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Whether you’ve chosen Beaufort, Myrtle Beach, or anywhere in between, the South Carolina coast is a beautiful place to set down roots. But those stunning views come with risks that make getting home insurance with hurricane coverage essential.
Let’s take a look at hurricane insurance in South Carolina so you can make sure you have the right coverage for you.
Hurricane insurance is not a separate policy that covers hurricane damage in South Carolina. But if you live in a hurricane-prone area like South Carolina, you'll want to understand how your homeowners policy covers windstorm damage, including wind damage caused by hurricanes.
Other structures on your property (e.g., your garage, fence, greenhouse, shed)
Your personal belongings (e.g., clothing, furniture, electronics)
Temporary relocation above your normal living costs if covered hurricane wind damage makes your home uninhabitable
Additional essentials above your normal living costs, such as food, water, and gas, while temporarily relocated
Wind damage to screened enclosures, aluminum‐framed carports, or awnings when you buy hurricane screened enclosure endorsement
Storm surge damage that accompanies hurricanes (but it may sometimes cover water damage that occurs because of wind damage, e.g., rain damage to your possessions if the wind blows off a portion of your roof)
Note: Hurricane insurance in South Carolina doesn't apply to water damage caused by hurricanes. Flooding is never a part of a standard home insurance policy. Instead, you can purchase private flood insurance or a flood insurance policy from the National Flood Insurance Program.
Both of these are separate from your primary home insurance deductible and may be a percentage of your home's insured value or a predetermined flat dollar figure.
Hurricane or windstorm deductibles apply only when a designated event has damaged your home. So if you insure for $250,000 and you have a 2% hurricane deductible, then you would be responsible for the first $6,250 of hurricane-related damage to your home before your home insurance kicks in.
Insurers in South Carolina must notify residential policyholders if their policy contains separate hurricane or wind deductibles. If you have a hurricane or wind deductible, your insurance company must provide an example of how the deductible functions. Your insurer also has to include a clear explanation of the events that trigger the deductible, such as the declaration of a named storm.
Hurricane coverage is not separate from your home insurance, so your insurance premium includes this protection. But the risk of hurricanes is one of the reasons that home insurance may be more expensive in some regions of South Carolina.
The Insurance Information Institute ranks South Carolina as 17th in the nation for home insurance costs, averaging about $1,327 annually. Besides the risk for windstorms and hurricanes, your South Carolina home insurance premium is also dependent on a host of other factors, such as:
Your home's construction.
The windstorm mitigation measures you take.
The age of your home.
South Carolina requires home insurance providers to offer discounts to people who hardened their homes against wind damage. On average, South Carolina homeowners who have earned mitigation credits have saved 14% on their home insurance costs.
No, South Carolina doesn’t require hurricane insurance. But if you have a mortgage on your home, then there’s a good chance your bank requires you to get homeowners insurance that includes hurricane and windstorm coverage.
If you live in certain South Carolina flood areas or Special Flood Hazard Areas as designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), you may also have to buy flood insurance to get a federally backed mortgage.
Fortunately, hurricane insurance isn't something you should have to purchase separately. Your standard South Carolina homeowners insurance policy likely covers hurricane wind damage, often with separate wind and hurricane deductibles.
That said, hurricane insurance is almost always worth it since hurricanes are part of life in coastal South Carolina. South Carolinians living on the coast have about an 80% chance of being impacted by a hurricane.
Making sure you have the appropriate coverage for your home is essential to protecting your investment. Enter your address now to get a quote.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30.
Hurricanes and tropical storms in South Carolina can happen anytime during this period, but they are most common in August, September, and October.
South Carolina has an 80% chance of being impacted by a tropical system each year.
Hurricanes can produce heavy rains, storm surge, wind, hail, and tornadoes that reach hundreds of miles inland.
Hurricane Hugo was the costliest storm in South Carolina's history, causing approximately $7 billion in damage. It made landfall near Sullivan's Island as a Category 4 hurricane with estimated maximum sustained winds of 135-140 mph.
Source: South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, SC Hurricanes Comprehensive Summary, May 2023.
It's essential to have the right South Carolina hurricane insurance coverage in place before hurricane season. If you wait until a storm has been named or reaches a similar coverage trigger, you'll likely be subject to an insurance moratorium. A moratorium is an official hold on issuing new policies or changing coverage for existing policies in response to an already approaching storm.
It's also important to know about preparing for hurricane season in South Carolina. Waiting until the storm is approaching is too late to prepare your home and family to stay safe adequately. Give us a call at 855.717.0022 or enter your address online to start protecting your South Carolina home today.
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