RICHARDSON COLUMN: Flood insurance review urged as hurricane season in Charleston nears
It's less than a month from the June 1 start of hurricane season, and at least one question comes to mind: Got your insurance tied down?
The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, a trade group, is recommending that it's time for homeowners to review whether to buy flood insurance.
This recommendation comes just days after the April 25 Bankrate.com study that concluded only 51 percent of Americans know their home's correct flood designation, a label assigned by the Federal Emergency Management Agency that plays a major role in determining rates.
What's more, a 2012 poll by the Insurance Information Institute concluded that only 13 percent of American homeowners had flood coverage.
Flood insurance is separate from a standard homeowners policy, and 81 percent of Americans know that, according to the Bankrate.com study. The industry is drawing attention to flood coverage now because new policies typically require a 30-day waiting period before they take effect.
Flood insurance has been a hot-button topic for other reasons this year, as reforms could raise premiums for the federal program.
In addition, South Carolina lawmakers are trying to subside the rise in rates for property and casualty coverage on coastal properties. State Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, recently introduced a bill that would provide tax credits to coastal insurers. The hope is that would encourage more companies to write policies in coastal areas and curb the increasing rates.
Reach Tyrone Richardson at 937-5550 and follow him on Twitter @tyrichardsonPC.