South Carolina insurance officials this week awarded 57 grants to coastal homeowners for use in installing new roofing systems and taking other steps to fortify their homes against hurricanes.
State Insurance Director David Black said the grants, totaling more than $248,000, went to families in in the coastal counties of Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Horry, Marion and Florence.
“SC Safe Home is helping homeowners take proactive steps toward strengthening their homes and making them more resistant to the severe winds and damages caused by hurricanes. We know that hurricane season officially begins in June but it is never too early to begin to prepare,” said Black.
Black said that 90 percent of the grants awarded this week will assist with the installation of new roofing systems, which research indicates is the single most effective measure a homeowner can take to strengthen their home.
Retrofitted structures are more attractive risks to insurance companies. Homeowners that have completed mitigation projects through SC Safe Home have reported premium reduction savings of up to 24 percent on their property insurance, according to officials.
SC Safe Home roofing systems include a secondary water barrier to help resist against water intrusion, enhanced nailing patterns, roofing shingles that are manufactured to higher wind-ratings and the of bracing of gable-ends.
Grant funds are currently available through the SC Safe Home Program. Grants of up to $5,000 are available for owner-occupied primary residences and may be awarded on a matching or non-matching basis.