Historic Home Insurance in South Carolina

All across South Carolina, many small towns and large cities boast charming historic districts.  When driving through, you’ll notice that these areas typically showcase stately antique homes that have been carefully preserved and restored.  Undeniably, these unique homes appeal to people who appreciate the architectural style that captures the essence of Southern living.  And, since these homes are so special, they deserve the utmost protection only SC Historic Home insurance can provide.

If you are the proud owner of a historic home in South Carolina, talk to Sandifer Insurance Agency about the benefits of historic home insurance.  We help homeowners in Cheraw, SC, and surrounding areas get the best insurance for their needs.  Our family-owned, local agency has over 40 years of experience in the insurance business, and we are dedicated to exceeding customer expectations.  You can rely on us to make sure your home and family are properly insured.

What Is an Officially Designated Historic Home?

SC Historic Home InsuanceSouth Carolina’s historic homes are categorized based on when they were built such as homes that were built before 1900, and those built before 1945.  An officially designated historic home must meet specific criteria, according to the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places.

The National Register will evaluate your home’s eligibility based on these factors:

  • Age:  The home must be over 50 years old.
  • Integrity:  The appearance of your home must reflect its original design.
  • Cultural Significance:  Did a historical person live there?  Does it represent engineering or architectural excellence from the period?

When you own a historic home you are responsible for protecting and preserving the home’s integrity.  This means any repairs or renovations must use materials that are similar to the original style.  The upside is that historic homes often qualify for low-interest loans and tax breaks.  

Is Your Home On the Historic Preservation List?

Although it’s an honor for your home on the historic preservation list, it comes with a huge responsibility.  As a historic landmark, the city requires that you maintain as much of the home’s original construction materials as possible.  This can result in thousands of dollars of out-of-pocket expenses, especially if you don’t have historic home insurance.  

Unfortunately, many insurance companies will not insure homes that are on the historic preservation list.  If you’re having problems getting affordable historic home insurance, reach out to Sandifer Insurance Agency.  Due to our location in historic Cheraw, SC, we have gained the expertise you need for obtaining historic home insurance.  We work with a wide range of insurance providers to ensure you get the right coverage at a price you can afford.

SC Historic Home Insurance vs. Standard Homeowners Insurance

A standard homeowners insurance policy will pay to replace your property back to its original state.  But, for historic homes, a standard HO-3 policy isn’t adequate.  An antique home requires guaranteed replacement cost coverage (GRC)  This coverage will compensate you for the costs of restoring your home to the way it was up to, or beyond, your policy’s limit.  

Many older homes don’t qualify for standard homeowners insurance.  If this happens, one option you can consider is an HO-8 policy.  HO-8 is a type of insurance for older homes with a rebuild cost that exceeds the home’s market value.  This type of insurance does not require a 4-point inspection, and you may not need to update things like wiring or pipes to qualify for coverage. The downside of an HO-8 policy is that it only pays actual cash value (ACV).  

Other insurance options available for your cherished antique home are Extended Replacement Cost and Guaranteed Replacement Coverage.  Here’s how they differ:

  • Extended Replacement Cost Coverage – This type of coverage is an add-on that increases your dwelling coverage limits.  The increase can range from 25% to 50% of the replacement costs if they are higher than the policy limit.
  • Guaranteed Replacement Coverage – This is the best option because it reimburses you for the full costs of rebuilding your home regardless of the price.  

Finding the right insurance for a historic home is confusing for most homeowners.  If you’re unsure what type of insurance is right for your needs, Sandifer Insurance is here to help.  We’ll be happy to discuss the options with you and make sure you completely understand what your policy covers.

Is SC Historic Home Insurance More Expensive?

Generally, historic home insurance is more expensive than standard homeowners insurance.  The primary reason for higher premiums is due to rare building materials that may be difficult or expensive to replace.  Things like stained-glass windows, wood-burning fireplaces, and dumbwaiters are not easy to replicate.  

Older homes do not meet the same building codes as newer homes, so you may be required to bring the home up to code before it can be insured.  For this reason, it’s a good idea to have building code coverage.  This coverage helps you update to current building codes.

Original construction replication costs may be influenced by such things as:

  • Plaster walls or wooden beams
  • Special materials and finishes
  • Architect, engineer, or other specialist fees
  • Permit codes and licensing  
  • Costs of lead paint removal
  • Foundation costs

Furthermore, the home may have aluminum wiring, which is considered dangerous. It may be necessary to replace it with copper wiring, which is costly.

Your historic home insurance is high due to a greater liability risk because of the home’s construction.  Some insurance providers also consider the claims history of the home.  They may see your home as high-risk if they discover a pattern of insurance claims through the years.

Overall, historic home insurance is expensive, but to preserve the character and integrity of the home, it is worth the extra cost.  The last thing you want is to file a claim and find that your standard homeowner’s insurance is inadequate.

How to Get Lower Rates for SC Historic Home Insurance

Even though historic home insurance is more expensive, you can lower the premiums with these tips:

  • Choose a higher deductible  
  • Bundle your insurance policies 
  • Update pipes and wiring
  • Don’t file small claims if you can pay out of pocket
  • Ask about discounts when you buy insurance

Of course, the ideal way to get the best rates is to work with a local insurance agency like Sandifer Insurance.  We take the time to get to know you and understand your unique insurance needs.  We’ll work to find the most comprehensive coverage for your historic home at affordable rates.  

SC Historic Home Insurance at Sandifer Insurance Agency

Insurance regulations vary from one state to another, but our local team of insurance specialists makes sure your policy meets all South Carolina requirements.   We’re proud to serve our local customers and provide insurance protection for their homes and possessions. If you are looking for reliable, reputable insurance for your historic home, reach out to us today.

Contact us by phone, email, or online for a free quote.  Or, if you prefer a more personal approach, we invite you to stop by our office near historic Cheraw, SC.  We know how proud you are of your historic home, so let’s work together to make sure it’s protected.


nps.gov/ – Publications of the National Register of Historic Places

experian.com/ – Do Older Homes Need Special Homeowners Insurance?