South Carolina DOI Sets Another Data Call on Liability Market Issues in the State

June 10, 2024

The South Carolina Department of Insurance is again requesting carrier data on the health of liability insurance markets in the state.

“As you are aware, South Carolina and other states have seen liability markets harden significantly over the past several years,” reads a bulletin posted Friday by the department. “Consequently, some insurers are not writing liability insurance products for certain lines.”

The data call, with data due Aug. 9, was required by state lawmakers. The information gleaned from it should help determine why the state has seen liability insurance affordability and availability issues; will help regulators compare South Carolina liability markets and regulatory requirements with those of other Southeastern states; and should lead to new legislative recommendations, the bulletin said.

Some in the industry may wonder why more data is needed. Business owners and insurance agents have complained for years about the state of the liability market, and lawmakers have heard testimony about it. A 2023 DOI report, also required by legislation, examined insurer data and found that the liquor liability market in the state is “extremely unprofitable.” A number of eating and drinking establishments, including a country music venue that had operated for 29 years, have closed recently due to the cost of liquor liability coverage.

Lawmakers debated several bills designed to address the crisis, but none passed this year.

The new data should be sent to DOI via email to using an Excel spreadsheet form available here. For companies that have multiple insurers within a holding company group, it will not be necessary to complete an Excel spreadsheet for each insurer, the department said. Instead, the holding company group should aggregate the information into one Excel spreadsheet and provide a list of those insurers within the group for which information is being aggregated.

The data includes policy counts, claims, losses incurred, premiums earned and other info for liquor, cyber, foster home and commercial auto, along with a sample liquor liability premium for a restaurant and a pub. The information will be kept confidential, DOI noted.

Photo: Charleston, South Carolina, a major tourist destination.

Related: TransRe CEO Warns a Liability Reinsurance Crisis Could be Coming

Topics South Carolina

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