When buying a home, it’s important to consider more than just standard homeowners’ insurance. Flood, wind and hail, and earthquake insurance are often necessary for full coverage. Standard policies cover fire, theft, and liability, but may not cover water damage from disasters or wind-driven rain. Flood insurance covers rising water from the ground or inundation of normally dry land, and private market options may be available. Wind and hail insurance covers damage from any named wind event, including hurricanes, tornados, and tropical storms. Earthquake insurance is necessary in areas prone to seismic activity, like South Carolina.
The National Flood Insurance Program defines damage from a flood as “rising water from the ground up” or damage sustained from, “an inundation of 2 more or acres of normally dry land or 2 properties.” Private Market Flood Insurance is defined differently than the NFIP. Requirements can be different when getting a quote. Both are strong programs, and you should advise your agent you’d like to discuss the program that may suite your needs best. Ask your agent about your flood zone and discuss how comfortable you are with deductibles and coverage limits.
Wind damage is one of the most common claims we see within the agency. It produces both large and small claims depending on the severity of the storm. Wind and Hail insurance is explained as damage from any named, “wind event.” Hurricanes, Tornados, Tropical Storms, and Hail are all covered with Wind & Hail Insurance. Your agent should discuss your wind zone and deductibles with you. Depending on the program and coverage you have, your deductible can be a certain percentage of the total dwelling coverage while some policies offer a flat deductible for a “Hurricane.”
One may ask, why discuss earthquake coverage? South Carolina is on a major fault line and averages twenty earthquakes a year with a magnitude of 3.0 or less. 70 percent of earthquakes recorded in South Carolina occur in the Middleton Place/ Summerville area. On record there are two major earthquakes that have caused significant historic damage. In 1886 an earthquake occurred in Charleston and Summerville and is currently classified as the most destructive earthquake to occur in the 19th century. Earthquake insurance is simple to add to your policy and inexpensive.
Follow the links below for more information on storm and policy gaps.