Home Insurance in South Carolina

WRITTEN BY: Amelia Ciffone

UPDATED: MAY 24, 2022 | 1 MIN READ

Despite modest property values, keeping your South Carolina home insured for a reasonable price is a little bit tricky. Not only are property crime rates higher than the national average, but hurricanes, flooding, and hail are looming threats, too. Having said that, the average annual premium in South Carolina for homeowner’s insurance isn’t too far above the national average. But it can get pricey if you live in a low-lying or high crime area. 

  • Fun fact: Move over, Georgia – it’s actually South Carolina that produces the most peaches out of any other state in the Southeast! 

Average Rates in South Carolina

South Carolina is ranked number 17 on the list of most expensive States for homeowners insurance. Given that the national average is $1,211 dollars for an annual premium, what do you think that means South Carolina homeowners pay, on average? Surprisingly, it’s not that much more expensive. South Carolina homeowners pay, on average, $1,269. That’s a little over $50 more than the national average. So even though risks are higher, adequate insurance coverage isn’t actually that much more expensive. 

Renters have to deal with a little bit of a rate hike, also. But like homeowners, it’s not really all that bad. Compared to the national average of $180, South Carolina renters are only paying $188 for their annual premiums.

South Carolina Legal Insurance Requirements

South Carolina doesn’t have very many requirements when it comes to homeowners insurance. As a matter of fact, no state has a rule that says homeowners have to purchase insurance – neither does the federal government. So why do you need to purchase it? For two reasons, usually. One, because it’s the smart thing to do in order to protect such a large and important financial investment. Two, most people purchase their home through a bank and pay it off slowly or the course of many years through a mortgage. Banks usually require homeowners to take out homeowners insurance in order to protect their mutual investment. Because until you finish paying off your home, the bank is part owner in the structure and the property, and they have a vested interest in making sure that home stays intact. 

Common Risk Factors in South Carolina

Wind storms (tropical storms, hurricanes), hail, and flooding in low-lying areas are South Carolina’s biggest problems. Fortunately, wind and hail are covered under the vast majority of basic homeowners insurance policies. Flooding is not, and you’ll have to get flood protection from the NFIP if you want to be completely safe. But the federal policies can be expensive, and often come with waiting periods. Furthermore, as frequent as hail storms are, be careful which damages you file claims for. Frequent claims to repair cosmetic damage will cause your annual premiums to rise. So if you want to keep your premiums low, make sure you only file a claim when it’s absolutely necessary.   

FAIR plans (a.k.a. the South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association) are available for homeowners who can’t get traditional homeowners insurance coverage. But it’s important that homeowners try their best to find conventional coverage, since these plans tend to be priced much higher than most other available plans.  

Insurance Demographics/Statistics in South Carolina

What other factors influence the price of South Carolina home insurance beyond natural disasters? As it turns out, a lot of factors. Some of them you may even have an opportunity to change so that you can get a better rate on your annual premium. 

  • Home Price – The average price for a single-family home in South Carolina is $190,594. This is not only fairly reasonable, but around $70k cheaper then what you would be expected to pay in another state. Since this means you have to purchase less coverage, you may end up paying less expensive premiums, too.
  • Crime Rate – Property crime in South Carolina is around 30.18 events per 1,000 residents (or a 1 in 33 chance of becoming a victim of property crime). When compared to the national average of 24 events per 1,000 residents (1 in 43), this uptick in property crime means you might have to pay more for insurance.
  • Income – Most South Carolina homeowners are bringing home $52,306 annually (which is $9,631 lower than the average US median household income). But insurance companies like you to make as much money as possible. If they know you’re high-income, and less likely to pay premiums late, they’ll feel more comfortable offering you lower rates.
  • Education – 27% of South Carolina residents have a bachelor’s degree or better, which is below the national average of 32%. But did you know that having an advanced degree can get you modest discounts off your insurance premiums? It’s true!

Where To Purchase Home Insurance in South Carolina

We admitted we have a little bit of a bias here, but we think you should shop online – and that you should start by shopping with us. You can fill out our online form to get started today. All we need is your zip code, and we can help you compare several accurate, potentially money-saving quotes in a matter of minutes. 

Granted, you can shop around in any manner you wish. You can ask family and friends for tips, you can go out on your own and flip through the Yellow Pages, or you could shop around online with a different site. But the important thing is to shop around. Only 44% of homeowners bother to check and see if they can lower their annual home insurance premiums once their policies are up for renewal. Companies change rates all the time in order to get more business, and you could be missing out on some fantastic deals by not shopping at all.