South Carolina Home Insurance

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August 23, 2012

South Carolina home insurance rates rising; that may change.  South Carolina home insurance premiums are rising, as they are in most of the states. They reportedly have risen in the Palmetto State about 70 percent over the last 10 years. The difference between home insurance rates in South Carolina and other states, however, is that a movement is under way to slash them.

A Beaufort resident, Daryl Ferguson, is championing a rollback of rates on the simple theory that the rates are not based on realistic data. Ferguson notes that no significant hurricane damage has been recorded in South Carolina for 150 years. Yet home insurance premiums continue to go up as if the risk is pegged to actuarial data of loss.

Of course, homeowners always want their home insurance premiums to go down, or at least remain steady. In that respect, the South Carolina home insurance premium movement is no more noteworthy than any other fit of wishful thinking. But the request to simply revisit data underlying home insurance premiums is so reasonable it even has caught the governor’s ear. Gov. Nikki Haley has agreed to meet with Ferguson and his allies to discuss the issue.

The other incentive to lower the rates is the economic impact it might have. Ferguson predicts a $500 million infusion into the economy if more reasonable rates are established, along with creation of up to 3,000 jobs. He cites correspondence with people outside the state that assure him their move to South Carolina has been thwarted only by the home insurance rates.

South Carolina has been blessed with a stable, occasionally flourishing, economy for some time. It still has some busy textile mills despite the offshore initiatives of textile companies. It grows enormous amounts of timber and chickens, is a leader in peaches and turkeys, and boasts one of only two tea plantations in the country.

The Hilton Head resorts on the Atlantic Coast remain a big draw, the Charleston port is commercially busy, with Fort Sumter drawing tourists to see where the Civil War officially began. And South Carolina was the home of President Andrew Jackson, jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie and prize fighter Joe Frazier, among others. Today just under 5 million people call it home.