a standard home policy and usually must be purchased through the FAIR plan or other high risk pool organized by the state Department of Insurance.
Hail, where insurance is concerned, is the same as wind damage. In some cases, hail could be specifically excluded from a homeowner’s policy, but this is rarely the case. If it has happened to you, contact your insurance company and ask about purchasing a rider policy to give you this missing piece of protection.
South Carolina is subject to hurricanes and if you live at or near the coast, this is likely excluded. Otherwise, most of the damage, excluding flooding, is already part of a standard policy. You should pick up a flood insurance policy separately to make sure your home is properly protected, and read your policy carefully to make certain that is does not exclude other hurricane related damages.
In any given year, South Carolina could experience 32 or more tornadoes. Unless they are excluded from your policy, though, tornadoes are automatically covered under the wind damages portion of your policy.
74,749 wildfires pop up around the nation each year, and some of those are found in South Carolina. Fire damage is part of a standard insurance policy and should not be a problem unless your policy excludes wildfires. If that has happened, contact your insurance company about adding coverage for wildfires.
South Carolina Homeowners Insurance Optional Coverages
If someone outside of your immediate family gets injured on your property, your home insurance will pay for the medical expenses, but if that person turns around and sues you, the coverage may not be sufficient to protect your personal assets. For that, an umbrella liability policy is often the best choice because it provides additional liability protection for your home, auto and any other personal liability policies you carry. Your personal property insurance will only pay for the loss of your possessions up to a specific portion of the home value as well. However, this can be extended. Check your policy and make sure you have enough coverage, otherwise you could lose most of the things you own with no way to replace them short of spending the money out of pocket.
Important Contact Information
South Carolina Department of Insurance
Post Office Box 100105
Columbia, SC 29202
Phone: (803) 737-6160
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