Add the director of the South Carolina Department of Insurance to the thousands of coastal homeowners who have lost property insurance since Hurricane Katrina.
Scott Richardson, who lives on Hilton Head Island, was notified three weeks ago that his policy would be dropped.
Following Katrina two years ago, premiums rose as much as 400 percent in hurricane-prone areas, and many insurers stopped writing coverage.
Richardson now finds himself shopping for insurance.
“I guess it just proves nobody’s immune. If I’m not immune, then nobody is,” said Richardson, who was appointed to head the Insurance Department in February.
Richardson may have to join the South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association, known as the wind pool. In July, the department announced rate increases averaging 35 percent.
“I might be in the wind pool before you know it,” Richardson said. “I get to try a little of my own medicine.”
The wind pool provides last-resort coverage in areas where other insurers have stopped writing policies. Florida’s program created three years ago attracted 1.3 million customers and became the state’s largest property insurance provider.
Information from: The Beaufort Gazette,