HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) Homeowners are seeing their home insurance rates skyrocket along the Grand Strand. Experts recently answered questions at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center about why those rates are climbing.
Chuck Jones said his insurance is putting a pinch on his pocketbook. Jones explains, "It seems like they go up a little bit every year. I think over the past eight years I've lived here it's gone up 30-40 percent."
Consulting Actuary Mark Brannon said people could be paying more for several reasons. Brannon states, "The more common types of losses, non-catastrophe losses such as fires, theft, liability claims and water damage. Those costs have increased in South Carolina about 60 percent just in the last four years."
Brannon adds that catastrophic tornado activity that has been taking place across the country is also a contributing factor. Brannon goes on to explain that the whole coastal area sees higher costs.
"The cost of insuring coastal property continues to rise due to primarily as we have better ways to estimate impacts of hurricanes when they make landfall," he claims.
Brannon said the economy also plays a role in how much people will pay.
"As the economy has gone down, unemployment rises, people are not able to take care of their property. There is just less concern about how things are kept up, and those drive up frequency of events and they tend to be more costly when they do occur," he explains.
Gwendolyn McGriff, Acting Director of the South Carolina Department of Insurance said they are trying to encourage people to take care of their homes. It may cost more money up front, but it will pay off in the long run.
McGriff stated, "The condition of the property affects coverage...retrofitting or mitigation. Basically retrofitting the home… making it more resistant to hurricane damage."
Horry County Emergency Planner Alicia Sanders said people should protect their homes by getting shutters and securing their garage doors, which will help people prepare for a natural disaster.
"You have a stronger home to come back to. Maybe it will protect you from incurring additional damages," Sanders suggests.
Experts also said people may want to look at getting a higher deductible which could reduce the premium and help save money.