Your Eye in the Hurricane: South Carolina Home Insurance

Summer in South Carolina is supposed to be a time of leisure --soaking up rays on the beaches, breaking out the driver on a beautiful fairway, or just kicking back with some boiled peanuts on the back patio. Unfortunately, summer is also prime hurricane season. The last thing you want to do is spend the days worrying about whether your home is adequately protected. You can avoid this concern by comparing South Carolina home insurance quotes. The more information you have, the more secure you'll feel.

Hurricane Exposure and South Carolina Home Insurance Quotes

The Palmetto State is divided into three broad geographic territories --inland, seacoast, and beach --based on exposure to wind damage. The lowest South Carolina home insurance quotes are found inland, and the highest rates are beach. One measure the state has taken to prepare residents for hurricane damages was the creation of Catastrophe Savings Accounts, which allow you to set money aside, state income tax-free, to pay for qualified catastrophe expenses --including hurricane damage. This account can be used to pay your deductible without getting taxed. At the basic level, South Carolina home insurance is likely to include contents coverage of 40-50% of the insurance on the home. If your dwelling is covered for $100,000, and a hurricane inflicts serious damage, your possessions will only be covered for $40,000-50,000. For all residents --but especially those in the beach region --it makes sense to buy Extra Contents Coverage, which can cover the replacement cost of your possessions without a huge increase in your premium. Also consider purchasing a separate flood insurance policy. Typically, South Carolina Home insurance will not include protection from flood waters, as this falls under FEMA regulations.

Easy Steps to Lower Premiums

Whether you own a modest home or a luxury Kiawah Island residence, some basic home improvements will result in lower South Carolina home insurance quotes. The average premium paid by South Carolina residents in December 2009 was $785. Equipping your house with fire protections such as smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and a sprinkler system will lower the average quote to about $708. Protection against theft also helps. You can receive South Carolina home insurance quotes as much as 15% lower by installing deadbolt locks and a burglar alarm. If you make other improvements, like plumbing and electrical updates, notify potential insurers. Anything that decreases the chance of accident can lower your premium.

More Things to Think About

If you're serious about investigating the best home insurance quotes, and properly protecting yourself, consider these other ideas:

  • Raise your deductible: Deductibles usually start at $250. You can lower your premium as much as 12% by instead opting for a $500 deductible. Increase to $1,000, and you might save 24%. (Just make sure you can afford the deductible!)

  • Take Inventory: Don't wait until a fire, hurricane, or thief decimates your personal property to get adequate coverage. Making a list, and even taking photos, of your possessions will help you calculate the amount of coverage you need --and ease the claims process.

  • Check your coverage annually: Home insurance rates change all the time. So do your needs. If you make significant updates, you may qualify for a lower premium, so check what's out there. If you add a garage, you may need more dwelling insurance. If you sell a valuable item, you may need less contents coverage. Whatever the situation, keep abreast of the latest rates. It always pays to shop around.