Fact file: South Carolina hurricane insurance

September 2018

  • South Carolina was impacted by three of the costliest hurricanes, based on insured damage, two of which occurred in 2004: Hurricane Charley and Hurricane Frances. The third, 1989’s Hurricane Hugo, caused extensive damage in South Carolina. These loss statistics do not include flood damage covered under the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Standard homeowners policies typically do not cover flood damage. 
  • Hurricane Hugo also resulted in $376.4 million in total flood insurance losses paid by the federal government’s NFIP.
  • Hurricane Hugo still ranks as one of the most expensive hurricane in U.S. history, causing a total estimated insured loss of $4.2 billion in 1989 ($7.3 billion in 2016 dollars).
  • The 1893 South Carolina/Georgia (Sea Islands) hurricane was the fifth deadliest in U.S. history with between 1,000 and 2,000 lives lost.
  • The insured value of properties in coastal areas of South Carolina totaled $239 billion in 2015, according to an analysis by AIR Worldwide, accounting for 26 percent of the state’s total insured property exposure.
  • Between 36,000 and 347,000 single-family homes are at risk of damage from storm surge in South Carolina, according to CoreLogic.  In terms of reconstruction costs, storm surge damage would range from $10.3 billion to $80.8 billion.  The ranges reflect the intensity of hurricanes, with the lower range corresponding to a weak hurricane and the highest range reflecting damage from a rare Category 5 hurricane.
  • The number of people living in coastal areas South Carolina increased by 136,481 people or 7.0 percent from 2010 to 2.1 million people in 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • The South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association (SCWHUA), known as the Beach Plan or Wind Pool, is the market of last resort that provides wind and hail coverage to residential and commercial property owners in the coastal area of the state.
  • As of fiscal year 2017, the South Carolina Beach Plan had a total of 30,916 policies in force, up from 29,833 policies in force at the end of fiscal year 2016. There were 22,068 total policies in force at the end of 2005. The plan had an exposure of $7.8 billion in fiscal year 2017 down from $9.7 billion in 2016.

Top 10 Writers Of Commercial Insurance In South Carolina By Direct Premiums Written, 2017 (1)

Rank Group/company Direct premiums written ($000) Market share
1 Liberty Mutual $226,178 6.0%
2 Travelers Companies Inc. 201,322 5.4
3 Chubb Ltd. 181,590 4.8
4 Zurich Insurance Group 166,020 4.4
5 American International Group (AIG) 148,907 4.0
6 Hartford Financial Services 134,500 3.6
7 Berkshire Hathaway Inc. 134,399 3.6
8 Nationwide Mutual Group 122,462 3.3
9 Auto-Owners Insurance Group  118,021 3.1
10 CNA Financial Corp. 102,252 2.7

(1) Before reinsurance transactions.

Source: NAIC data, sourced from S&P Global Market Intelligence, Insurance Information Institute.

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Top 10 Writers Of Homeowners Insurance In South Carolina By Direct Premiums Written, 2017 (1)

Rank Group/company Direct premiums written ($000) Market share
1 State Farm  $358,764 21.2%
2 Allstate Corp. 171,456 10.1
3 USAA Insurance Group 148,086 8.7
4 Travelers Companies Inc. 92,211 5.4
5 Nationwide Mutual Group 89,756 5.3
6 Liberty Mutual 84,958 5.0
7 SC Farm Bureau Federation 63,973 3.8
8 Farmers Insurance Group of Companies (2) 47,310 2.8
9 United Insurance Holdings 45,338 2.7
10 Auto-Owners Insurance Group  44,947 2.7

(1) Before reinsurance transactions.
(2) Data for Farmers Insurance Group of Companies and Zurich Financial Group (which owns Farmers' management company) are reported separately by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Source: NAIC data, sourced from S&P Global Market Intelligence, Insurance Information Institute.

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Top 10 Writers Of Private Passenger Auto Insurance In South Carolina By Direct Premiums Written, 2017 (1)

Rank Group/company Direct premiums written ($000) Market share
1 State Farm  $949,692 23.9%
2 Berkshire Hathaway Inc. 523,217 13.2
3 Allstate Corp. 473,094 11.9
4 USAA Insurance Group 365,476 9.2
5 Progressive  340,855 8.6
6 Nationwide Mutual Group 283,086 7.1
7 Liberty Mutual 206,434 5.2
8 Travelers Companies Inc. 176,219 4.4
9 Southern Farm Bureau Casualty 134,639 3.4
10 Private Passenger-Owners Insurance Group  68,469 1.7

(1) Before reinsurance transactions.

Source: NAIC data, sourced from S&P Global Market Intelligence, Insurance Information Institute.

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Top 10 Costliest Hurricanes In The United States (1)

($ millions)

        Estimated insured losses (2)
Rank Date Location Hurricane Dollars when
occurred
In 2017
dollars (3)
1 Aug. 25-30, 2005 AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, TN Hurricane Katrina $41,100 $50,751
2 Sep.19-22, 2017 PR, UV Hurrican Maria (3) (3)
3 Aug. 24-26, 1992 FL, LA Hurricane Andrew 15,500 24,852
4 Sep. 6-12, 2017 AL, FL, GA, NC, PR, SC, UV Hurricane Irma (3) (3)
5 Oct. 28-31, 2012 CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VA, VT, WV Hurricane Sandy 18,750 20,240
6 Aug. 25-Sep. 1, 2017 AL, LA, MS, NC, TN, TX Hurricane Harvey (3) (3)
7 Sep. 12-14, 2008 AR, IL, IN, KY, LA, MO, OH, PA, TX Hurricane Ike 12,500 14,311
8 Oct. 24, 2005 FL Hurricane Wilma 10,300 12,719
9 Aug. 13-14, 2004 FL, NC, SC Hurricane Charley 7,475 9,518
10 Sep. 15-21, 2004 AL, DE, FL, GA, LA, MD, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV Hurricane Ivan 7,110 9,053
8 Sep. 17-22, 1989 GA, NC, PR, SC, UV, VA Hurricane Hugo 4,195 7,378
9 Sep. 20-26, 2005 AL, AR, FL, LA, MS, TN, TX Hurricane Rita 5,627 6,949
10 Sep. 3-9, 2004 FL, GA, NC, NY, SC Hurricane Frances 4,595 5,851

(1) Property coverage only. Does not include flood damage covered by the federally administered National Flood Insurance Program.
(2) Adjusted for inflation through 2017 by the Insurance Information Institute using the GDP implicit price deflator.
(3) Loss estimate not yet available from PCS, but a relative ranking is provided.

Source: The Property Claim Services® (PCS®) unit of ISO®, a Verisk Analytics® company, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

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Estimated Value Of Insured Coastal Properties Vulnerable To Hurricanes By State, 2015 (1)

($ billions)

Rank State Commercial Residential Total Coastal Total exposure (2) Coastal as a percent of total
1 New York  $2,093 $1,272 $3,365 $5,571 68%
2 Florida  1,483 1,718 3,200 4,058 79
3 Virginia  92 106 1,993 2,078 10
4 Texas  725 638 1,363 5,358 28
5 Massachusetts  441 511 953 1,765 54
6 New Jersey  373 422 795 2,453 32
7 Connecticut  290 385 675 1,025 64
8 Louisiana  182 147 329 896 38
9 South Carolina  112 126 239 931 26
10 Maine  73 111 184 321 53
11 North Carolina  69 109 178 2,014 8
12 Alabama  63 65 128 1,014 13
13 Georgia  53 56 109 2,171 5
14 Delaware  34 59 93 241 29
15 New Hampshire  32 42 74 328 23
16 Mississippi  36 35 71 527 14
17 Rhode Island  25 46 71 241 22
18 Maryland  8 10 18 1,476 1
  All states above  $6,184 $5,858 $13,838 $32,468 38%
  Total, United States $6,184 $5,858 $13,838 NA 16%

(1) Includes residential and commercial Gulf and East Coast properties, as of December 31, 2015. Ranked by value of total insured coastal property.
(2) Total exposure is an estimate of the actual total value of all property in the state that is insured or can be insured, including the full replacement value of structures and their contents, additional living expenses and the time value of business interruption coverage.

NA=Data not available.

Source: AIR Worldwide.

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Other Resources

I.I.I. Facts & Stats: Flood Insurance

I.I.I. Facts & Stats: Hurricanes

I.I.I. Issues Updates: Catastrophes

I.I.I. Issues Updates: Hurricane and Windstorm Deductibles

 

South Carolina Wind and Underwriting Association Website

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