Frequent severe weather adds up

The southeastern coastal state of South Carolina is known for its Blue Ridge Mountains, clear water lakes, and sandy beaches, as well as its humidity and occasionally severe weather. South Carolina homeowners should consider purchasing some kind of home insurance for protection against damage from the occasional earthquake, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other unforeseeable disasters.

How Much Does South Carolina Home Insurance Cost?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2010, the average annual premium for homeowners insurance in South Carolina was $997. Insurance companies consider several factors when determining the cost of a homeowner’s insurance.

The cost of homeowner’s coverage depends on the location, age, and construction materials of a home. Other factors that determine the cost of coverage include the amount of coverage purchased, the deductible amount, and the discounts offered. Discounts may be offered for insuring your home and car with the same company or installing impact-resistant roofing, wind-resistant laminated glass, smoke and fire alarms, sprinkler systems, deadbolt locks, burglar alarms, or other safety products.

What Does It Cover?

Homeowner’s insurance protects you from financial loss if your home’s structure or the personal property inside it is damaged or lost to storms, fire, theft, or any other peril outlined in your insurance policy. A homeowner’s insurance policy will usually state what is covered, including damage to the house and other structures such as a detached garage, tool shed, or fencing, personal property, additional living expenses during repairs to cover the normal standard of living should the house be unlivable due to loss, personal liability, and medical expenses. Most policies include personal liability coverage, which protects against claims and lawsuits that result from you being liable for another person’s injuries or property damage.

Do I Have to Get Home Insurance in South Carolina?

Home insurance is not required by law in South Carolina. But buying insurance can help protect your house and property against damage from unforeseen circumstances, and liability for accidents that injure other people or damage their property. More information for consumers about homeowners insurance is available from the Rhode Island Department of Insurance.

Optional Coverage to Consider

  • Flood. Flood insurance is typically excluded from homeowner’s insurance policies. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides coverage to participating communities that adopt and enforce FEMA-standard flooding ordinances. Flood insurance premiums are based on the building’s year of construction, its occupancy, the number of floors, and its flood risk. The NFIP reports that 20% to 25% of flooding claims come from low-risk areas, so it may be a good idea to consider flood insurance regardless of your home’s risk of flooding.
  • Fire and Lightning. Fire and lightning cause millions of dollars in losses each year, and coverage for these perils is standard in most homeowner’s insurance policies. Access to a fire department, fire hydrant, and fire safety equipment such as a sprinkler system or smoke alarms, as well as your property’s structural resistance to fire will all impact your insurance premium. After a fire, you should contact your insurance agency immediately, make an inventory of all damages, and keep all receipts from after the disaster.
  • Windstorm. Most homeowner’s policies cover tornado, hurricane, or other wind damages to the structure or contents of a home. Homeowners who live in areas of the state with a history of severe weather may need to purchase additional coverage for damage from wind. The South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association (SCWHUA) provides wind and hail coverage for residential properties in the coastal area of South Carolina.

Mobile Home Insurance in South Carolina

A mobile or manufactured home insurance policy covers property damage, casualty damage, and liability claims, as well as loss of use coverage to provide housing, meals, and storage in the event that damage leaves the home unlivable. Mobile home insurance is not as standardized as homeowner’s insurance, so be sure to check which perils are included and which are excluded from your insurance package. A mobile policy may be terminated if the policy holder does not make regular payment, if the insurance company finds that the claims or the insurance application is fraudulent or misrepresenting information, or if the policy holder has intentionally caused damage or has omitted maintenance leading to damage covered by the homeowner’s insurance policy.

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