S.C. ‘Wind pool’ Insurance Rates Likely to Rise

July 23, 2007

Insurance rates for people along the South Carolina coast who can’t find regular coverage for hurricane and wind damage will likely be going up this fall, although the amount of the increase has not been determined.

The wind insurance pool asked the state Insurance Department for a rate increase last month. The agency only needs to approve rate hikes of more than 7 percent. The department is expected to make a decision next week, officials said.

The increase will likely be approved, state Insurance Director Scott Richardson said. But “it’s not as scary as people might have thought it would be,” he said.

The wind pool is a state-mandated association of insurance companies, which makes wind and hail insurance available as a last resort to residents and businesses in coastal areas.

The wind pool is overdue for a significant rate increase because the only rate increase in the past four years was a 4.3 percent raise in June 2006, executive director Smitty Harrison said.

Neither Richardson or Harrison would give a specific percentage for a possible rate increase.

Information from: The Island Packet, http://www.islandpacket.com

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