South Carolina is a coastal state with many beach homes and a high risk of major storms each year. While South Carolina homeowners are not required to buy home insurance, most mortgage lenders require it. With the high risk of weather damage to your house, the right coverage is vital to protect you and your property.
In South Carolina, you may need to buy separate policies to cover damage from hurricanes and other major storm events, including hail. Flooding is a common effect from hurricanes and a standard home insurance policy will not cover flood damage. You may need to purchase a flood insurance policy from South Carolina Flood Insurance, a division of FEMA. This federal agency oversees the National Flood Insurance Program.
Comparing South Carolina Home Insurance Rates
Many factors determine your insurance rates in South Carolina. The closer you live to the water, the more you will likely pay for insurance. The age of your home also plays a large part in rates. You often see lower rates on homes built after 2005 because they can withstand the force of storms better than older homes due to better construction.
Other factors that affect your rate are:
- Value of your property.
- Your deductible amount.
- What the home is made of, such as brick, wood, or stone, and whether it is a permanently stationed mobile home.
- The type of electrical system in the home.
- Whether any smokers live in the home.
Hurricane Discounts in South Carolina
South Carolina insurers offer many discounts when you take measures to protect your home from hurricanes and other major weather events. You can receive discounts for having the following items on your South Carolina home:
- Reinforced garage doors.
- Storm shutters.
- Roof clips and tie-downs.
- Wind-resistant windows and doors.
- Roof coverings.
- Water barriers.
The South Carolina Safe Home Program gives grants to homeowners to have these items installed on their home along with home improvements and repairs. Note that you can only receive grants for single-family homes - vacation homes are exempt from this program. Due to the hurricane risk, South Carolina has some of the highest home insurance premiums in the United States.
Frequently Asked Questions About South Carolina Home Insurance
Here are some of the most common questions asked about South Carolina home insurance:
1. Is there a limit to how much home insurance coverage I can buy?
When you purchase a homeowner’s insurance policy in South Carolina, you get to set the limits. This means that you decide what coverage to exclude from your policy. For example, if you exclude vandalism in your policy, your policy doesn't cover any repair costs if your home is vandalized.
2. What are "other structures" on a home insurance policy?
Other structures refer to detached garages, guest houses, or sheds. In South Carolina, coverage for other structures is generally 10 percent of the overall coverage limit of the main house.
3. How much personal liability coverage do you get with a South Carolina homeowner’s insurance policy?
You have $100,000 in liability coverage with a policy in South Carolina. This means if someone falls on your property and sues you for damages, insurance will pay up to $100,000 of a lawsuit settlement. If you think you may need extra liability coverage, you can purchase additional coverage that can cover you up to $1 million or more.
4. Are you required to have flood insurance in South Carolina?
If you live in a flood zone, you need to purchase flood insurance through a government program. However, you still have the option of purchasing flood insurance if you live outside a flood zone.
5. Is renters insurance available in South Carolina?
If you rent a property in South Carolina, you can protect your personal belongings by purchasing renters insurance. This does not cover damage to the rental structure. Rental properties include single-family homes, apartments, condos, and mobile homes. Personal belongings include furniture, jewelry, and other valuable items.
How to Get Great Rates on South Carolina Home Insurance
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South Carolina Home Insurance Resources
SC Department of Insurance
Official website for the SCDI for consumers, agents and companies