The Best Homeowners Insurance in South Carolina of 2023

When researching homeowners insurance, South Carolina residents will want to consider a number of factors to ensure they get the best coverage available for their needs.

Best Overall

State Farm

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Runner-Up

The Best Homeowners Insurance in South Carolina Option AllstateThe Best Homeowners Insurance in South Carolina Option Allstate

Allstate

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Best Standard Coverage

The Best Homeowners Insurance in South Carolina Option Amica

Amica

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Unlike a home warranty, insurance for homeowners protects the home and its contents if they are damaged or destroyed by covered perils such as fire or theft. Therefore, it’s important for residents of the Palmetto State to research South Carolina insurance companies to find one that can adequately provide the right amount and type of coverage as well as make it easy for the homeowner to maintain the policy. Of course, when searching for the best homeowners insurance, South Carolina residents will also want to look for trustworthy companies that treat their clients right. After all, when it comes to home protection, homeowners want to get what they pay for to repair or replace their house and its contents.

  1. BEST OVERALL: State Farm
  2. RUNNER-UP: Allstate
  3. BEST STANDARD COVERAGE: Amica
  4. BEST FOR SERVICE MEMBERS: USAA
  5. ALSO CONSIDER: Travelers Insurance
The Best Homeowners Insurance in South Carolina Options
Photo: istockphoto.com

What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in South Carolina

While price can be a driving factor when homeowners shop for South Carolina homeowners insurance, homeowners will want to consider several other important factors to ensure they get the best coverage available. This includes the ability to obtain a homeowners insurance rate quote easily, change coverage as needed, and file an insurance claim without hassle.

Coverage Amount

Repairing or rebuilding a home can be quite costly, so it’s important for a homeowner to have enough hazard insurance coverage to take care of these expenses. Therefore, one of the first questions homeowners have for South Carolina insurance brokers will likely be what the company’s maximum coverage amounts are. After all, if the policyholder doesn’t obtain sufficient coverage, it’s possible they could be on the hook for paying the difference out of pocket. That’s why it’s so important for homeowners to work closely with their insurance company to determine how much homeowners insurance coverage they need before taking out a policy.

Homeowners will want to keep in mind that there are also coverage limits for the replacement of personal belongings. It’s important for homeowners to take a full inventory of their belongings, evaluate how much it would cost to replace them, and then make sure their chosen policy provides adequate coverage for them to replace their belongings at today’s prices should they be destroyed by a covered event. This provides a good estimate of the personal property coverage amount needed in the policy.

Policy Options

Unlike plans from home warranty companies that cover normal wear and tear, homeowners insurance policies cover damage due to covered perils such as fallen trees, theft, or fire. With regard to personal belongings, many insurance companies offer two types of coverage: replacement cost coverage and actual cash value coverage.

Replacement cost coverage means the policy will pay to replace the homeowner’s belongings at the current market cost. Actual cash value coverage means the policy will pay on the depreciated value of the items. Replacement cost coverage is usually more expensive than actual cash value coverage because the payouts are typically higher.

Many homeowners insurance policies also offer options for additional coverage such as for high-value items like jewelry, artwork, sports equipment, and musical instruments; protection against water damage due to sewer backups; and identity theft coverage to help restore a stolen identity.

Insurance Premiums

Insurance premiums are the price the policyholder pays for homeowners insurance. Premiums can be paid on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. As long as the premiums are paid on time, the policy remains in effect. Homeowners with a mortgage will likely pay their insurance premiums monthly as part of their mortgage payments, and their lender will hold the money in an escrow account and pay the premium in full when it is due. This helps lenders ensure that borrowers are maintaining their insurance coverage on the property.

The amount of the insurance premiums depends on several factors including the type and amount of coverage in the policy, the age and construction (brick, stucco, wood, etc.) of the home, the location of the home, and the amount of the policy deductible. Policyholders can adjust the amount of their insurance premiums by changing the amount of coverage as well as the deductible amount.

Quote Process

When homeowners are searching for policies in such South Carolina cities as Myrtle Beach, homeowners insurance companies often provide rate quotes so shoppers have a general idea of how much the insurance premiums will be for coverage. Insurance companies that make it easy to get a rate quote provide a quick and easy way to compare policies. Some ways companies offer quotes are through online quote tools, by phone, or by talking to an agent.

Homeowners will want to keep in mind that online quote tools may be limited in providing an exact quote because they rely on standard basic information such as age and location of the home, type of coverage chosen, and the policy deductible. When talking to an agent by phone or in person, homeowners can often get a more accurate quote because they can add in more personalized information that affects the policy rates.

Claims Process

Filing an insurance claim can be a tedious and lengthy process. Homeowners will want to look for insurance companies that make it easy to file a claim without wasting a lot of time to process that claim. This includes filing a claim online, using the company’s mobile app, or talking to an agent by phone or in person. It’s important for homeowners to ask how long it usually takes for the company to approve or deny a claim.

Another good way for a homeowner to determine how an insurance company handles claims is to ask family and friends about their experiences. Checking online reviews such as those found on the Better Business Bureau website also could provide insight into how claims are handled. Calling the South Carolina Department of Insurance about complaints regarding claims is another option.

Deductibles

A deductible is the amount the policyholder pays out of pocket when a claim is filed. For instance, if the total claim amount is $10,000 and the deductible is $3,000, the insurance company will pay $7,000 and the policyholder will pay the remaining $3,000. The deductible amount depends on the policy terms regarding amount of coverage and premiums. Typically, the higher the premiums are, the lower the deductible will be, and vice versa.

It’s important for homeowners to note that some insurance companies charge a deductible for specific perils instead of the standard policy deductible. For instance, a company may charge a 1 percent deductible based on the home’s value for claims due to wind damage. Homeowners will want to discuss these various deductible options with their insurance agent to understand what they would pay in the event of a claim.

Additional Policies

While a typical home protection plan, also known as a home warranty, covers the normal wear and tear on such items as home appliances and some home systems, homeowners insurance provides a wide range of coverage for damages due to covered perils. This includes protection for the home’s structure and personal belongings, personal liability coverage if the homeowner is responsible for property damage or injury to a third party, medical payments to others if someone is injured on the property (regardless of fault), and reimbursement of additional living expenses if the homeowner must relocate during repairs after a covered event.

However, homeowners may need additional policies to further protect their home. For instance, flood damage is not covered under standard homeowners insurance, so at-risk homeowners will want to purchase a flood insurance policy for protection. Also, if the homeowner has a lot of high-value jewelry, artwork, collectibles, sports equipment, or musical instruments they may need to take out additional policies that allow the policyholder to schedule, or specifically list on the policy, the items that are to be covered to ensure they are properly protected. It’s important for a homeowner to discuss all available policy options with their insurer to see which ones, if any, are necessary to provide full coverage.

Discounts

Paying for homeowners insurance can be expensive, but discounts offer a way to help reduce the cost of homeowners insurance premiums so they are more affordable. Insurance companies will sometimes offer extra savings to homeowners who opt for one of the best home and auto insurance bundles. But insurance companies often have other discounts that could further increase savings, such as having more than one insurance policy with the company, having a home security system, and remaining claim-free for a specific period of time.

However, companies may offer additional discounts that are not well known. For instance, homeowners could save by signing up for paperless billing or enrolling in automatic payments. Homeowners will want to ask their insurance company for a complete list of discounts to see which ones may apply to their situation.

AM Best Ratings

Homeowners want to feel confident their homeowners insurance company will pay their claims as agreed. While there are no guarantees, looking at an insurance company’s AM Best rating could be a good indicator of the company’s ability to meet its financial obligations. AM Best assesses insurance companies to determine their creditworthiness and financial strength.

AM Best ratings range from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor); the higher the rating, the stronger a company’s ability to meet its ongoing financial obligations is likely to be. Therefore, homeowners may want to look for insurance companies that have no less than a B+ (Good) rating to have peace of mind the company will pay its claims as agreed.

Our Top Picks

When researching the best homeowners insurance companies in South Carolina, we looked for companies with easy quote and claims processes, a variety of discounts, and high AM Best ratings.

Best Overall

State Farm

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Why It Made the Cut:

State Farm offers high extended dwelling coverage on every policy as well as a high personal liability coverage option, low insurance rates, and a large home and auto bundle discount.

State Farm customers in South Carolina will receive an extended dwelling coverage limit that’s equal to 120 percent of their policy’s dwelling amount as long as they insure their home for its full estimated replacement cost. Also, State Farm policyholders can purchase personal liability coverage for up to $1 million, which is a high limit for this type of coverage. However, some of that coverage could be negatively impacted by the company’s hurricane deductible, which could be up to 10 percent of the policy’s dwelling coverage limit—so homeowners living near the coast may want to keep this in mind.

State Farm’s homeowners insurance rates are fairly competitive in South Carolina. In fact, South Carolina homeowners who want to bundle their home and auto insurance through State Farm may be able to get a large discount. This discount could be as high as 33 percent, which would save policyholders a great deal of money on their insurance coverage.

 

Specs

  • Quote process: Online, phone, agent
  • Claims process: App, online, phone, agent
  • Deductibles: 0.5 percent to 5 percent; $1,000 to $10,000; Hurricane: 2 percent, 5 percent, or 10 percent
  • Discounts: Multipolicy, protective device, impact-resistant roofing
  • AM Best rating: A++

Pros

  • High 120 percent extended dwelling coverage included
  • High $1 million personal liability coverage available
  • Relatively low insurance premiums
  • Large 33 percent discount on home and auto bundles available

Cons

  • High 10 percent hurricane deductible possible

Runner-Up

Allstate

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Why It Made the Cut:

Allstate provides the option for a high amount of water backup coverage, along with claim forgiveness and diminishing deductible options, plus several discount opportunities to lower the cost of insurance.

Allstate customers in South Carolina can purchase extra water backup coverage with options that go up to $50,000, which is a very high limit for water backup damage. Allstate requires homeowners who have high-value property with dwelling coverage over $1 million to add a building structure extended limits endorsement to the policy, which provides coverage beyond the stated limits of the policy. However, this type of endorsement can be very useful if the home needs to be rebuilt after a covered event since the policy is more likely to cover the full rebuild (minus the deductible). In addition to the standard perils deductible, Allstate also attaches separate wind/hail and tropical storm deductibles to insurance policies in South Carolina, which may mean higher out-of-pocket costs when the time comes to file a claim.

To help offset costs, Allstate offers a number of discounts for homeowners to apply to their insurance policies, plus they can add a diminishing deductible (where the customer receives a $100 credit toward a future deductible for every year they go claim-free, up to $500 total) to their policy as an extra endorsement. Customers also can buy Allstate’s Claim RateGuard feature as an extra endorsement, which will prevent their premiums from going up after filing a claim.

 

Specs

  • Quote process: Online, phone, agent
  • Claims process: App, online, phone, agent
  • Deductibles: $1,000 to $5,000 or 1 percent or 2 percent; Windstorm/Hail: $2,500 or $5,000 or 1 percent or 2 percent; Tropical Cyclone: $1,000 to $5,000 or 1 percent, 2 percent, or 5 percent
  • Discounts: Multipolicy, protective device, responsible payment, claim-free, loyalty, new customer, home buyer, automatic payments, early signing, smoke-free
  • AM Best rating: A+

Pros

  • High $50,000 water backup coverage available
  • Claim forgiveness endorsement available
  • Diminishing deductible endorsement available
  • Wide range of discount opportunities

Cons

  • Building structure extended limits required on dwelling coverage over $1 million
  • Separate wind/hail and tropical storm deductibles

Best Standard Coverage

Amica

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Why It Made the Cut:

Amica policies include standard replacement cost coverage and identity fraud protection; in addition, hurricane damage is covered with a standard deductible and online quotes are available in every South Carolina ZIP code.

Amica provides online quotes to ZIP codes all over South Carolina, even those along the coast, which makes it easy for Palmetto State residents to get a quote. However, the online quote tool only gives customers the option to choose from two different policies, each with its own set coverage limits and deductibles, so homeowners may not be able to get the most accurate quote online. In addition, Amica’s rates for South Carolina homeowners insurance may be relatively high.

However, Amica’s homeowners insurance policies include replacement cost coverage as part of their standard terms, which could mean larger payouts for policyholders and fewer out-of-pocket costs when filing a claim. Amica policies also include standard identity fraud coverage, so policyholders don’t need to pay extra for this protection unless they want a higher coverage limit.

Finally, Amica does not set a separate deductible for hurricane damage, which is pretty uncommon for South Carolina homeowners insurance policies.

 

Specs

  • Quote process: Online, phone, agent
  • Claims process: Online, phone, agent
  • Deductibles: $1,000 or $2,500
  • Discounts: Multipolicy, loyalty, claim-free, autopay, e-discount, protective devices, new or remodeled home, automatic detection devices
  • AM Best rating: A+

Pros

  • Standard replacement cost coverage
  • Standard identity fraud coverage
  • No separate hurricane deductible
  • Online quotes available for all South Carolina ZIP codes

Cons

  • Relatively high insurance premiums
  • Limited online quote flexibility

Best for Service Members

USAA

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Why It Made the Cut:

USAA includes standard replacement cost coverage with every homeowners insurance policy, the company’s exclusive contractor matching network, and the availability of extra discounts for moving and storage services.

USAA homeowners insurance policies come with standard replacement cost coverage without a homeowner needing to purchase an extra endorsement, which is fairly uncommon with homeowners insurance. Because USAA membership is limited to service members and their families, it can be difficult to get a quote online for those who are not existing members, which makes it harder to verify the deductible options and to compare insurance options.

However, USAA members who choose a homeowners insurance policy from this provider can enjoy several unique perks. In the event of a claim, USAA members can take advantage of the company’s exclusive home contractor network, Contractor Connection, which helps homeowners find qualified contractors to take on repairs after a covered event or to make renovations and home improvements. In addition, USAA has a partnership with PODS portable moving containers to give members a discount on moving and storage services (10 percent on moving costs and 15 percent on storage fees).

 

Specs

  • Quote process: Online (for USAA members), phone
  • Claims process: App, online, phone
  • Deductibles: Unknown
  • Discounts: Multipolicy, protective device, connected home, loyalty, claim-free
  • AM Best rating: A++

Pros

  • Standard replacement cost coverage
  • Exclusive home contractor network
  • Generous moving and storage fee discounts

Cons

  • USAA membership limited to service members and their families
  • Unknown deductible options

Also Consider

Travelers Insurance

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Why It Made the Cut:

Travelers Insurance offers a “green home” discount to help lower rates as well as its free home report tool that provides more insight into a property’s permits and repairs.

Travelers Insurance offers a 5 percent discount to policyholders whose homes are “green home” certified by Leadership Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), which can be very beneficial for homeowners who have upgraded the insulation and fixtures in their homes to use less energy. While the Travelers online quote tool does not provide any flexibility to adjust coverage options or terms or show available deductible options, homeowners are able to speak to a Travelers agent to get a more specific quote, which can make it easier to compare policies.

Travelers Insurance has teamed up with BuildFax to create the OpenHouse platform, which gives homeowners a history of permits filed for repairs or renovations on their property. This free service helps customers see what work has been done on their home in the past so they can better anticipate what work will need to be done in the future.

 

Specs

  • Quote process: Online, phone, agent
  • Claims process: Online, phone, agent
  • Deductibles: Unknown
  • Discounts: Multipolicy, home buyer, loss-free, protective device, green home
  • AM Best rating: A++

Pros

  • Certified “green home” discount
  • Free home history report

Cons

  • Unknown deductible options
  • Limited online quote flexibility

Our Verdict

State Farm was chosen Best Overall because the company offers low insurance rates that could be further reduced thanks to a large home and auto bundle discount. Allstate was named Runner-Up because of its mix of savings opportunities and the high amount of available water backup coverage.

How We Chose the Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in South Carolina

When determining the best homeowners insurance companies in South Carolina, we looked at available coverage options at each insurer, including both standard inclusions and optional add-ons. We also factored in cost considerations such as average insurance premiums, available discounts, and deductible options. We then weighed experiential factors, such as how easy it is for a customer to get a quote, what flexibility there is to build out customized quotes, and what the process looks like to file a claim. Additional perks and benefits that may appeal to homeowners in South Carolina were also weighed during the research process. In addition, we looked at companies with high AM Best ratings so homeowners could have peace of mind that these companies would likely have the financial stability to be able to pay their claims as agreed.

Before You Choose One of the Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in South Carolina

Although we did our due diligence in researching the best homeowners insurance companies in South Carolina, it’s important to acknowledge that not every company featured here would be a good choice for every homeowner. That’s why homeowners will want to conduct their own independent research for the best homeowners insurance in Charleston, South Carolina, or any other city in the state, for their needs. A good place for a homeowner to start is with local insurance companies that are familiar with the local homeowners insurance market and what residents need to protect their homes, since this can vary from customer to customer and across different cities and regions in the state.

Homeowners will also want to take the time to shop for homeowners insurance and research what coverage options are available to them in South Carolina to ensure they get customized coverage based on where their home is located and what they need to protect it and their personal belongings.

Cost of Opting for One of the Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in South Carolina

Every homeowner wants to get the best coverage for their home and belongings, but they also want to get the best price for that insurance. The costs for the best homeowners insurance in South Carolina will be different for each policyholder depending on several factors, such as their home’s value and location, their insurance claims history, and the amount and type of coverage they choose. Homeowners will want to check with each insurance company they’re considering to find out exactly what the pricing will be for homeowners insurance customized to their needs. Because premiums depend on a number of factors, discussing those with the insurance companies could result in more accurate quotes. Only then can homeowners decide which homeowners insurance company in South Carolina has the best policy to fit their specific coverage needs and budget.

The Advantages of Opting for One of the Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in South Carolina

Researching the best homeowners insurance in South Carolina can be time-consuming, so it’s important for homeowners to understand what they’re getting when they choose the best insurance company for them. A policy from one of the best homeowners insurance companies will come with numerous benefits, including the following.

  • Simple and accessible quote and claims process to make it easier for homeowners to manage their policy;
  • A range of deductible options to help policyholders customize their policy to meet their needs;
  • A wide array of discounts to help homeowners maximize savings on their homeowners insurance premiums; and
  • Strong AM Best ratings, which speak to a company’s ability to pay its claims as agreed.

FAQs

Researching homeowners insurance in South Carolina is time-consuming and can be quite confusing when shoppers start diving into deductible options, coverage options, and how to file a claim. What follows are some of the most common questions homeowners ask when researching the best homeowners insurance in South Carolina.

Q. Is homeowners insurance required in South Carolina?

South Carolina law does not require homeowners insurance, but a mortgage lender may require a homeowner to purchase homeowners insurance as a condition for approving the loan and maintain a policy throughout the duration of the mortgage.

Q. What is the cheapest homeowners insurance in South Carolina?

State Farm had the lowest rates for our specific parameters, but that won’t always be the case for all homeowners in South Carolina. Therefore, it’s worth homeowners getting quotes from multiple companies and comparing them to find the best coverage that fits within their budget.

Q. What is the average cost of homeowners insurance in South Carolina?

The average cost of homeowners insurance in South Carolina is $2,055 per year or $171 per month. This is based on a policy for a 40-year-old homeowner with a good credit history and $300,000 in dwelling coverage, $300,000 in liability coverage, and a $1,000 deductible.

Q. Is wind and hail insurance required in South Carolina?

Wind and hail insurance is not required in South Carolina, but many insurance companies may have separate wind and hail deductibles for claims.

Q:.Do you need hurricane insurance in South Carolina?

Depending on where a homeowner lives in the state, it may be a good idea for them to obtain hurricane insurance in South Carolina. It’s important for homeowners to discuss hurricane coverage with their insurance company to make sure they’ll be protected.

Q. What are the three main types of homeowners insurance?

There are eight different types of homeowners insurance, but the three main types are HO-2, HO-3, and HO-6.

  • An HO-2 policy insures a home at replacement cost and the homeowner’s personal belongings at actual cash value against 16 named perils.
  • An HO-3 policy has open-perils dwelling coverage that covers all but excluded perils; the dwelling is covered at replacement cost and belongings are covered at actual cash value.
  • An HO-6 policy is for condominium owners and is designed to cover what the homeowners association policy does not specifically cover, namely, personal liability, coverage to the interior of the condo and its contents, and additional living expenses.

The type of property a homeowner has will often determine the type of insurance they need. For example, a customer looking for mobile home insurance in South Carolina will have very different requirements than a customer looking for Myrtle Beach condo insurance for their beachfront property.

Source: Nerdwallet

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Karon Warren

Contributing Writer

Writing for BobVila.com since 2021, Karon Warren has covered home insurance and home loan topics for more than 15 years. She also routinely writes about mortgages, car insurance, and personal finance.

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