Do hurricane map changes mean insurance changes?

Hurricane season
starts Friday.

While protecting our families may be our main concern, we also need to protect our homes and belongings in the event a storm does make landfall.

With the recent changes to Horry and Georgetown counties storm surge maps and evacuation zones, there's a lot of questions whether homeowners need to change their insurance coverage.

"You do have to be prepared from June 1 through November in the event that we do have a hurricane," said Grand Strand insurance agent Faye Bradham.

For more than 25 years, Bradham has worked as an agent in Conway. But she also owns a beach house in Murrells Inlet, so she understands what homeowners need inland as well as on the coast.

Bradham said even with new changes to surge maps and evacuation zones, insurance premiums and coverage should not change.

"These changes have nothing to do with insurance. This will not make homeowners insurance cost increase."

South Carolina Insurance News
Service Executive Director Russ Dubisky agreed.

"This will not have a big impact on insurance premiums," said Dubisky. "Storm surge will still be considered flood, but flood is not covered on your regular homeowners insurance."

Floods can happen anywhere in South Carolina, said Dubisky.

He said if anyone finds themselves in these new storm surge areas and does not have flood insurance, they should look hard at getting coverage.

"We would encourage anyone anywhere to look at flood insurance especially if you see yourself being impacted by these maps."

"I'm amazed sometimes that people just don't realize what kind of coverage they have," said Bradham. "I can not emphasize enough that your basic homeowners policy does not cover flood insurance. A lot of people just don't even think about it."

If homeowners need to have one dialogue with anyone this hurricane season, it's their insurance agent to make sure all of their bases are covered, said Bradham.

"I would advise anyone who is concerned about their policy that they need to talk to their agent and make sure they do have the policy they need...If I were them, I'd put my agent's number on speed dial."