Story by Art Department / July 5, 2016

Insurance Agent Kevin Shealy Offers Insights about Recent Flooding and Rising Premiums

Allstate_Web2After last October’s devastating floods, the state of South Carolina was left in complete shock, scrambling to recover. The amount of rainfall in October beat the 107-year standing record for total rainfall in a period of five days, leaving behind immense damage. Homeowners have found great difficulty in recovering from these damages as a result of the recent phasing out of government subsidies that were originally meant to help with flood damages. The Federal Emergency Management Association, since the days of Hurricane Katrina, has found itself nearly twenty-four billion dollars in debt. In attempts to financially recover from these days of devastation, the federal government has begun to cut off these subsidy flood loans to homeowners. However, this plan for the government to save money has only ended up costing homeowners exorbitant amounts out of their own pocket. Not just in South Carolina, but also across the entire East Coast, homeowners have seen almost a twenty-five-percent increase in their premium rates of flood insurance, making many coastal residences entirely unaffordable.

These high insurance premiums are becoming far too expensive for homeowners who are unable to keep up with the rising prices. In efforts to reduce these outrageous insurance premiums, many homeowners have discovered ways to minimize their payments by up to ninety percent. For new homeowners, still in the process of building a home, the most effective methods of lowering the premium are still relatively easy to achieve. By maintaining close contact with your contractor, be sure that flood vents and an appropriate crawlspace are part of your building plan. Both of these tactics will ensure that floodwaters can more easily run underneath your home, protecting the actual structure from water damage. Alongside these methods, placing your house at a proper elevation—whether it be by geography, or even placing the structure on stilts—will avoid unnecessary flooding. By considering these factors into your design plan, your cost of insurance can be decreased as a result of the house being less at-risk for flooding.

For those homeowners who already own a home, Kevin Shealy of AllState Insurance, has other recommendations. Kevin recommends that settled homeowners can decrease their premium by requesting “Zero Contents Coverage,” meaning that, instead of all of the belongings inside your home being protected, merely the structure itself is be protected. Beyond that option, it is crucial that homeowners verify their insurance premiums are based on correct data. Many insurance companies may make crucial mistakes in data, producing a charge that is far overpriced. With flooding being the number-one cause of disaster-related events, if government subsidies cannot be provided, it is clear, that other precautions must be made to protect homeowners and their belongings. By using the suggestions provided, homeowners can begin to gain leverage in combating outrageous premiums.