In 1989, Hurricane Hugo made landfall on the South Carolina coast, causing extensive damage as far inland as Charlotte, 200 miles from the coast. The storm surge caused flooding from Charleston to Myrtle Beach.
Here’s a link to an article by Hurricane Science – my source for the above photo and data regarding Hugo.
For an insurance guy, one statistic stands out – Hugo caused an estimated $10 billion in damage, making it one of the most expensive storms ever – but several storms since have exceeded that figure. A claims adjuster tells of setting up a center to serve Hugo victims and one particular homeowner going to great lengths to be among the first to have her claim handled. She wanted to be paid quickly, because she feared the insurance company would run out of money and later claims wouldn’t be paid.
Living by the coast has many attractions but risk of meeting a hurricane is definitely a downside. And one part of that downside is you may be unable to secure insurance.
Insurance companies have been bankrupted by major storms – weather catastrophes. Well- managed insurance companies have practices in place to limit their exposure. Some won’t cover risks within a given distance from the coast. Windstorm coverage may be limited in coastal areas. Companies may refuse to write new policies once a potential storm has been identified.
If you live near a coast line, or even within a couple hundred miles (witness the experience of Hurricane Hugo victims), you are wise to keep informed on hurricane activity. Every year experts estimate how many hurricanes and named storms may happen.
Here’s The Weather Channel Hurricane Season Forecast for 2017 (click on chart to view complete article):
If these projections are accurate, insurance companies will be dealing with 7-14 major storms. For you, it only takes one. If your property happens to be in the path of the storm. Elsewhere in this website is an article about catastrophes and why insurance may not be available where in cat-prone areas – “Insurance Can’t Solve Everything”
The National Underwriter, a publication for insurers and insureds, recently published an article about preparing for the hurricane season: “9 Practical Steps for Hurricane Preparation” (Click on title to view the article). The article gives common sense tips, provided by professionals in risk management and loss control. If you are in a coastal area, this article may be of value to you.
This website is about insurance. Insurance generally does cover windstorm damage – but just to be sure, you may want to discuss your situation with your agent.