South Carolina DOI Extends Expanded Wind Pool Area for 2 More Years

January 23, 2023

The South Carolina insurance department director has extended the life of the state windstorm association’s expanded coverage area for another two years.

In a bulletin posted last week, Acting Director Michael Wise renewed the expanded territory, as allowed by law. The South Carolina Hail and Wind Underwriting Association, commonly known as the Wind Pool, includes several insurance companies and was established by South Carolina lawmakers in 1971. It provides insurance in coastal counties where property owners cannot find it on the voluntary market.

In 2007, the Department of Insurance expanded the pool’s coverage area to include parts of Charleston, Georgetown and Horry counties, the DOI said in the bulletin. The expansion order has been extended every two years since then.

Wise’s bulletin explained that over the last 16 years, the Wind Pool has helped stabilize the market, which as led to a more voluntary coverage, particularly for commercial properties. Since 2011, the number of policies in the Wind Pool have dropped by 70%.

Still, the DOI sees a need for the program to continue in most coastal areas.

“Although the South Carolina property insurance market is stable, and issues surrounding the availability of reinsurance have improved significantly, there are indications that property insurers remain concerned about their exposure to catastrophic perils,” the extension order reads.

Insurers continue to seek to limit losses in some coastal areas, potentially making it difficult for consumers to find coverage, the DOI said. If the expansion is not renewed, the coastal market could see significant disruption.

The extension will remain in effect until March 28, 2025.