Charleston, SC Homeowners Insurance

How to Find the Best Homeowners Insurance in Charleston, SC

Experts break down home insurance costs, coverages, companies, and more.

House exterior with curb appeal. Find Charleston South Carolina homeowners insurance.

More than 400,000 people live in historical Charleston, South Carolina. If you are among the property owners in this coastal city, you will want to be sure to protect the investment you have made in your house by purchasing a good homeowners insurance policy.

Independent insurance agents are available to help you find the best and most affordable policy for your Charleston home. Find an insurance agent near you to get answers to your coverage-related questions and to start comparing a selection of customized homeowners insurance quotes.

How Much Does Homeowners Insurance Cost in Charleston, SC?

The average cost of homeowners insurance in the state of South Carolina is only slightly higher than the national rate.

  • National average yearly premium: $1,211
  • South Carolina average yearly premium: $1,269

However, an average can only give you a general idea of what you might actually pay. For instance, in the Charleston metropolitan area, the average cost of home insurance in Folly Beach will be much higher than in the more affordable West Ashley neighborhood.

When calculating your rates, insurance companies will take the following factors into consideration.

  • The age, size, value, and structure of your house
  • The type of home you are insuring (e.g., single-family detached house, condo, townhouse, rental property, vacation house, etc.)
  • The crime rate and weather risks where your house is located
  • Your claims history and credit score
  • The size of your deductible
  • Whether you are bundling your coverage with other policies like car insurance or life insurance

Every insurance company has its own method for computing rates. Comparing quotes from multiple companies lets you choose the policy that offers the coverage you want at the most affordable price.

What Kinds of Damaging Events Are Covered by Charleston Home Insurance?

Your homeowners insurance is designed to cover the cost of repairing or replacing your property if it lost or damaged by a covered event.

Unless you have purchased a named-peril policy, which requires you to specify the types of hazards you want coverage against, you can expect your homeowners insurance to cover risks like the following.

  • Severe weather, including hurricanes, tropical storms, thunderstorms, windstorms, and tornadoes
  • Falling objects, like hailstones and uprooted trees
  • Fires
  • Property crimes

Homeowners property coverage comes in two parts: dwelling insurance and contents insurance.

Dwelling insurance covers the structure of your house while contents insurance covers your personal property. You will want to be sure that your coverage limits are high enough in each category so you can fully repair, rebuild, or replace your property if it is destroyed in a major event like a fire.

What about Coverage against Floods in Charleston, SC?

Homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage. This is true even if the flood is the direct result of a covered hurricane.

Unfortunately, floods pose a significant risk of causing damage in this coastal city. A recent study found that more than half the homes and businesses in Charleston have a greater than 26% chance of sustaining significant flood damage over the next 30 years.

Floods can be very expensive for area homeowners. In fact, FEMA reports that as little as one inch of rainwater in your home can cause as much as $25,000 worth of damage.

It may therefore be to your advantage to supplement your home insurance with a flood insurance policy. Affordable policies are available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a program administered by FEMA.

Flood insurance policies take 30 days to go into effect so do not wait until heavy rains are imminent to buy your coverage.

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What Is Loss of Use Insurance?

If a covered disaster like a tornado or a structure fire damages your home, it may be unsafe to live in it until repairs are made. If this happens to you, the loss of use insurance included in your Charleston homeowners insurance policy can help.

This insurance can cover the various costs associated with obtaining temporary shelter. It can pay for things such as the following.

  • Temporary accommodations in a hotel or short-term rental unit
  • Meals, if your accommodations do not include a kitchen
  • Moving and storage costs
  • Added mileage if you must drive further to get to and from work
  • Pet boarding costs, if applicable

Your loss of use coverage can continue until your house is brought back up to code and it is safe to return, or until you have purchased a different home to move into, as may be necessary in the event of a total loss.

Why Is Liability Insurance Important for Charleston Homeowners?

Anyone can find themselves on the wrong end of a liability lawsuit. Fortunately, personal liability coverage is a standard part of every home insurance policy.

Homeowners liability insurance can shield you from large financial losses by covering expenses like legal fees, settlements, mediation costs, and judgements if you or someone in your household is unintentionally responsible for someone else sustaining injuries, property damage or other harm.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), nearly one third of all homeowners liability insurance claims are due to dog bites, and the average cost of a dog bite liability claim is more than $50,000.

Here are other things your homeowners liability insurance can cover against.

  • Injuries sustained by visitors while on your property that can be attributed to negligence on your part
  • Accidental infliction of injuries or property damage to someone else caused by you or a member of your household while away from home
  • Accusations of libel or slander

Most insurance companies offer between $100,000 and $300,000 in homeowners liability coverage. If you want to have more coverage than your policy can offer, you can also purchase an umbrella insurance policy. This is an affordable way to boost all of your personal liability coverage.

Does Charleston Homeowners Insurance Cover against Burglaries?

The burglary rate in South Carolina is higher than the national rate. Fortunately, in Charleston, the rate is lower. Residents of this city report around 350 burglaries a year.

  • Number of burglaries per 1,000 homes in the US: 3.76
  • Number of burglaries per 1,000 homes in South Carolina: 5.80
  • Number of burglaries per 1,000 homes in Charleston: 2.11

If your house is targeted by burglars, you may gain some peace of mind from knowing that your home insurance can reimburse you for your property losses as well as for any damage the thieves may have done to your home. You will need to have a copy of the police report when you file your claim.

In many cases, if your house is equipped with a burglar alarm or other theft-deterring device, your insurance company may offer you a discount on your homeowners insurance rates.

Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent?

The easiest way to find the best and most affordable coverage for your Charleston home is by working a local independent agent.

These agents work for you, not for a specific insurance company, so they can request customized quotes from some of the best insurance companies in South Carolina. This lets you choose the policy that offers the coverage you want at the most reasonable price.

Discover the many advantages of working with an independent agent. Schedule an obligation-free consultation with an insurance agent near you today.

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