South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriters Association
About Us

South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association

The South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association (SCWHUA) is the residual property insurance market in South Carolina. It provides coverage for the perils of wind and hail in the coastal area of the state designated by the Legislature as "Beach." The territory is defined by state law.

Although its official name is the South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association, it is often referred to as the Wind Pool. It is an Association of insurance companies which makes wind and hail property insurance available to people and businesses in the coastal area who are not able to buy it through the standard insurance market.

In 1971, the South Carolina Legislature required the insurance industry to make wind and hail insurance coverage available to home and business owners in the coastal area. This action was necessary because some residents and business owners were unable to obtain wind and hail coverages due to close proximity to the coastline. The Association has served as a tremendous benefit for businesses and residents living in the beach region of the state.

Who Operates the Wind Pool?
The Association is under the direction of a Board of Directors which acts as the governing body for the organization. The Board consists of eleven (11) insurance company representatives, two (2) coastal insurance agents, and four (4) consumer representatives. The Plan is managed by a staff of professional insurance individuals independent of any single insurance company. All property and casualty insurance companies conducting business in the State are required to participate in funding the Plan and share in any losses or profits.

[back to top]

Who is eligible to buy through the Wind Pool?
Almost anyone in the coastal area of South Carolina can purchase wind and hail coverage from the Association, assuming your property is in the covered territory. It should be pointed out that consumers may find broader coverage at a better price in the regular competitive insurance market. In fact, it is highly recommended that an applicant seek to buy insurance in the standard market before applying to the Plan for coverage. The Association is a market of last resort.

[back to top]

How are claims handled in the Wind Pool?
If you are insured by the Association and have a loss, you should contact your insurance producer promptly. You should make a list of items damaged or destroyed along with their estimated value and provide that list to the adjuster assigned to your loss. You must take reasonable steps to protect your property from further damage until the loss is inspected by the adjuster.

Loss arising out of a hurricane is generally caused by one or both of two key factors. The first is damage due to wind. The second is damage due to the force of water. For many coastal residents, the high tides and storm surge which occur as part of a hurricane can be more devastating than the wind damage. Please talk to your insurance agent or producer for further information about flood insurance.

[back to top]

Comparison Shopping
Consumers are encouraged to shop around insurers before purchasing a policy through the Association. The Association is a "last chance" insurer. Better insurance coverage may be available in the regular competitive market place. If insureds find better coverage after they are insured with the Plan, they can cancel their Association policy without penalty.

[back to top]

Who are our agents?
By state law, the Association does not have any agents, but all business must be handled by an agent of your choice. The association does not write or service business directly with consumers or insureds. The producer is your broker (representative) in the Wind and Hail insurance transaction.

Any individual holding an insurance license from the South Carolina Department of Insurance may submit applications to the Association. These individuals have no authority to act on behalf of the Association. For example, producers are not permitted to bind coverage, assign claims to adjusters, adjust claims, or make coverage determinations.

[back to top]

What coverages are available in the plan?
The Association offers a limited peril policy protecting against losses arising out of wind and hail damage. Replacement cost coverage for single family dwellings can be requested for primary residences built after 1950. A flood policy must be in force at time of loss or the claim will be handled on an ACV basis.

The Association provides up to $1.3 million of protection (structure, contents, loss of use, increased cost of construction) for personal risks such as dwellings, mobile homes, and condominium units. Commercial risks can be insured for up to $2.5 million (structure, contents, loss of business income). Applicants must specify which limits and coverages are desired.

All policies are written for one year only. Continuation of coverage requires the submission of a new application and payment of premium annually.

[back to top]

Does this mean the the Wind Pool will insure all property?
There are reasonable standards which must be met.
For example:

  • The property must not be over water.
  • The property, especially the roof, must be in good condition.
  • The property must not be used for any illegal or immoral purpose.
  • The property must be in the statutorily defined coastal territory.

The property must be in compliance with the Southern Building Code and the Federal Flood construction and zoning guidelines. An exterior inspection of the property is required on every policy issued. Follow up inspections are undertaken every one to five years. Coverage in the Plan requires the submission of a completed application and full payment of premium. New business coverage becomes effective sixteen days after on-line submission of the completed application packet. For rewrite policies, the completed application packet must be submitted on-line no later than seven days after the expiration of the policy.

[back to top]

How can I obtain coverage or more information about the coastal area?
Please contact your local insurance agent or producer for assistance with your property insurance.

[back to top]

Home || Bulletins || Member Info || The Manual || About || Forms || Links || Q & A || Contact Us || Quick Quote
Copyright 1999-2011. South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association.
Contact webmaster regarding site information.