We consider ourselves very fortunate to live on Hilton Head Island. Tucked into our unique geographical "nook", our location along the Atlantic Seaboard provides us with a degree of statistical protection from major hurricanes. Regardless, carrying quality insurance is imperative to protecting your investment. Take the time to shop around. After all, you can never be over-insured.
A homeowners policy covers your structural losses (i.e. fire, lightning), your personal property, liability protection and any additional living expenses incurred due to being "homeless". Homeowners policies do NOT cover damages due to hurricanes, major named storms, flooding, high winds, hail, or normal wear and tear. Consequently, Hilton Head Island homeowners typically carry additional policies intended to address the specific challenges of coastal living.
In 1971, the South Carolina Legislature mandated a requirement that insurance companies make wind and hail coverage available to coastal homeowners. To better service the new market, the South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association (a.k.a. Beach Plan or Wind Pool) began offering policies to eligible homeowners who were unable to secure coverage in the standard insurance marketplace.
Although the SCWHUA provides coverage to all eligible homeowners, they recommend that you shop around. Better coverage and/or rates can often be found in the standard competitive insurance marketplace.
Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). NFIP is administered by FEMA and underwritten by the Federal Government. NFIP provides maximum coverages of up to $250,000 per dwelling, in addition to $100,000 in coverages for your personal property.
If you are purchasing a condominium, villa, or townhome, you need to be aware of South Carolina’s HO6 insurance mandates. The building's exterior and common areas will be insured by a policies purchased through your horizontal property regime. Dues will be collected as either an annual assessment or as part of your monthly regime fee.
If you are financing your purchase, your lender will likely require that you carry HO6 insurance. Even if you purchase your real estate in full, HO6 will cover your improvements, upgrades, personal property and furnishings. Additional coverage against income loss (important for investment buyers) can be acquired. HO6 policies start at annual rates in the mid-$300’s, a worthwhile investment compared to the low cost of coverage.