South Carolina indeed has exposure to catastrophic hurricanes that can cause significant damage well beyond their specific point of landfall.
The state has more than 187 miles of direct exposure to hurricanes with $191.9 billion in insured property along the coast. That coastal exposure represents 28 percent of the state's total insured value (neighboring states North Carolina and Georgia have only 9 percent and 5 percent of their respective exposures along the coast.)
Risk analysts estimate that if Hurricane Hugo hit today, there would be about $10.9 billion in insured losses. (Hugo caused $4.2 billion in losses in 1989.) Insurers must prepare now to ensure their ability to pay claims after a hurricane devastates our coast. Without insurance, a family that pays $2,000 a year to ensure their $150,000 home would have to be lucky for 75 years to cover one total loss.
Since the implementation of the Omnibus Coastal Reform Act of 2007, the insurance laws and regulatory environment governing South Carolina's insurance market are viewed in a superior light and serve as a model for other states faced with similar exposures.
Competition benefits consumers, and a healthy marketplace means insurers have enough claims paying capacity to help their customers recover quickly after a loss without unfair subsidies and mechanisms that will pass disaster restoration costs along to citizens through taxes or assessments. An insurance system that includes citizen assessments to pay for losses is more a strategy of hope, than protection.
S.C. Insurance News Service