Coastal living may cost you more

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - If you live on or near the coast, you will be paying more for insurance.  Starting Sept. 1, Wind pool insurance will rise an average of ten percent.

If you live on the barrier islands like Edisto, Kiawah, Folly Beach, Isle of Palms or Sullivan's Island, your wind pool insurance will rise by 11.4 percent.  If you're more inland, like Johns and James Islands your rates will go up 3.3 percent.

The Wind/Hail pool is the state's insurer for coastal wind and hail coverage.  It's the last resort for property owners who can't get private coverage.  It insures more than $17 billion in property along the coast in South Carolina.

"If a hurricane hits, we want to make sure we have enough money to insure everyone.  The more people move to the coast, the more money is needed in case a hurricane hits," says Smitty Harrison, executive director of the S.C. Wind and Hail Underwriting Association.

Another reason for the hike is the cost of raw materials.

"Petroleum costs are always on the rise.  Ply wood is more expensive this year. Copper wiring is up eight percent. When a hurricane hits, these materials are needed in bulk supply which drives up the cost and that trickles down to the consumer," says Harrison.

While this hurricane season is predicted to be very busy, Harrison says that doesn't have an affect on insurance prices.