8 Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in South Carolina of 2023

Find out top homeowners insurance in SC, how to save money on your homeowners insurance. Compare companies with the cheapest rates for you.
Charleston SC USA

South Carolina's picturesque landscape, with its mountains and beaches, is not without risks. The state's coastal location makes it susceptible to natural disasters like tropical storms, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and tornadoes. With nature's unpredictability, homeowners in South Carolina should consider securing their properties with comprehensive homeowners insurance.

Homeowners insurance is essential for safeguarding your home against unforeseen emergencies, providing coverage for damages from natural disasters and incidents like fire, theft, and smoke. However, coverage can vary among insurers. To better understand the specifics, refer to our detailed guide on homeowners insurance in South Carolina.

PropertyNest's expert editors have carefully selected the top homeowners insurance providers in the state. Compare their coverage and cost to find the best option for protecting your South Carolina home.

The Best Homeowners Insurance in South Carolina

  • Allstate: Best for Most Affordable
  • Liberty Mutual: Best for Discounts
  • State Farm: The Second-Best Affordable Home Insurance
  • Nationwide: Best for Financial Strength
  • South Carolina Farm Bureau: Best for Local Coverage
  • USAA: Best for Additional Coverage at No Cost to You
  • Safeco: Best for Replacement Cost
  • Amica Mutual: Best for Dividend Policy Option

Allstate: Best for Most Affordable Home Insurance

Allstate Homeowners Insurance SC
Editors star rating review
Editor's Rating (5 Stars out of 5)

Allstate is the most affordable homeowners insurance in South Carolina.

The average price for a standard policy is only $990 per year. Plus, if you calculate the price per town in South Carolina using a zip code, you’ll pay around only $1,000 annually.

The average rate of home insurance in South Carolina is $2,320, which means you can save $1,333 a year.

While the cost of an Allstate policy is cheap, the insurer also offers some coverages that are unique in the industry and come as add-ons that you must pay.

  • Yard and garden repairs, including trees and landscaping.
  • Recovery of personal electronic data like photos or videos.
  • Guest medical coverage is also known as no-fault coverage.

Read a full Allstate homeowners insurance review.

Allstate Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons

  • Easy-to-use website.
  • The optional Rate Guard feature locks in your premium.
  • Easy to bundle policies, including life insurance, which can save you up to 25%.
  • Up to 20% off if you switch to Allstate with a claim-free history.
  • Slightly below-average claims.
  • Personal property is lower than average and not up to the level that you would expect from a top leader.
  • Policy features are limited.
  • Rather than covering your total loss, coverage is capped at a set percentage of the dwelling coverage.
How is Allstate Homeowners Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000) 815
A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating A+
NAIC Complaint Index 2.05

Liberty Mutual: The Best Homeowners Insurance for Discounts

Liberty Mutual Homeowners Insurance SC
Editors star rating review
Editor's Rating (4.5 Stars out of 5)

Liberty Mutual’s homeowners insurance premium costs around $140 a month. It’s not the cheapest insurer out there, but it’s renowned for offering homeowners many discounts that can significantly lower their premiums.

The discount that puts the most dent in your premium is the multi-policy discount, like when you bundle your Liberty Mutual home insurance with auto.

Read a full Liberty Mutual home insurance review.

Here are the most popular discounts that Liberty offers:

Most Popular Discounts from Liberty Mutual
Discount Details
Claims-free If you’ve gone without a homeowners claim for five years or more with another insurer, you can get a discount if you switch to Liberty Mutual.
Safe Homeowner Program Policyholders who go three or more years without making a claim get a discount.
Protective Devices Adding security measures such as smoke alarms, deadbolts, fire extinguishers, fire alarms, and burglar alarms.
Newly Purchased Home Get a discount if you buy a new home.
New/Renovated Home Qualify for savings if you own a new or newly renovated home.
Early Shopper Discount Homeowners insured by another company who request a quote from Liberty Mutual before their current policy runs out get a discount.
Insured to Value Discount When you insure your home at replacement cost of up to 100% of the cost to remodel your home rather than at market value, you’ll also get a discount.
Preferred Payment Paying premiums through an automatic monthly transfer from your bank saves you money.
Military Discount rates to active members of the military and veterans.
New Roof Replacing your roof will get you a discount.
Online Sign-Up If you sign-up online, you get 10% off your base policy.

Liberty Mutual Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons

  • Affordable rates.
  • Available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Hurricane endorsement for South Carolina homeowners who live along the coast.
  • Online quotes.
  • Easy online claims filing.
  • Customer service is available on weekends.
  • Over 100 years of experience in the insurance industry.
  • Discount availability varies from state to state.
  • Limited extra coverage options.
  • Poorly-rated customer service.
  • High number of complaints for customer satisfaction based on NAIC rating.
  • May increase your policy or decline to insure you if you own certain dog breeds.
How is Liberty Mutual Homeowners Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000) 805
A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating A
NAIC Complaint Index 2.37

State Farm: The Second-Best Affordable Home Insurance

State Farm Homeowners Insurance SC
Editors star rating review
Editor's Rating (4.5 Stars out of 5)

State Farm is one of the largest homeowners insurance companies in the U.S.

And yet, the behemoth insurer offers some of the cheapest rates in South Carolina.

The average price of coverage for a standard homeowners insurance policy from State Farm is $1,390 per year.

That may sound like a lot, but if you consider the average rate of home insurance in South Carolina, which is $2,320, you'll save almost $1,000 a year.

Because State Farm, like Allstate, has the most affordable rates, there’s wiggle room if you want to customize your policy to ensure you have the right coverage to protect your home.

This means you can purchase add-ons for more protection.

For example, if you live along South Carolina’s southeastern coast, earthquakes are common, so you should get an earthquake endorsement,

You can also add water or sewer backup protection, which never comes standard in a basic homeowners insurance policy.

State Farm also has a comprehensive website that allows you to get a detailed quote minutes after you fill out the online application.

The website also allows you to manage your insurance. You can pay a bill, file or manage a claim, and handle most maintenance tasks online or on the app.

If you’re not tech-savvy, State Farm is still easy to work with as it has a plethora of local agents across South Carolina that you can call.

Read a full State Farm homeowners insurance review.

State Farm Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons

  • 19,000 local agents throughout the US.
  • Numerous insurance products available to bundle.
  • Policies are generally well-received across the industry.
  • If you have energy-efficient appliances, you can get coverage for that.
  • If you upgrade to a weather-resistant roof, you get a roofing discount because natural disasters like heavy rain can destroy your roof.
  • Can be affordable, but in most cases, the cheapest rate comes only after you bundle.
  • Not available in Massachusetts or Rhode Island.
  • Limited discounts.
  • Lower than average consumer satisfaction with homeowners claims.
How is State Farm Homeowners Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000) 829
A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating A++
NAIC Complaint Index 1.77

Nationwide: Best Homeowners Insurance for Financial Strength and Third-Party Ratings

Nationwide Homeowners Insurance SC
Editors star rating review
Editor's Rating (4 Stars out of 5)

Nationwide, it is much more expensive than other companies we reviewed in South Carolina.

But the company has a generous multi-policy discount if you bundle your home insurance with its auto insurance policy or another type of property insurance.

Nationwide offers many discounts that will lower the high rate of its premium.

But Nationwide is also known for having a high financial strength as well as excellent ratings by third-party reviewers.

You want a company with strong financial stability because then you’ll have peace of mind that it can pay out your claim on time and in full.

As such, Nationwide garnered the following ratings.

Nationwide Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons

  • Flexible policies for different types of homes and budgets.
  • Multiple discounts bring the insurer’s high premiums down.
  • Easy to use online application.
  • Simple claims process.
  • If you install some sort of security in your home that can minimize burglaries and break-ins, you’ll get a discount.
  • Hurricanes and other natural disasters can cause serious roof damage. If you reinforce or replace your roof gets you a discount.
  • Water-backup endorsement coverage can cost you an additional $100 a year. (Typically, this should only add about $15 or $20 to your annual premium.).
  • Coverage in Washington, D.C., and every state except Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, and Massachusetts.
  • Doesn’t insure mobile or manufactured homes.
How is Nationwide Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000) 816
A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating A+
NAIC Complaint Index 0.88

South Carolina Farm Bureau: Best Home Insurance for Local Coverage

South Carolina Farm Bureau Home Insurance
Editors star rating review
Editor's Rating (4 Stars out of 5)

You don’t have to be a farmer to get Farm Bureau insurance.

Farm Bureau's South Carolina subsidiary, the South Carolina Farm Bureau, is best for residents who prefer their insurer to have local roots.

That way, agents are more familiar with your area and can offer customized service.

SC Farm Bureau's home insurance policy requires that you become a member of its Farm Bureau at a cost.

This enables you to get discounts in your area beyond just your homeowners insurance coverage, such as locally grown food.

The insurer gives back to South Carolina’s community by helping farmers and consumers protect its local supply of food.

However, the insurer has high rates. The average annual cost is $1,770, higher than most comparable companies.

Still, the South Carolina Farm Bureau has some discounts that can lower your premium. These include:

Bundling your homeowners insurance with an auto policy.

Installing security systems or protective devices in your home and living in a safe neighborhood with a low crime rate and near a fire hydrant.

Remaining claims-free for at least five continuous years.

South Carolina Farm Bureau Home Insurance Pros & Cons

  • Guaranteed Replacement Cost reimburses 100% of the cost to rebuild a home after a covered loss.
  • Customers praise helpful agents.
  • Filing a claim is easy.
  • Farm Bureau membership grants you access to benefits and discounts beyond just your insurance coverage.
  • Members are eligible to vote within the American Farm Bureau. Federation on policy positions and partner discounts.
  • Also offers renters insurance.
  • All SC Farm Bureau Insurance policyholders must purchase a Farm Bureau policy.
  • Farm Bureau membership costs a lot. Depending on where you live, your rate starts at $20 and goes up to $125 a year.
  • People who work in agriculture pay more for a standard membership.
  • AM Best recently downgraded the insurer (it has since been rated “excellent”) to “good,” which means its financial strength was once low.
South Carolina Farm Bureau
A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating A

USAA: Best for Additional Coverage at No Cost to You

USAA Homeowners Insurance, South Carolina
Editors star rating review
Editor's Rating (5 Stars out of 5)

USAA is dedicated to serving retired military staff and their families.

And they do. From replacing a uniform to having the best-rated customer service, USAA has it all.

Specifically, its standard coverage is excellent, as it offers you coverage that isn’t typically included in other insurers’ homeowners policies, and at no cost to you.

USAA offers in their standard policy flood, storm, and earthquake coverage.

An earthquake endorsement can pay for your home if it’s destroyed by this natural disaster. You typically pay extra for this coverage in other policies. It’s quite useful because South Carolina is prone to earthquakes.

USAA also offers replacement cost coverage without you having to buy a separate endorsement. Since the state also suffers from hurricanes, the cost of your damaged or destroyed personal property will not be reimbursed to you at a depreciated cost.

This is also called ACV or actual cash value.

But with replacement cost, if your three-year-old laptop is destroyed by a covered peril, you’ll be reimbursed for the cost of a laptop at today’s prices.

Also, the insurer offers up to $750,000 worth of personal property coverage.

USAA Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons

  • No monthly maintenance fee, which makes USAA affordable.
  • Provides up to $1 million worth of liability protection.
  • To cancel policy, you can easily do it through the app.
  • No ACV means no depreciated cost.
  • Only available for past or present military members and their families.
  • Doesn’t offer loss of use coverage; nearly every insurer offers this as part of its basic policy.
How is USAA Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000) 882
A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating A++
NAIC Complaint Index 0.88

Safeco: Best Homeowners Insurance for Replacement Cost

Safeco Home Insurance, SC
Editors star rating review
Editor's Rating (4 Stars out of 5)

South Carolina residents who live near the coast or the mountains should consider Safeco, a nationally recognized insurer backed by the high-profile insurance company Liberty Mutual.

That’s because Safeco offers replacement cost coverage.

Replacement cost means that the cost to replace an item will be of similar type and quality, which means that the insurer will reimburse your belongings using today’s prices.

This is unlike ACV, where you get the depreciated value of your property that will not fully cover replacing it.

With Safeco, replacement cost is purchased as an endorsement. It will increase your home’s coverage limits by an additional 25% or 50% if the cost to rebuild the house exceeds your dwelling coverage.

Replacement cost is essential for those who live in the southern area of South Carolina since that part of the state is prone to natural disasters.

Safeco also sells a Premier Plan with guaranteed replacement cost, which will pay if you need to rebuild your home from a covered peril regardless of the price.

For South Carolina residents who live in hurricane cities or suburbs, this plan is essential for them to have.

Safeco Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons

  • Wide range of coverage endorsements and coverage enhancements.
  • If your household appliances are damaged in a covered incident (like a fire), you can have them repaired or replaced. This add-on costs only $2 a month.
  • If your home was built within the last 10 years, you'll qualify for savings.
  • Optional service line protects if utility and power lines under and around your property break down.
  • Offers identity theft coverage.
  • 24/7 claims assistance hotline.
  • Allows homeowners to get property damage estimates via video chat.
  • Has a free contractor referral service available to most customers.
  • NAIC score is below average customer service ratings.
  • Scored low marks for the price of policies compared to the level of coverage offered.
  • Offers fewer opportunities for saving than some other major insurance companies.
  • Doesn't offer any unique discounts.
  • Unlike many of its competitors, homeowners can’t complete application entirely online and must speak with an agent.
How is Safeco Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000) 809
A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating A
NAIC Complaint Index 1.22

Amica Mutual: Best Homeowners Insurance for Dividend Policy Option

Amica homeowners insurance South Carolina
Editors star rating review
Editor's Rating (4 Stars out of 5)

If you go with Amica Mutual, you’ll be automatically included in the insurer’s dividend program, which is often not offered in other comparable companies and can save you on the cost of your premium.

The dividend program allows you to invest your policy premium as a dividend.

In other words, you pay more of your policy upfront. At the end of your insurance term, you’ll be refunded a portion of your money, which will offset the overall amount of the premium you pay.

The reimbursement is, on average, 5% to 20% of your annual premium.

Amica--which has been rated #1 with JD Power for 18 years, which no insurance company on this list can compare—also offers much more.

For example, the insurer features up to 30% more home replacement coverage than a standard policy.

You can also choose a higher coverage limit to replace valuables that a standard policy can’t fully cover.

As an add-on, this means you’ll pay less out-of-pocket costs.

You can cancel your policy at any time without a penalty and also make a claim 24/7.

Amica Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons

  • Handles claims quickly and efficiently.
  • Great customer service.
  • Replacement value for personal belongings.
  • Availability: 48 states and the District of Columbia.
  • Ability to receive quote online.
  • Many ways to get discounts to lower premiums.
  • The average premium is higher than the national average.
  • Certain types of structures, such as mobile homes, farms, and ranches, are not typically eligible for coverage.
  • Dividend policy not available in California, Florida, Missouri, and North Carolina.
  • Doesn’t use independent agents.
  • Not all policies can be quoted online.
How is Amica Homeowners Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000) 849
A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating A+
NAIC Complaint Index 0.32

Why Trust Us When Shopping for Renters Insurance?

Our Methodology

We thoroughly researched 18 of the top homeowners insurance companies in the state and narrowed the list down to those that operated in South Carolina.

We rated them on criteria that included ease of use, ratings, financial strength, customer, and affordability.

We surveyed insurance coverage prices in Charleston, Columbia, North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, and Rock Hill.

How We Ranked and Picked the Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in South Carolina

We gathered information from multiple trusted sites in homeowners insurance and the websites of insurance companies and narrowed down our search to the needs of South Carolina residents by prioritizing the following:


Discounts are important for both the customer and the insurer. If a company has discounts, it can attract more people.

If a company has many discounts, this makes a premium more affordable for prospective policyholders.

So, the amount of discounts a company had made an impression on us.

If an insurer’s standard or basic homeowner insurance policy includes features or benefits that usually cost an additional amount as an add-on with other insurers, we put that company on our list.

A multi-policy or bundling discount was also important because it gives policyholders the highest percentage of their premiums.


A company’s coverage options narrowed down our list. If the company had many types of coverage, we took note.

If the coverage did not come in a standard policy and had to be added to it at an extra cost, then we evaluated a company by the endorsements it has that are available to customers.


With its website and app, an insurer makes buying a policy or making a claim easier. Technology helps you save time, as you can pay your bill, for example, any time you want.

So, we made sure that each company we looked at had a user-friendly website and app that could be navigated by virtually everyone, not just by the tech-savvy.

Customer Reviews

We reviewed published consumer ratings and reviews of homeowners insurance providers.

We spent a good amount of time looking at third-party reviews, but only if they were reputable and vetted, such as Consumer Affairs.

Insurers with a good number of quality consumer ratings and reviews were included in our list.


Naturally, when it came to price, we looked at insurers that had low premiums.

But we also looked at insurers with premiums above the state or national average.

That’s because we discovered that a high premium policy could be significantly lowered if you took advantage of a company’s discounts.

Related: Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in the U.S.


We surveyed insurance coverage prices in Charleston, Columbia, North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, and Rock Hill.

Do I Need Homeowners Insurance if I live in South Carolina?

Homeowners insurance coverage is not required by law.

However, if you have a mortgage, the lender will most likely require you to insure your home to protect its investment.

But even if you don’t have a mortgage, it’s best to get a policy because it gives you peace of mind.

South Carolina Home Insurance Coverage

Here’s what South Carolina home insurance typically covers for a standard insurance policy:


This covers damage to your house. For example, the insurer will cover the cost of rebuilding your home if it’s destroyed in a fire or other covered peril.

Learn more about the homeowners fire insurance coverage.

Other Structures

This is part of dwelling, but it differs. It covers stand-alone structures on your property, like a fence or a shed. This coverage usually makes up 10% of dwelling coverage.


If you cause bodily injury or property damage to another person unintentionally or through neglect, your policy will pay for medical bills, necessary repairs or replacements, and legal fees if you’re sued.


It pays if someone is injured on your property and needs medical treatment, regardless of who’s at fault. Also, pay if you, a family member, or a pet like a dog injures someone elsewhere.

Personal Property

Pays to repair or replace stolen or damaged belongings in a covered peril, whether in your home or on a trip. Personal property coverage is usually 50% to 70% of dwelling coverage.

Loss of Use

If a covered event destroys your property to the point that it is unhabitable, loss of use will pay for your temporary living expenses, such as staying at hotels or motels, having meals at restaurants, and other necessary expenses, such as laundry service. Loss of use coverage is usually 20% of dwelling coverage.

Key Takeaway

Standard homeowners insurance policies typically do not include coverage for valuable jewelry, artwork, and other collectibles, identity theft protection, or damage caused by an earthquake or a flood.

How Much Does Homeowners Insurance Cost in South Carolina?

The average rate of home insurance in South Carolina is $2,320 per year for $250,000 in dwelling coverage.

In comparison, the national average home insurance premium for the same amount of coverage is $1,310 per year.

So, South Carolina coverage is higher than the national average.

If you want to save, turn to Allstate or State Farm because they have the cheapest premiums.

Allstate costs around $1,000 per year, and State Farm is slightly higher at $1,390 a year.

South Carolina homeowners pay more for home insurance than such states as North Carolina ($1,295 per year) and Georgia ($1,375 per year).

However, the premium you pay differs from that of another policyholder. Each person will get a different quote due to certain factors and due to which company you choose.

What Determines Your Premium

The following factors determine your premium:

  • Your home’s condition and style of build
  • If your home is new or recently renovated
  • If you made alterations to your house that could protect it from a natural disaster, such as installing a new roof

Safe Neighborhood

If you live in a safe, crime-free neighborhood and you have installed security cameras or alarm systems and deadbolts in your house, you’ll pay less.

High-Priced Possessions

You'll pay more if you plan on insuring high-value personal belongings with additional coverage. Additional coverage, or an add-on, mostly comes with a fee for most insurers. So, your premium will go up if you purchase extra coverage.

No Flood Area

Your rate will be low if you live in a neighborhood not prone to flooding.

Credit Score

You'll get a cheaper rate if you have a high credit score above 700.

If your score is low, around under 650, you can expect a higher premium.


If you raise your deductible, your rate will be lowered.

Claims History

If you have never made a claim with another insurer and then move on to a new insurer with a clean record, your rate will go down.

The Insurer You Choose

Your premium will vary from company to company for the same level of coverage.

This is why it’s important to compare policies from different companies so you can make an educated decision.

Key Takeaway

The average rate of home insurance in South Carolina is $2,320 per year for $250,000 in dwelling coverage. The quote you get from an insurer will be different from another prospective policyholder due to the insurer’s premiums.

What Natural Disasters In South Carolina Will Affect My Premium?

Many people move to South Carolina because of the state’s bountiful (and many) mountains and beautiful beaches.

However, living in a coastal state has many risks.


The frequency of hurricanes in South Carolina is the reason why many homes are damaged or destroyed.


Tornadoes are also common in the state, and this natural disaster comes with heavy wind, rain, and hail that can cause severe property damage and occur anywhere in the state.


Earthquakes can also affect your home. You wouldn’t expect it, but South Carolina suffers from 10 to 15 recorded earthquakes each year.


Flooding due to hurricanes, tropical storms, and storm surges, for example, is why your personal property can get damaged or even destroyed.

What Natural Disasters are Covered, and What are Not?

Covered Perils

A standard homeowners insurance policy typically covers natural disasters caused by an explosion, fire, lightning, hail, windstorm, hurricanes, tornadoes, extreme cold, volcanoes, and theft.

So, you'll be covered if a hurricane rips the roof off your home.

Since the state is prone to storms, hurricanes, and tornados, South Carolina residents need to insure their homes with a comprehensive replacement cost policy to ensure their homes and personal belongings are fully protected in the event of a disaster.

Perils Not Covered

A standard homeowners insurance policy does not cover flood damage and earthquakes.


For South Carolina residents who live near a fault line, getting earthquake coverage is imperative as an added cost to your policy.

If you don’t buy coverage, you may have to pay a lot in out-of-pocket costs to rebuild your home after an earthquake.


No matter where you live, a home insurance policy never covers flooding.

And most don’t pay for water damage due to floods.

An example is that while an insurer may cover water damage if your roof leaks due to a hurricane, it won’t cover flood damage from the same hurricane.

For coverage, you need to add flood insurance to your policy.

Insurers don’t provide flood insurance in their basic policy because when a flood happens, the amount the insurers have to pay out in claims settlements is far greater than the amount they take from premium payments.

Remember that your rate will increase if you add earthquake and flood insurance to your policy.

You’ll pay more, but be protected, especially if an earthquake makes your home uninhabitable.

Key Takeaway

Once you understand what damage will affect your home and personal property in your area, you may feel better informed to choose the right add-ons to protect your finances.

How Can I Lower My Homeowners Insurance Premium?

Shop Around

Get quotes from as many insurers as you can. Then you can compare them to choose the most affordable one.

You can also speak to an agent to get a more informed view of what you have to pay for your premium.


When speaking to agents, you can ask them what discounts you may qualify for.

Most insurers have a multi-policy or bundling discount. Being able to bundle your homeowners insurance with your auto policy can give you a big price break.

Many discounts are easy to get. Putting up security details in your home or paying by direct deposit are just two of many discounts that will lower your premium.

Speak to Agents

Don't consider price alone. The insurer you select should have friendly reps, high-quality customer service, and an affordable price. You can ascertain how good a company is after talking to several insurers.

Raise Your Deductible

Deductibles are the amount of money you need to come up with toward a loss before your insurance company starts to pay a claim.

The standard deductible in the home insurance industry is usually at least $500.

If you can afford to raise your deductible to $1,000, you may save as much as 25%.

The higher your deductible, the more money you can save on your premiums.

How to Make Your Home More Resistant to Natural Disasters


You can save on your premiums if you replace or reinforce your roof or if you shell out for stronger roofing materials.

Old Home

Older homes can be retrofitted to make them more resistant to the earthquakes that occur in South Carolina.

If you also update your HVAC and electrical systems in your old house, you’ll also save.

Make Your Home a Fortress

Having a safe home by adding a smoke detector, a burglar alarm, or deadbolt locks can save you at least 5% on your premiums.

If you add reinforced windows, install security cameras, a fire alarm, and a sprinkler system, some companies are willing to reduce your premium by as much as 15 or 20%.

Maintain Your Credit Score

Insurers use your credit information to determine the cost of the premium you’ll pay.

If you have a high credit score, try not to get it lowered if you get a new credit card. Applying for credit will trigger a hard inquiry that can knock a few points off your credit score.

If your score is average or below average, improve your credit score by paying off any debt on your credit cards if you have the money.

If you don’t have the money, pay your bills on time and keep your credit balances as low as possible. Even paying the minimum on your credit cards will increase your credit score because it shows you are paying your bills on time and that you have established a long and good credit history.

Also, check your credit score regularly and have any errors corrected as soon as you can to ensure your record remains accurate.

The better your score, the cheaper you’ll pay in premiums.

Stay With the Same Insurer

Being a long-term policyholder has its awards.

If you stay with an insurer for three to five years, you may reduce your premium by 5%.

If you remain with an insurer for six years or more, you may be entitled to 10% off your premium.

Live Near a Fire Department

If you can try to buy a house that is near a professional (not volunteer) fire department, or if you live close to a fire hydrant, you’ll get a discount.

How to Find the Best Homeowners Insurance for You

Getting different quotes online through insurers’ websites should be your top priority when looking to buy homeowners insurance.

You should compare quotes to find the most affordable policy.

If you apply for insurance using a company’s website but can’t get a quote online and need to call an agent to complete the transaction, or if an agent has to call you after you apply, you may consider looking at other insurers due to the hassle.

Besides affordability, if the company doesn’t have a useful website or app where you can apply and get accepted online, it should be high on your list of what you want from a company.

That means a simple-to-use website and app where you can make a claim, pay your bill, review your policy, and do other things related to your insurance.

This is convenient because you can accomplish these things and more whenever you feel like it.

On occasions, you do need to speak to a live agent, but a good insurance company is one where you save time. A website or app that anyone can navigate saves you time.

Once you compare quotes from different companies and consider each of their technologies, you should look for discounts that could lower your quote.

The more discounts a company has, the more affordable your premium will be.

Remember that just because some insurers have high premiums doesn’t necessarily mean you should avoid them.

If you can bundle, your premium will significantly drop. If the company has many discounts like Liberty Mutual, which we reviewed here, then that high premium will likely be lowered.

Also, find information about a company relating to how fast it can reimburse you for a claim and how fast you can make a claim. If the claims process is lagging or slow, or if reimbursement takes a long time, that’s a company you don’t want.

Once you find a company you like, research it thoroughly to see what coverage it has and doesn’t.

Remember, a standard policy will only cover a limited expense, not up to the full value of your most prized possessions.

For example, a standard homeowners insurance policy will only pay up to the policy limit if you have an expensive property like jewelry.

Then, you will not be reimbursed up to the full value of your jewelry and may have to pay out of pocket to make up the difference.

But if you schedule your items, that add-on will ensure your jewelry is fully protected.

Key Takeaway

Once you find the best homeowners insurance, you’ll have a ballpark figure of the policy's cost and the additional coverage you may need to cover valuable items.

How Much Homeowners Insurance Do You Need?

If you can find out how much it costs to rebuild your home if it gets destroyed or damaged, then this is the starting point of how much insurance you need.

After you calculate all the extra policies you need, such as increasing your property coverage or taking out a flood insurance policy, you’ll be able to figure out how much extra funds you need in addition to the basic policy cost.

If you can’t come to a consensus on how much additional insurance you should get, you should do a home inventory.

A home inventory is a catalog of all your belongings. It should include house, yard, garage, car, and office items.

You can start a home inventory if you know how much you paid for each item.

If you don’t recall the price of an item like your laptop, go online to find a similar one to settle the price.

In some cases, you’ll find that you have more precious belongings than you thought. That’s just one reason why a home inventory is helpful.

After pricing and making a list of all your belongings, ensure you include information about each to help your insurer correctly calculate your reimbursement payout after a loss.

The information can include a photo of the item, a description, the make, model, or serial number (if that’s easily available), the original cost, the date of purchase, and the receipt (if you have it).

The home inventory should tell you how much coverage you need.

It is also helpful to your insurance company.

If a covered peril destroys your personal property, your insurer will know which items were affected and how much the insurer needs to reimburse you for replacing such items.

Key Takeaway

A home inventory ensures adequate insurance coverage and makes the claims process easier if your belongings get damaged or destroyed.

Augustine Reyes Chan
About the author

As a real estate professional, Augustine Reyes Chan has helped many buyers and sellers through the process of homeownership. He is an expert in the field of how-to for potential buyers, qualifying for a mortgage, and all that goes into car, homeowners, and renters insurance. Augustine Reyes Chan graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Bachelor's degree in Sociology.