S.C. Governor Signs Bill to Help Coastal Residents with Insurance

June 13, 2007

Gov. Mark Sanford signed a bill into law Monday that he says should lower insurance costs for residents along South Carolina’s coast.

Sanford’s signature comes three months after the Republican governor and his recently appointed Insurance Department director, Scott Richardson, announced the proposal as a way of lowering insurance costs in the post-Hurricane Katrina era while not penalizing insurers.

“This bill sends a strong signal to the insurance industry that South Carolina has rejected the government-centered approach to addressing the insurance crisis,” Sanford said in a statement.

The measure includes tax incentives and insurance discounts to residents who make their homes more hurricane resistant. It allows homeowners to put money in hurricane savings accounts to offset large deductibles or self-insure. It also requires insurers give a 90-day cancellation notice during hurricane season.

Insurers could also receive tax credits by writing full-coverage policies along the coast.

Sanford said the measure, which took effect with the governor’s signature Monday, should encourage insurers to write policies and residents to take initiative, which he says is key to storm preparation.

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