Hurricane Dorian caused catastrophic damage in the Bahamas. South Carolina was fortunate that the damage was minor in comparison. At one point, Hurricane Dorian was a Category 3 storm headed straight towards us.
When a storm like Dorian begins to strengthen and become a hurricane, insurance carriers will place a moratorium on writing any new coverage until the storm passes. There is no governing body that makes this decision. Each insurance company decides when they will suspend writing new business and when they will lift the restrictions.
If you have a real estate closing scheduled during a potential hurricane, here is our advice. We recommend that your clients bind their insurance coverage (effective on the upcoming close date) as soon as they hear of a potential storm. If they delay and a moratorium is imposed, they will be unable to obtain insurance coverage until the storm has passed and the moratorium is lifted.
If your client is closing on a new home or business and wants flood insurance, flood coverage is effective immediately (as long as it is not a cash purchase). If your client wants to add flood insurance to a home or business they already own, there is a 30 day waiting period before the coverage goes into effect. Just a reminder – flood insurance is not included in a standard homeowner’s policy.
We are still in what is considered to be peak hurricane season. Earlier this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted an above-normal hurricane season in the Atlantic, so we may see more storms this fall. If you would like more information on how to prepare for a hurricane, click here. To learn more about hurricane facts and myths, click here. For the latest news from the National Hurricane Center, click here.
Please email me or call me at 864-400-3508 if you have any insurance questions or needs.
Ginger Carlon, Insurance Advisor for Realtors and Mortgage Companies