What You Can Do Now:
Plan—Make an evacuation plan and know your evacuation route.
Prepare—Have an emergency kit with 3-5 days of supplies, including your insurance information, for you and your family.
Protect—Clean out gutters and yard debris. Bring in lawn furniture & children’s toys when a storm is approaching.
How to Prepare for Hurricane Season
Insurance Claims Information:
Typically, once a storm is named and is likely to have an impact on the area, insurance companies declare a moratorium for new policies and coverage changes to existing policies. So make sure coverage is in place prior to the start of hurricane season!
Auto, Homeowners and Property Insurance:
- Report any non-flood insurance claims by contacting your agent or insurance company.
- Claims Phone Numbers for Insurance Companies
- For SC Wind and Hail Underwriting Association (SC Wind Pool) information, go to scwind.com
Tip: Your insurance company may reimburse the expenses of temporary repairs, so keep all receipts.
A flood is defined as a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more properties from the overflow of inland or tidal waters, from unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any sources, or mudflow. The standard homeowner’s insurance policy does not include coverage for flood damage, including damage resulting from storm surge. You will need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy to protect your home from damages due to flood.
- Water that enters the home from street flooding, an overflow of a creek, river or stream, or storm surges are generally covered by flood insurance - not a homeowners or renters policy.
- Coverage is available for homeowners and renters.
- Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). To learn more about flood insurance, ask your agent and visit www.Floodsmart.gov.
- Regardless of whether your property is considered to be in a flood zone or not, it is a very good idea to consider purchasing a flood insurance policy. The 1000 year flood event of 2015 is a testament to the fact that floods can occur at any time, not only associated with hurricanes and wind events. As we witnessed from this event, many areas that have never flooded did during that event.
Test your knowledge of flood insurance by taking the NAIC's What the Flood? quiz. This fun, interactive quiz will help you better understand what you still need to learn when it comes to flood.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers flood insurance coverage. Please be aware that there is a thirty-day waiting period for coverage to become effective. Visit the NFIP at www.floodsmart.gov for information about this important coverage. You may also contact your insurance agent for information about purchasing a flood insurance policy through NFIP or from a private insurance carrier.
Report a flood insurance claim by contacting your agent or insurance company. Find their toll-free number here.
- Tips for Filing Your Flood Insurance Claim
- The NFIP Flood Claim Process
- NFIP Residential Policies: What’s Covered
- NFIP Commercial Policies: What’s Covered
- NFIP Flood Insurance Claims Handbook
For additional help, visit the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) website for more information.
How to Prepare for Hurricane Season
- Know Your Evacuation Zone- Know Your Zone is a public education campaign to inform the citizens and visitors of South Carolina of the hurricane evacuation zones and their vulnerability to storm surge. Please visit scemd.org/KnowYourZone to learn more.
- Make an emergency plan and discuss the plan with your family. Engage your family in making a plan so that everyone knows what to do and when to do it.
- Prepare an emergency kit. Make sure you have nonperishable food, water and a first aid kit handy. It is best to also collect important documents and keep them in one place for easy access in the event of an evacuation.
- Review your insurance policy. As you make your preparations, review your insurance policy as it is important to know what your policy covers and what it excludes long before a severe weather event occurs. Review your policy with your agent to understand the coverage and exclusions.
- Prepare your home and property. Develop a room-by-room inventory of your home. Take pictures, write down items in each room. A home inventory checklist in available on our website here.
- Click here to view the SCDOI’s Are You Storm Ready? guide.
How to Spot A Scam
Unfortunately, often there are individuals that may try to take advantage of people as they are working to recover. While it is important to always safeguard your personal information, it is especially important following a natural disaster.
- As you work to recover and repair your property you will likely be sharing your personal information with government officials, financial institutions, insurance personnel such as adjusters as well as contractors and repairmen. You must stay alert and ask for identification of these individuals before providing your personal information.
- Contact the company or organization the individual is representing and verify their identity.
- Do not provide personal or financial information to someone until you have verified their identity.
- Send your information securely.
- For home repairs, do not pay in full upfront for repairs and make sure you have a copy of a written contract before the work begins.
File an Insurance Complaint
If you’re having a specific problem with an insurance company, broker, agent, or adjuster, file a complaint with our Office of Consumer Services at doi.sc.gov/complaint.
Report Suspected Insurance Fraud to the SC Attorney General’s Office
If you suspect someone has committed any type of insurance fraud, call the South Carolina Insurance Fraud Hotline toll-free at 1-888-95-FRAUD or complete the Insurance Fraud Complaint Form online. You don’t have to reveal your identity. For more information about insurance fraud, go to scag.gov/insurance-fraud.
Report Suspected Price Gouging to the SC Attorney General’s Office
The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office is requesting all suspected instances of price gouging to be reported. Please send the name and location of the establishment, the price they are charging, and any examples or documentation of the alleged price gouging.
A Catastrophe Savings Account might help you
Catastrophe Savings Accounts Prepare for out-of-pocket costs from a natural disaster using state income tax-free dollars. Establish a Catastrophe Savings Account (CSA) to help pay for your deductible and other out-of-pocket costs. Similar to a health savings account, the money can be set aside state income tax-free and used in the future to pay for qualified catastrophe expenses that result from a hurricane, flood or windstorm event that has been declared an emergency by the Governor of South Carolina. For more information, visit www.doi.sc.gov/CSA.
Contact the SCDOI’s Office of Consumer Services
Email: email@example.com │ Call: 803-737-6180 │ Toll-Free: 1-800-768-3467
The SCDOI’S Office of Consumer Services is open 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (Mon. - Thurs.) and 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Fri.)