The state of South Carolina is 5th in the nation for the number of residents who carry flood insurance policies. This is mostly because so many homes and businesses are located in designated flood plains and the owners are therefore required by their lenders to carry this coverage. Whether or not you live in a designated flood zone, as a South Carolina resident, you run this risk of financial losses due to flood damage. You can protect yourself with a South Carolina flood insurance policy.
Homeowners and business insurance policies do not provide coverage for losses due to flood damage. Only a flood insurance policy through the NFIP, or National Flood Insurance Program, can protect your investment from overflow events. An independent insurance agent in our network can review flood zone maps with you and answer your questions as well as help you secure a flood insurance policy. Find an agent today in your neighborhood and receive a variety of South Carolina flood insurance quotes for various levels of coverage.
South Carolina Flood Risk Facts
- Approximately 13% of this state is located in a designated flood-plain
- There are flood-prone areas in every county, city, and town in South Carolina
- There are more than 170,000 homes and commercial structures located in designated flood zones in this state
- In the past 100 years, approximately 165 South Carolina residents have died in flood-related incidents
- Approximately 25% of all flood claims are filed for properties that are outside of designated flood zones
How Much Damage Can Flooding Do?
FEMA estimates that as little as 2 inches of flood-water in 1,000 square foot home causes an average of $10,000 in damages. A flooded basement can result in structural damage to your home as well as the need to replace appliances such as your furnace, hot water heater, washer and dryer, and other major appliances. If the floodwaters rise to above-ground floors as well, the damage will be far more expensive because walls, flooring and personal belongings will need to be replaced.
As a general rule, homeowners, renters, and condo insurance policies do not provide coverage for flood damage. Though a very small portion of specialty insurance carriers may include this coverage, it is extremely rare. Federal assistance provided by FEMA comes in the form of low-interest loans that must be repaid to the government. The only way to avoid being stuck with excessive out-of-pocket expenses in the wake of a flood is through a flood insurance policy.
What Is Flood Insurance?
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was created by the federal government in the 1960s to protect homeowners from the devastating financial hardships flood damage can bring to a community. The funding is backed by the federal government. The monthly price of a policy is usually drastically lower than payments on a FEMA-provided low-interest loan would be, and securing this coverage is a good way for homeowners and renters to safeguard their investments. You cannot be turned down for flood insurance because you live in a high-risk area, nor will your rates increase if you should file an insurance claim.
South Carolina Flood Insurance Facts According to FEMA
- During previous years, there were 203,795 flood insurance policies in effect in SC
- This was a 1% increase over the previous year
- From October through September, SC residents fill an average of 107 flood claims
- As a result of these claims, residents received $1.3 million in compensation.
- The average SC flood insurance claim in that time period came to $12,177
The statistics above are for a year in which South Carolina was not hit by any major tropical storms or hurricanes. Based on data over the past 30 years, the average number of flood insurance claims in this state exceeds 1,100 per year. A flood insurance policy is a sound investment if you wish to protect your financial health.
Is South Carolina Flood Insurance Mandatory?
If your home is located in a designated flood zone, your mortgage lender will be required by law to ensure that your property is protected by a flood insurance policy. Once your mortgage is paid off, you are no longer required to carry this coverage, but given your high-potential for costly flood damage, you are strongly advised to continue to carry a policy.
Just because you do not live in a designated flood zone does not mean you are not at risk. When heavy downpours from tropical storms saturate the ground, water and sewage lines back-ups can cause flooding throughout the state. Statistically, over the life of a 30-year mortgage, South Carolina residents are three times more likely to face damages from a flood than from a fire. It is better to be prepared than face the financial hardships that flood-damage can bring.
What Does South Carolina Flood Insurance Cover?
NFIP-provided flood insurance offers two types of coverage: one for the structure of the home itself and the other for its contents. You can opt to purchase only one type of coverage, though most homeowners purchase both.
- Building coverage provides coverage for damages to the building and its foundation, plumbing, and electrical systems, furnaces and air conditioning units, built-in appliances, and permanently installed carpeting over unfinished floors.
- Contents coverage provides coverage for loss or damage to clothing, furniture, curtains, electronics, window air-conditioners, portable appliances, carpeting and flooring for anything that was kept above-ground in your home. Flood insurance will not cover contents in a finished basement.
How to Obtain a South Carolina Flood Insurance Policy
Though flood insurance is offered by the federal government, it must be obtained through a qualified insurance provider. Getting flood insurance for your home is easy with the help of an agent. Your agent can help you determine how much coverage you need and can show you how much different coverage options will cost. An independent agent can do more than just help you secure a South Carolina flood insurance policy. Agents are available to assist you with all your insurance-related needs and will even advocate for you during the claims process if you need their assistance.
Contact an agent for more information and to receive South Carolina flood insurance quotes that will fit your needs and budget.