Freedom of Information Requests (FOIA)

Accessing Public Agencies

 The South Carolina Department of Insurance (Department) discloses information in accordance with the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the South Carolina Family Privacy Act. The South Carolina Department of Insurance ("Department") complies with the requirements of the FOIA and makes available to the public those records subject to disclosure under the FOIA that are not otherwise afforded confidential treatment by some other provision of the law. Records of the Department are open to the public for inspection and copying pursuant to, and subject to any limitations of, the FOIA, S.C. Code Ann. 30-4-10 et seq. (1976, as amended).

In order to ensure open access, accountability, and timely and appropriate response to the public, all requests for information will be coordinated through the Office of Legal Services.

Receipt of Request / Procedure to Process

All FOIA requests must be in writing. No particular form is required. If the requested records are available, the Office of Legal Services shall coordinate with appropriate program areas to arrange for retrieval, review and / or copying of records. Review of records shall be by appointment only.  Review of records will ordinarily take place within the Department. Designated Department staff will be responsible for establishing and coordinating procedures with office / program areas for all FOIA requests.

Referral of Requests to Counsel

Certain requests which may involve ongoing litigation, enforcement activities or confidentiality may be referred to the counsel for advice, or where appropriate, a response.

Certain requests may require a determination to be made regarding confidentiality, trade secret, or other FOIA or separate statutory exemption from release. In such cases, the requester will be notified that the files are not immediately available and that they will be contacted by the Department upon determination regarding exemption by the Department.

Response to Request / Notification

Within ten working days of receipt of a written FOIA request, the Department must, in accordance with Section 30-4-30(c), make a determination in writing to the requester regarding the release of the requested records.

If the records are available, the requester will be notified and instructed to contact the Department to schedule a time and place where the records may be inspected or copied and will be advised of any charges that apply.

Policy on Fees

Section 30-4-30(b) provides for the establishment and collection of reasonable fees and for certain exemptions. These fees are subject to change. A current schedule of fees will be available from the FOIA Coordinator. Fees will include both the cost of reproduction and personnel costs for research and retrieval. 

SCDOI Record Copying Fee(s)

Paper Copy Records Request

$.25 a page plus 8% tax

Administrative Time

The lowest hourly wage of the person available includes time to search, retrieve, redact and copy the files. 

Annual/Quarterly Statements

$50 per statement plus 8% tax

Postage or Faxes

Actual Cost

Computer Disks

The lowest hourly wage of the person available to search, retrieve, redact and copy the files.  If the cost of the electronic data storage device (e.g., thumb drive, CD, etc.) is $2 or more, the charge for copies will include the actual cost of the device.

The Department charges for the costs of copying a record and attempts to minimize those costs where practicable.  The Department notifies the requestor of the estimated charges to fulfill a request prior to copying the documents to give the requestor an opportunity to narrow or broaden a request for information.  Invoices are sent to the requestor along with the copies.

If the Department pursues searches where the copying costs exceed $200, it will require prepayment of 25% of the estimated cost as a deposit before copying the records. The Department requires full payment of staff costs for searches of archived and other records whether or not the search yields any records that are responsive to requests for information.