Island Homeowners Insurance Policies
If you are purchasing a beach property, you will need to obtain 3 separate insurance policies: Flood; Wind & Hail; and Homeowners or Dwelling (for rental properties).
Flood Insurance is through FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Fund), the federal government program. If you obtain a mortgage on your property then it will be required by the lender that you have flood insurance. Flood Insurance, although a government program, is still purchased through your insurance agent. The age of the building and the degree of risk for flooding play factors into the rate you receive but with these facts, most insurance companies will have the same quotes as the rates are controlled by FEMA. The maximum available coverage is $250,000 on the structure/building and up to $100,000 for the contents in the dwelling. Docks are not covered. In addition, you can buy excess flood insurance through an independent insurance company, however the rates tend to be extremely high. If you do not have an insurance agent, you can contact the National Flood Insurance Program for a referral at 1-800-427-4661. For additional information regarding flood insurance, please visit FEMA’s website at: http://www.fema.gov . Current flood elevation certificates are usually required in order to obtain Flood Insurance.
The South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association usually provide policies for Wind & Hail coverage on the Islands. Independent insurance agents usually write these policies and the maximum coverage is $1,000,000 (including contents and loss of use). You can buy excess coverage as well.
Homeowners (owner occupied) or Dwelling (rental property) Insurance is necessary for coverage for theft, fire, liability…. Nationwide, Lloyd’s of London, and Lexington are a few insurance agencies that are currently writing policies.
Additional coverage might be necessary for docks or bulkheads.
Insurance coverage amounts, deductibles and policies are constantly changing thus it is essential to get up-to-date information directly from your insurance provider. I strongly recommend purchasing all three policies even if you aren’t obtaining a mortgage.