CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Donald Hughes says his homeowners insurance nearly doubled, and it's all because of where his home is located.
"I'm very frustrated," he said. "I thought that there was some sort of misprint or something, so I contacted the insurance company."
But it wasn't a misprint, and after doing a little research, Hughes found the reason behind the increase: his house is 5.3 miles from the nearest Horry County fire station. He says the cut-off for lower rates is usually five miles.
"It's just deemed a little more risky area," he explained.
Hughes asked his local officials if they could divert money set aside to build new libraries and recreation centers in Horry County to build new fire stations instead.
"I've always been under the impression that you take care of the people first, before you worry about your leisure and your recreational activities," he said.
"We are making sure the citizens get the most bang for their buck in the strategical placement of these fire stations," explained Horry County Councilman Al Allen, whose district includes Hughes' home, adding the money for new fire houses is separate from other funds. "With it being that close, if a homeowner were to shop around, there are some insurance companies that will work with them on that issue."
Hughes says he's already shopped around, and it didn't' work for him. In the meantime he has to pay the premium.
"I'm pretty much under their thumb," he said. "You really don't have any other alternatives that to insure the property you own."