South Carolina Wind Pool
C. T. Lowndes & Company can provide the insurance coverages you need on a home located in the Wind Pool. Call the office most convenient to you for more information.
What is the Wind Pool?
In 1972, The South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association (SCWHUA) was established to ensure that residents living on the beach and some coastal areas of South Carolina would have a means of purchasing wind/hail insurance on their homes. At that time, most standard insurance companies had quit providing such coverage.
Commercial buildings located in the beach and some coastal areas are also eligible for coverage.
Why was the Wind Pool expanded in 2007?
Since the mid-90s, the insurance industry has become increasingly reluctant to provide wind insurance in the coastal counties of South Carolina due to the hurricane threat. The situation became so bad in 2004-2006 that some residents whose homes were not in the wind pool could not obtain wind insurance and those who could found themselves paying very high premiums. The SC Department of Insurance was being pressured to take some action and the expansion of the Wind Pool was the result.
Where is the Wind Pool area?
Generally speaking most beach communities are in the Wind Pool Zone 1(the original Wind Pool area). Some areas of Mt. Pleasant, James Island, and Johns Island are in Zone 2 (the expanded Wind Pool area).
You can log onto www.scwind.com and click on the Check Eligibility heading. Simply type in the address of your home. You will be told if the home is in Zone 1 or Zone 2.
To see a map of the Wind Pool, click on Territory Expansion and select from the county maps listed. The orange area is Zone 1 and the yellow area, Zone 2. North of Charleston, the boundary is generally Hwy 17N.
A written description of the Wind Pool boundaries can be found in the same Territory Expansion section under “Territory Expansion order signed by Director Richardson, May 23, 2007”, starting on page 2 under “Conclusion”.
If I buy a home in the Wind Pool, will I be able purchase wind insurance?
Yes. Most independent agencies, like C. T. Lowndes & Company, sell the wind policy offered by SCHWUA and can offer the regular homeowners policy (excluding wind) through standard national and regional insurance companies.
Independent agencies also represent some insurance companies that will issue a homeowners policy including wind on homes located in either Zone 1 or 2.
Can condominiums be insured through the wind pool?
Yes. The Wind Pool will insure individual condominium units for the unit owner and also the condominium building for the Condominium Regime.
Is there a waiting period before a Wind Pool policy takes effect?
Yes. There is a 16 day waiting period starting when SCHWUA receives the application, photo, and payment of premium. Independent agents have the ability to transmit this information electronically rather than depending on the US Mail. The waiting period may be waived when there is a property closing that involves a mortgage company, bank, or savings and loan. The loan must be for a term of at least 10 years.
I am building a home in the Wind Pool area. Can I get a Wind Pool policy while the home is under construction?
Yes. SCWHUA insures houses under construction.
Are the Wind Pool premiums higher than those charged by regular insurance companies?
Yes. The premiums are usually higher. SCWHUA charges higher premiums because SCWHUA is considered the market of last resort, the place you go to get wind coverage when you cannot obtain it through other markets.
What coverages are available on a Wind Pool policy?
The Wind Pool allows you to insure your home and personal property located in the home. It also offers Loss of Use coverage and Increased Cost of Construction (ICC) insurance.
For a commercial property, the building and contents may be insured and Loss of Business Income insurance is available
Is there a maximum limit of insurance available?
The maximum limits for ALL coverages (building, contents, loss of use, and ICC) for a residential property is $1,300,000. For all other properties (commercial), the limit is $2,500,000.
What deductibles are offered by the Wind Pool?
For wind losses that are not related to a Named Storm (tropical storm or hurricane), the policy deductible is 1%.
For Named Storm losses, SCWHUA offers deductibles of 2%, 3%, 4%, 5% and 10%.
The deductible is a percent of the amount of insurance on the dwelling and a percent of the amount of insurance on the contents. The deductibles apply separately to building and contents. For example, a house insured for $200,000 with $50,000 contents with a 3% deductible would have a dwelling deductible of $6,000 plus a contents deductible of $1,500.
Is replacement cost coverage available?
Dwelling replacement cost coverage is available only if the dwelling is your primary residence and was built after 1950.
Does this Wind Pool policy provide hurricane insurance?
Well, there is no such thing as “hurricane insurance”. The wind damage done by a hurricane is covered by a Wind Pool policy. Any damage done by the flooding (rising waters) associated with a hurricane, like the hurricane surge, is NOT covered by the Wind Pool policy. You must purchase a separate flood insurance policy offered by the National Flood Insurance program and available through independent insurance agencies. And yes, C. T. Lowndes & Company does sell flood insurance.
Does the Wind Pool automatically renew policies?
No. Your agent must request that the policy be rewritten and submit the full payment of premium each year. Approximately 90 days in advance of expiration, the Wind Pool will notify you that your policy will soon expire. Your agent will contact you regarding the renewal of your policy and advise the renewal premium.