The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA has predicted a very active hurricane season this year, which starts on June 1. If you have a home or condo inside our Hurricane Wind Pool, (from the beach out to Hwy 31 on the north end) your regular SC homeowners insurance will not include the coverage of hurricane or storm damage from wind. Time is short for getting the state funded wind and hail coverage - and once we have a bad storm, it's too late.
According to the NOAA, this is what we may have to look forward to:
- 14 to 23 Named Storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including:
- 8 to 14 Hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which
- 3 to 7 could be Major Hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 111 mph)
If your property is in any of the NC or SC Wind Pool areas, you'll need to get your coverage with a separate policy we sell from the states of North and South Carolina. There is a 15 day waiting period also, so if you're a present or new customer, be sure to check with us about your SC Wind and Hail Insurance coverage as soon as possible.
Likewise, FEMA flood insurance is NOT part of most standard homeowner, mobile home, or SC renters insurance policies. You must buy separate flood coverage and there is a waiting period of 30 days for this. According to the National Flood Insurance Plan, 25 percent of all flood claims occur in low-to-moderate risk areas. Therefore, flood insurance is recommended for all consumers even if it is not required by the federal government or their mortgage lender.
The South Carolina Insurance News Service, a nonprofit organization, has been providing insurance information to consumers in our state for over 30 years. They are funded by all the insurance companies doing business in SC, and are there for your protection. Here are some tips they offer about wind and flood insurances:
- After you have reviewed your coverage, write down your basic insurance information, such as the name and phone number of your insurance agent, your insurance policy number and your insurance claims phone number and keep it with you if you evacuate.
- Ask your insurance provider about loss-mitigation techniques, such as installing hurricane shutters, to protect your home and valuable personal belongings. Insurance companies offer premium discounts or credits for retrofitting your home to prevent hurricane damage.
- Update your household inventory. Make a list, take pictures or videotape your personal belongings and store the inventory in a safe place outside your home. Take your updated inventory with you if you evacuate. You can also use free software to keep your inventory online by visiting the Insurance News Service Web site, www.scinsurance.net.