South Carolina Considering New Wind Insurance Bill

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  • In many parts of the country, the high cost of home insurance is coming under significant scrutiny from lawmakers, and a new bill now being considered in the South Carolina state Senate might have an impact on the ways in which policy providers do business within the Palmetto State’s borders. Insurance agents who operate there will therefore have to keep close tabs on how things proceed with this legislation so that they’ll be able to know how best to serve their clients in the future.

    South Carolina state Sen. Tom Davis, a Republican representing Beaufort, recently introduced the bill, which would change the ways in which state residents would have to pay for wind insurance, according to a report from the Hilton Head Island Packet. The bill has several parts to it, but one of the largest would effectively double the amount of money dedicated to the S.C. Safe Home program, which helps subsidize South Carolinians’ wind insurance bills, to $3 million from the current $1.5 million. Through it, consumers who own homes valued at $300,000 or less can receive funds to defray the cost of weatherizing their properties and potentially lower their premiums overall.

    “A lot of people have seen their insurance premiums rise, and it’s really pinching them,” Davis told the newspaper. “But a lot of lower- or middle-income people can’t afford to make the repairs insurance companies want done to lower premiums.”

    What else is involved?
    In addition, the bill would also mandate that the South Carolina Department of Insurance must develop a model based on weather data for the state, which would help insurance companies to more accurately assess losses incurred in the event of a hurricane or other major disaster, the report said. Currently, the model used to make such estimations is actually based on how Florida is affected by such storms, and South Carolina is often hit far less hard, meaning that residents might be paying more for coverage than they should.

    Insurance agents might want to review the ways in which consumers are paying for other types of coverage as well, and determine whether they might be able to save any money based on conditions that have changed since they took on the policies in the first place. This could help them to improve their relationships with clients and prevent them from shopping around for other coverage.