Home Insurance on Hilton Head Island
It is likely that you will be required to seek out some type of insurance, whether it is an HO6 policy to cover the inside of a villa (be sure to refer to the condo documents to determine what is covered by the regime insurance and what is not) or to cover a home, insurance is one of the most expensive aspects of home ownership in this area because we are coastal and the possibility of a hurricane does exist.
There are three categories of insurance here, homeowners, wind and hail and flood. Some companies offer wind and hail through private providers together with homeowners insurance, others provide wind and hail insurance through the state pool and the homeowners insurance is seperate. Flood insurance is typically provided by FEMA through the local insurance agent. Although some mortgage companies do not require flood insurance in C zones, and there are some C zone properties on the island and in Bluffton, I recommend that everyone that purchases property in the Lowcountry be covered by flood insurance, in Mississipppi where Katrina hit, the flood waters went 35 miles inland, that is the other side of I95 here. You can view the Town of Hilton Head Flood Zone Map and enter a property address to search for it’s flood zone at the Town of Hilton Head website.
On July 6, 2012 a law took effect that made significant changes to the National Flood Insurance Program to eliminate a variety of existing flood insurance subsidies. Under the new law, flood insurance premium rates on many properties in special flood hazard areas will increase. The particulars of this legislation are still developing, please consult an insurance agent to determine how this law may affect the flood insurance rates on the home that you are considering purchasing. For more information regarding flood insurance you can visit the FEMA website.
Please be aware that if you are purchasing a home in this area you may be required to supply an Elevation Certificate to the insurance company. I am happy to follow up with the current home owner to see if they one but if they do not have one, or the one that they have is not recent enough (dated since 2008), the insurance company may require that you provide a new one. This is arranged through your attorney and is similar to a survey except that it provides the elevation of the home above sea level. If there is no ‘As Built’ survey for your home and you plan on adding a pool you may want to have that survey done at the same time. Your homes’ elevation affeccts the cost of your flood insurance through FEMA. The cost of the elevation certificate is generally $350-$450, the ‘As Built’ survey would be additional.
For more information regarding insurance on Hilton Head Island please call a local insurance provider:
Margaret Nowlin Coastal Plains Insurance 843-785-7733 ext 251
Tina Farrell Seacoast Insurance 843-341-1676
Cathy Lee Daley BB&T Carswell 843-686-8933
Mike Pivirotto Nationwide Insurance 843-681-2442