Does homeowners insurance in South Carolina cover fire? 

I just bought my first home in South Carolina, so I’ve had to purchase homeowners insurance for the first time too. I’m curious about what all is covered under my insurance. If my house burns down or even if I have a small kitchen fire, will I be covered? 


According to the National Fire Protection Association, most home fires are caused by cooking, heating, electrical distribution and lighting equipment, intentional fire setting, and smoking materials.

If you experience a fire in your South Carolina home, the structure of your home and many or most of your possessions may be damaged or destroyed by flames, heat, smoke, and the water used by the fire department. Anything that is salvageable may still need to be carefully cleaned.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Non-fire Related Damages During A Fire in South Carolina? 

A: What’s more, the fire department may have had to break windows or cut holes in the roof or walls to attack the fire. Even after the fire is out, there are risks to your health and safety. 

Fortunately, in most cases, your South Carolina homeowners insurance will be there to help you get back on your feet by helping you pay for repairing your home, replacing damaged or destroyed possessions, and even helping you pay for temporary housing. 

When and how is fire covered under my homeowners insurance in South Carolina?

A: Fire is one of the named “covered perils” that most homeowners insurance policies in South Carolina protect against. 

If you have a fire in your home, you can expect your homeowners policy to offer the following types of coverage to help you repair and replace your damaged property:

  • Dwelling coverage: The dwelling coverage in your policy pays to repair and replace your damaged home, and will even pay out the value of your home if it is a total loss.
  • Personal property coverage: The personal property coverage, or contents coverage, in your South Carolina home insurance policy pays for damage to your insured personal property, such as furniture, clothing, artwork, and so on.
  • Other structures coverage: Any detached structures located on your property (sheds, fences, detached garages) are also covered if the fire reaches them. Some policies may even pay for damage to trees and shrubs.
  • Temporary living expenses coverage: Your policy will pay for additional living expenses if you are forced to live somewhere else while your home is being repaired. This coverage typically pays for hotel bills, food, and certain other living expenses (as long as they are in line with your current standard of living). 

Once you’ve paid your policy’s deductible, your South Carolina homeowners insurance policy will reimburse you for the extent of the fire damage up to the total insured value of the dwelling itself and to the personal property category’s coverage limit. Personal property deductibles are typically 1% of the home’s value. So if your home is worth $300,000, personal property damage might have to exceed $3,000 before insurance reimbursement kicks in.

Is Anything Unprotected in South Carolina?

A: It’s also important to be aware of some exclusions to your coverage. Most South Carolina homeowners policies exclude fire damage caused by acts of war or other similar events. And if the homeowner set the fire intentionally, insurance will not cover the damage. 

What other South Carolina insurance policies might cover fire?

A: There are a few circumstances in which certain types of personal property are not covered under your homeowners insurance. A car parked in your garage would not be covered by your homeowners insurance if it were damaged or destroyed by a home fire. But the car would be covered by the comprehensive coverage in your auto insurance policy if you’ve selected that coverage when you purchased the policy.

Do Specific Vehicles Need Specific Coverage Against Fire in South Carolina?

A: This same exclusion applies to motorcycles and boats that are stored in your garage. These, too, would have their own coverage that would apply to damage caused by a fire. 

Article Reviewed by | Paul Martin

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