MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Hurricane Ian, which made landfall on the Grand Strand a year ago, made impacts in several ways, including insurance rates for home and property owners.
One Grand Strand insurance agent said rates got complicated when it came to Hurricane Ian.
Insurance rates were already approved at their current rate before Hurricane Ian hit. Ian was the third-most costly hurricane to make landfall in the entire country.
The South Carolina Insurance Association said even though the damages from Hurricane Ian didn’t affect a lot of people, it’s still important to replace roofs and windows as soon as possible for future storms.
The owner of Perry Insurance Group in Myrtle Beach, Perry Stalvey, said he only had four claims from Hurricane Ian. But almost four times as many people filed claims about replacing their roof after another incident.
That affects everyone’s future rates.
Stalvey added that homes near the coast that may not have a lot of coverage are still just as expensive as homes inland because of coastal wind exposures.
Homes on the Grand Strand also have to carry a hurricane deductible because the exposure is higher.
“One of the things you have to remember with your insurance, especially on your admitted carries like State Farm, Nationwide, Travelers, all those guys, they have to file with the Department of Insurance once a year to say ‘hey, we want to change our rates and do this,'” Stalvey said.
“So, any rates that you saw last year had already been approved. From Ian, normally, they had already started working on submitting those rates since even before Ian had happened. So, some of the rates were going up naturally anyways before Ian happened, that was just a force multiplier on top of that.”
Stalvey said they have to do combined ratios every year when proposing a new rate, which is based off losses and upcoming trends.
He said homeowners are struggling right now to find competitive rates because of the lack of insurance agents in Horry County. He said sometimes with hurricanes, if it’s bad enough, it causes these groups who have invested so much into others to shut down.
“If Florida is profitable, we’re profitable,” Stalvey said. “But if you have a major hurricane that devastates a major city, that’s when you will see a lot of it crumble and fall apart.”
Stalvey added that South Carolina has a safe home program. He said as long as you apply and are under a certain income level, the state will pay to put a new roof on your house.
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Jackie LiBrizzi is a multimedia journalist at News13. Jackie is originally from Hamilton, New Jersey, and was raised in Piedmont, South Carolina. Jackie joined the News13 team in June 2023 after she graduated as a student-athlete from the University of South Carolina in May 2023. Follow Jackie on X, formerly Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, and read more of her work here.