Renters Insurance

The Best Cheap Renters Insurance in South Carolina

Choosing the best renters insurance involves finding which provider balances affordability with protective coverage and responsive customer service. In order to help you find the best renters insurance in South Carolina, we collected 125 quotes from across the state.

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The lowest price for renters insurance that we found was about $12 per month, or $149 per year. Below, we reveal the cheapest provider and highlight the top choices for renters insurance in SC.

Best renters insurance for most people: State Farm

State Farm has the cheapest rates in an otherwise pricey state for renters insurance.
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The good:

  • Most affordable renters insurance premiums
  • Highly dependable customer service

The bad:

  • Comparatively fewer upgrades available
  • Excludes some shoreline renters from coverage

The best renters insurance provider for most people in South Carolina is State Farm. On average, renters are most likely to get the cheapest renters insurance from State Farm — even as South Carolina's rates are typically more expensive than those of the rest of the country.

The average cost of renters insurance from State Farm is around $12 per month, or $149 per year. This makes State Farm's typical rate 35% cheaper than the statewide average. Additionally, State Farm is the only provider in the state that offers coverage for less than $200 per year. However, people living on the coast might have a hard time getting renters insurance from State Farm without talking to an agent.

State Farm's customer service is among the best in South Carolina. J.D. Power placed State Farm's service third in its survey of the nation's largest renters insurance providers. In addition, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) State Farm receives far fewer complaints for its market share, or size.

If there's any downside to State Farm renters insurance, it's the lack of upgrades or endorsements offered compared to its competitors. However, renters in parts of South Carolina that experience earthquakes might find State Farm's upgrades useful: You can add earthquake insurance to a basic policy.

Best renters insurance for complete coverage: Travelers

Travelers allows its policyholders to maximize their coverages with a wide range of upgrades.
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The good:

  • More upgrades offered than any other provider
  • Few restrictions on coverage for coastal dwellers

The bad:

  • Requires you to pay yearly instead of monthly
  • Average to below-average customer service

Travelers has the best renters insurance for tenants searching for the policy with the most coverage. Travelers offers more endorsements than any of the other companies in South Carolina we surveyed. Along with the protection offered by a standard policy, you can purchase the following coverages from Travelers:

  • Water backup protection: Pays for damages arising from malfunctioning drains or sump pump.
  • Replacement cost coverage: Reimburses you for the full value of your lost property rather than its depreciated value.
  • Equipment breakdown: Covers electrical or mechanical damage to your appliances.
  • Identity theft protection: Access credit monitoring services and recovery resources if your identity is stolen.

Travelers is slightly less expensive than average in South Carolina at $223 per year. Although this represents a monthly commitment of $19, Travelers requires you to pay the full amount of your annual premium at once. Still, besides Travelers, there are only two other providers we found that were cheaper than South Carolina's average.

While Travelers receives fewer complaints than its size would lead you to expect, its service was rated poorly by J.D. Power. Renters looking for the company with the best customer service might consider another provider, but Travelers' low number of complaints suggests it shouldn't be excluded from consideration altogether.

Best renters insurance for military families: USAA

USAA has an expansive number of protections — as long as you're eligible for coverage.
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The good:

  • Provides a number of premium services for free
  • Great customer service

The bad:

  • Not available for all South Carolinians

USAA carries the best renters insurance in South Carolina. However, coverage is exclusively available to the state's active and reserve armed service members, veterans and their families. Only these qualifying people can request detailed rate information from the provider.

The standard coverage afforded by USAA comes with a few forms of protection that are typically costly upgrades for policyholders, including earthquake and flood insurance. Both of these protections could be valuable for many of South Carolina's coastal dwelling families, or for houses near earthquake-prone zones.

For its service, USAA receives few complaints — notable for the size of the provider. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners indicates that USAA receives only about one-fourth of the complaints expected. Additionally, J.D. Power ranks USAA renters insurance second among national providers.

How we chose the best renters insurance in SC

We evaluated three areas of each renters insurance company to decide which was the best for most people in South Carolina. We looked at each company's:

  • Affordability: What the typical renter might expect to owe for coverage.
  • Coverage options: The strength of a policy's basic and extra features.
  • Customer service: How dependable, fair and responsive a company is.

Affordability: Comparing the price of coverage in South Carolina

The average cost of renters insurance in SC is about $19 per month, or $230 per year. The cost of coverage in South Carolina is higher than the average price of renters insurance in the rest of the country, which we found is about $16 per month.

State Farm offers the cheapest renters insurance in South Carolina, while GEICO typically charges the most money for coverage.

A bar graph showing the average costs of renters insurance in South Carolina
A bar graph showing the average costs of renters insurance in South Carolina
Insurance providerAverage cost (per month)Average cost (per year)% difference from SC average
State Farm$12$149-35%
Allstate$17$204-11%
Travelers$19$223-3%
Liberty Mutual$20$2342%
Nationwide$21$2519%
GEICO$25$29428%

Your premium depends on several factors in addition to which company you purchase coverage from, including your location, the state of your apartment or house and your coverage levels. With this in mind, here are the coverage levels we requested rates for:

  • Personal property protection: $30,000
  • Liability coverage: $100,000
  • Medical payments to others: $1,000
  • Deductible: $500

Even if you purchase the same amount of coverage as a neighbor, you probably won't get the same rates as they will. This is because your premiums are determined by your personal information, like your age, marital status and insurance history. Our sample profile was a 30-year-old male with no spouse, pets or insurance history.

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Coverage options: Evaluating the protective features available with each insurer

Unlike homeowners insurance, which is often required by mortgage lenders, renters insurance isn't an obligation in South Carolina. Since it's a voluntary investment, we clarify below the range of features offered by each insurer to show where you can get the most coverage for the price.

InsurerPersonal property coveragePersonal liabilityEarthquakeWater-backup coverageIdentity theft protectionReplacement-cost coverageValuables plus
State Farm$10,000 – more than $100,000$100,000 – $1 millionX-X-X
USAAUnknownUnknownX--XX
Nationwide$15,000 – more than $100,000$100,000 – $1 million-XXXX
Liberty Mutual$5,000 – $25,000$100,000 – $1 millionX-XXX
Allstate$15,000 – more than $100,000$100,000 – $500,000--X--
Travelers$30,000 – more than 100,000$100,000 – $500,000XXXXX
An asterisk indicates this coverage is included with a standard policy.

Customer service: Gauging the reliability of renters insurance companies in South Carolina

We consulted three measurements of service to check which renters insurance provider in SC is the most dependable. Our findings are based on each company's: NAIC Complaint Index, J.D. Power's Homeowners Insurance Study - Renters and AM Best's Financial Strength Ratings (FSR).

GroupNAIC Complaint IndexJ.D. Power score (out of 14)A.M. Best FSR
State Farm0.353rdA++
Allstate0.476thA+
USAA0.252ndA++
Travelers0.4613thA++
Liberty Mutual0.5211thA
Nationwide0.447thA+
Southern Farm Bureau0.00Not ratedB++
Auto-Owners Insurance Co0.25Not ratedA++
United P&C6.15Not ratedNot rated
Farmers0.189thA

NAIC Complaint Index: A Complaint Index communicates the number of complaints a company receives relative to its size. The NAIC uses 1.00 as a benchmark to represent the typical or expected number of complaints a company ought to have. With a Complaint Index of 1.50, an insurer gets 50% more complaints than its size suggests.

J.D. Power Homeowners Insurance Study - Renters Insurance: J.D. Power evaluates 14 of the nation's largest renters insurance providers according to responses about their service, price and policy offerings. The feedback received is polymerized into an overall satisfaction number, which is used to rank providers.

A.M. Best FSR: The Financial Strength Rating comments on an insurer's ability to pay its claims and meet its other financial obligations in times of economic distress. Most companies get high marks, but A.M. Best's analysis is useful for spotlighting risky companies to purchase coverage from.

South Carolina renters insurance rates: City-by-city breakdowns

Our analysis of the best renters insurance in SC allowed us to take up the cost of coverage in the state's largest cities. Like in other states that have long shorelines, renters in South Carolina who live closest to the ocean or along another body of water may have trouble finding coverage, or may see rate hikes.

For this reason, renters insurance in Myrtle Beach is $327, much more expensive than the state's already high cost of coverage. Residents of Hilton Head, too, are likely to see increased premiums.

While coverage is most expensive in Myrtle Beach, the cheapest city for renters insurance in SC is Greer.

CityAverage cost (per month)Average cost (per year)% difference from SC average
Charleston, SC$24$28726%
Columbia, SC$19$2280%
North Charleston, SC$23$27119%
Mount Pleasant, SC$25$29931%
Rock Hill, SC$18$219-4%
Greenville, SC$18$215-6%
Summerville, SC$21$25612%
Goose Creek, SC$21$25813%
Sumter, SC$20$2384%
Hilton Head Island, SC$26$31538%
Florence, SC$19$224-2%
Spartanburg, SC$20$2405%
Myrtle Beach, SC$27$32743%
Aiken, SC$19$226-1%
Greer, SC$17$205-10%
Anderson, SC$18$218-4%
Mauldin, SC$18$214-6%
Socastee, SC$24$29228%
Greenwood, SC$18$219-4%
Conway, SC$23$28123%
St. Andrews, SC$18$221-3%
Wade Hampton, SC$17$207-9%
West Columbia, SC$18$217-5%
Clemson, SC$18$214-6%
Dentsville, SC$18$221-3%

Methodology

The sample profile we used to complete our statewide analysis of the best renters insurance in South Carolina was a 30-year-old unmarried renter with no history of insurance claims. We collected quotes for coverage equalling $30,000 of personal property protection, $100,000 of liability and $1,000 of medical payments.

Chris Moon

Chris is a Product Manager for ValuePenguin with years of experience in addressing critical questions about mortgages and homeowners insurance. He spends his time evaluating insurance providers and policy features to understand where consumers might find the most cost-effective coverage. Chris has contributed insights to the New York Times and many other publications.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.