The Best (And Cheapest) South Carolina Homeowners Insurance Companies

Find the Cheapest Homeowners Insurance Quotes in Your Area

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No single insurance company is best for every South Carolina homeowner, but our choices for the best insurance companies in the state are South Carolina Farm Bureau, USAA and State Farm, based on customer feedback. Below, we've also detailed our selections for the best home insurance companies in the state for customers who want a specific type of coverage.

If you're a cost-conscious shopper, we researched data on South Carolina home insurance pricing. Based on our research, the average cost of homeowners insurance in South Carolina is $1,535 per year.

We gathered insurance quotes from 44 cities to find out which have the highest and lowest home insurance costs in the state. Among our sample insurance companies, we found that Nationwide had the cheapest average rates in the state. Read more about our findings below, or use our quote tool above to find the best home insurance quotes in your area.

Best homeowners insurance companies in South Carolina

  • South Carolina Farm Bureau
  • USAA
  • State Farm

Whether your home is in Greenville, Myrtle Beach or Charleston, when shopping for the best home insurance company in South Carolina, you should always balance your preferences for coverage features, price, stability and customer service. Here, we've emphasized customer service, comparing the largest homeowners insurance companies in the Palmetto State using customer complaints. By this standard, the top-rated homeowners insurance companies in South Carolina are the South Carolina Farm Bureau, USAA and State Farm.

The worst-rated large insurance companies in the state are United Insurance Holdings, Liberty Mutual and Nationwide. With the exception of United Insurance, South Carolina residents appear to be generally happy with their home insurance service: Nine out of the 10 largest companies receive a customer complaint ratio below the national median of 1.0.

Customer service rankCompanyMarket shareComplaint ratio
1South Carolina Farm Bureau3.8%0.18
2USAA8.8%0.22
3State Farm21.2%0.35
4Allstate10.1%0.4
5Auto-Owners2.7%0.44
6Travelers5.5%0.51
7Farmers2.8%0.54
8Nationwide5.3%0.66
9Liberty Mutual5%0.82
10United Insurance Holdings (UPC)2.7%1.95
Methodology noted at the bottom of the page

Find the Cheapest Homeowners Insurance Quotes in Your Area

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Comparing Quotes: The South Carolina Department of Insurance

We've analyzed some of the cheapest and most expensive home insurance companies in South Carolina below, but if you want to browse quotes yourself, the South Carolina Department of Insurance has a price comparison tool. With this tool, you can browse sample homeowners insurance premiums by county and ZIP code for a variety of coverage levels and types of homes to get a better sense for insurer rates.

South Carolina homeowners insurance company reviews

We looked into some of the biggest homeowners insurance companies in South Carolina — based on market share — and provided our picks for the best fits for certain types of customers. Of the biggest insurers, Allstate, USAA and Nationwide stand out for customer types profiled below. All three receive an A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating of A+ or A++, showing they are in excellent financial condition and will almost certainly be able to pay your claims.

Allstate: Best for combining savings and customer service

Allstate is a good choice for those seeking value, combining discount options with strong customer service.

Low-risk homeowners will have plenty of opportunities to save if they get an Allstate home insurance policy in South Carolina. When we obtained quotes with Allstate for a sample homeowner who doesn't smoke and has a responsible payment and claims history, savings on annual premiums totaled hundreds of dollars. And Allstate also has a strong customer service reputation, ranking fourth of the top 10 home insurance companies in South Carolina in customer complaints. However, this rating is not as stellar as State Farm, USAA or the South Carolina Farm Bureau.

USAA: Best for military members or veterans and their families

The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) is the third-biggest insurer in South Carolina, but only U.S. military members, veterans and their families will qualify for its home insurance policies. With more than 400,000 veterans living in the state, however, there are plenty of eligible customers who should take advantage of its generous coverage and customer service credentials.

USAA home insurance policies include replacement cost coverage for both your home and your personal belongings. This feature, which almost always costs extra with other insurers, is included in base USAA policies, and it ensures you'll be fully reimbursed for damage to your property, regardless of wear and tear to your home or belongings. And the insurer's customer complaint ratio of 0.22 ranks behind only the locally focused South Carolina Farm Bureau, meaning you'll likely get great customer service.

Nationwide: Best for shoppers who own high-value items

Shoppers who have particularly valuable personal property should definitely get a quote from the insurer given its generous sublimits for high-value items.

For example, in addition to coverage limits for standard high-value items like jewelry and business property, Nationwide policies cover damage to items like watercraft or trailers you keep at home, up to limits of $2,500. Coverage limits in Nationwide policies also have inflation protection, so your dwelling and personal property coverage limits will rise each year to keep pace with rising prices.

Cheapest home insurance companies in South Carolina

We gathered quotes from State Farm, Allstate, and Nationwide in South Carolina. Quotes from each company were averaged to find which insurance companies had the best home insurance rates in South Carolina. The graph and table below show the average annual costs to insure our sample home by company and the state average.

Insurance companyAverage quote
Nationwide$1,514
Allstate$1,534
South Carolina state average$1,535
State Farm$1,557
Best Home Insurance Companies in South Carolina

Homeowners insurance rates in South Carolina's largest cities

We evaluated homeowners insurance rates across the largest cities in South Carolina, and our results can be seen in the table below. On average, homeowners in the 10 largest cities pay just $1 more than the rest of the state on homeowners insurance.

CityAverage quote
Greenville$1,053
Rock Hill$1,120
Spartanburg$1,254
Columbia$1,179
Florence$1,362
Aiken$1,508
South Carolina state average$1,535
Sumter$1,622
Goose Creek$1,864
North Charleston$2,043
Charleston$2,358

Least expensive homeowners insurance in South Carolina: by city

The graph and table below show the five cheapest cities for home insurance of all 44 cities which were part of our rankings. The cities are listed in order of mean price starting with the lowest average home insurance quote and ascending. Greenville is the cheapest city in South Carolina for homeowners insurance based on our study. On average, residents pay $1,053 annually, which is $482 lower than the state average.

CityAverage quote
Greenville$1,053
Greer$1,114
Williamston$1,118
Rock Hill$1,120
Columbia$1,179
South Carolina state average$1,535
Top 5 Best Cities in South Carolina for Homeowners Insurance

Most expensive homeowners insurance in South Carolina: by city

The graph and table below show the five most expensive places of all 44 cities which were part of our study. The cities are listed in order of price starting with the highest average rate and descending. The figures listed represent the average home insurance rate in each city based on our study. The most expensive city for homeowners insurance was Charleston, where our research found an average annual rate of $2,358, which is $822 greater than the state average.

CityAverage quote
South Carolina state average$1,535
Bluffton$2,015
North Charleston$2,043
Kingstree$2,201
Beaufort$2,291
Charleston$2,358
Top 5 Most Expensive Cities in South Carolina for Homeowners Insurance

What does South Carolina homeowners insurance cover?

South Carolina is no different from other parts of the country in that almost all home insurance policies include four main coverages: dwelling, personal property, personal liability and additional living expenses.

Dwelling coverage pays you back for damage to the structure of your home by a covered peril. The term dwelling refers to parts of the structure of your home such as floors, walls and roofs. You should buy a policy with enough dwelling coverage to cover the costs of completely rebuilding your home.

Personal property coverage protects you against the costs of damage to or theft of things you keep in your home, from your furniture to your jewelry. Personal property coverage limits are generally set as a share of your dwelling coverage limits, though you can adjust them if necessary.

Personal liability coverage protects you from the costs of lawsuits for bodily injury or property damages. It covers the cost of legal defenses up to policy limits, which generally start at $100,000.

Additional living expenses (ALE) coverage, also referred to as loss of use coverage, will help pay for the costs of living outside your home if it becomes uninhabitable due to a covered event. If you live in Greenville and smoke damage forces you into a hotel, for example, this coverage pays for the costs of staying elsewhere and other unusual costs caused by the event, such as additional transportation costs.

Do South Carolina homeowners need flood insurance?

Homeowners insurance policies almost never cover flood damage, regardless of where you live. Given that South Carolina is a coastal state, residents who want to cover their home and personal property from flooding should definitely look into purchasing a separate flood insurance policy. The average cost of flood insurance in South Carolina is $672 per year.

Purchasing flood insurance will only be required if either:

  • Your lender requires it, or
  • You live in an area designated as a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) by the federal government, and you have a mortgage from a from a federally regulated or insured lender.

South Carolinians can find out their flood zone by entering their address into the FEMA Flood Map Service Center.

Even though it's a coastal state, very few South Carolina homeowners are covered against flood damage. South Carolina has about 200,000 flood insurance policies in force compared to 1.3 million owner-occupied housing units, meaning that less than 16% of the state's homeowners have a flood insurance policy. Conversely, most South Carolina homeowners have a home insurance policy, about 83%.

Owner-occupied housing unitsHome insurance policies in force (share of housing units)Flood insurance policies in force (share of housing units)
1,284,5321,064,782 (83%)199,631 (15.5%)
Owner-occupied housing unit numbers are taken from the United States Census Bureau, home and condo insurance policies in force are taken from the NAIC and flood insurance policies in force are taken from FEMA.

If you live in a lower-risk flood zone, and your lender doesn't require that you buy a policy, you won't have to. But we recommend the purchase of flood insurance even for those living in lower-risk flood zones. More than 20% of flood insurance claims come from properties in moderate- to low-risk zones, so homeowners in low-risk areas may still be vulnerable. And homeowners in these zones may be able to purchase a Preferred Risk Policy, which is a cheaper policy that can be bought for as little as $108 per year at its lowest coverage levels.

Is homeowners insurance required in South Carolina?

As in the rest of the country, there are no South Carolina homeowners insurance laws or regulations requiring you to have a policy. But if you get a mortgage, your lender will almost certainly require you to buy a policy. Considering most people borrow money to finance their home purchase, homeowners insurance is practically required.

However, if you pay for your home in cash — or if you've finished paying off your mortgage — you won't need a home insurance policy. We still highly recommend it as a form of financial protection for your home, which is many people's most valuable financial asset. Without a homeowners insurance policy to reimburse you for a damaging event, the value of your home is being put at risk.

Methodology

We studied 44 cities, spread out geographically across the state of South Carolina. The sample home we looked at featured a masonry veneer exterior and was 10 years old. Rates were collected using a $200,000 coverage level for a resident with average credit and no claims in the past five years. The annual home insurance rates in our study were for a policy which includes wind and hail coverage.

We measured customer satisfaction by a complaint ratio collected from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Customer complaints are weighted by market share, so the number of complaints is adjusted relative to the size of a company, with a median score of 1.0. The complaint ratio is drawn from the largest individual company under an insurance group that is active in the state. If the company name is distinct from the name of its insurance group, it is noted in parentheses. Only the top 10 insurance groups in the state, by market share, were included in the customer satisfaction analysis.

RankCityAverage Insurance RateCost Compared to Average
24Aiken$1,508-2%
12Anderson1,294-16%
20Barnwell1,476-4%
43Beaufort2,29149%
35Bennettsville1,78216%
40Bluffton2,01531%
34Camden1,6487%
44Charleston2,35854%
31Cheraw1,6296%
28Chester1,5491%
19Clinton1,468-4%
8Clover1,251-19%
5Columbia1,179-23%
37Dillon1,86421%
16Edgefield1,374-10%
14Florence1,362-11%
13Gaffney1,358-12%
38Goose Creek1,86421%
1Greenville1,053-31%
18Greenwood1,463-5%
2Greer1,114-27%
36Hartsville1,79917%
42Kingstree2,20143%
32Lancaster1,6437%
25Laurens1,521-1%
6Lexington1,184-23%
21Manning1,479-4%
23Newberry1,490-3%
41North Charleston2,04333%
33Orangeburg1,6467%
27Pageland1,5320%
7Pickens1,234-20%
4Rock Hill1,120-27%
29Saluda1,5732%
17Seneca1,388-10%
11Simpsonville1,279-17%
10Spartanburg1,254-18%
39Summerville1,89523%
30Sumter1,6226%
26Union1,5310%
15Walhalla1,364-11%
3Williamston1,118-27%
22Winnsboro1,483-3%
9York1,252-18%

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