South Carolina Wind Insurance Program Growing Less Popular?

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  • These days, the cost of insurance coverage often weighs heavily on many consumers’ minds, and as such, any time there are ways they think they can reduce costs, they might jump at the chance. This seems to be the case with a state-run home insurance program in South Carolina, which has seen a significant exodus of policyholders over the last few years. Accordingly, it might be wise for insurance agents to talk to clients who are leaving this program about the risks that doing so may open up for them.

    The South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association, which was originally intended to help consumers living along the state’s coastline to get home insurance coverage if other providers would not give them access, has grown somewhat less popular with those residents in the last few years, according to a report from the Charleston Post and Courier. This is largely because the people who used to be in it are now starting to find wind and hail coverage through their standard home insurance policies after all.

    “It was word-of-mouth that I learned about it,” Palm Isles, South Carolina, resident Tom Jamieson told the newspaper. “I managed to combine it with my homeowners insurance, and one advantage is it gives me one company instead of dealing with two separate companies.”

    How big is this exodus?
    In all, a little less than 7,000 people have left the program since August 2011, dropping the number of enrollees to just 40,625, the report said. And while that might not seem like a significant number, it has reduced the value of the premiums for the program to $89.5 million through the end of May from the previous $97 million. The reason for this seems to largely be that the state-run program was expensive – Jamieson was paying $9,000 per year – in comparison with those that could be obtained from private insurers.

    These days, insurance agents should try to do as much as they can to make sure that their clients are covered for any type of eventuality they may face, particularly those for which they are at the greatest risk given where they live. Working with consumers to address these issues as comprehensively as possible is often a good idea not only for the homeowners themselves, but also for the agents, because this kind of effort can help to boost customer satisfaction as well as improve retention and loyalty overall.