Columbia, S.C. – October 5, 2015 – While the extent of damage is still unknown, insured and uninsured losses from last weekend’s historic rainfall and subsequent flooding are expected to be significant.
In the wake of this catastrophe, the S.C. Insurance News Service is offering the following information about insurance coverage and the claims process as they relate to the damages that have been experienced across the state.
What is covered?
While claims are handled and coverage is determined on an individual, case-by-case basis, coverage will likely depend on the nature of the damage and what the policy covers.
• Flooded automobiles would be covered under the comprehensive portion of an auto policy. Comprehensive coverage is optional, but many lenders require the coverage as a condition of the loan.
• Reportedly, a number of trees have fallen across the state. Tree damage is covered under most standard HO and business policies. Autos that have been damaged by trees would again be covered under the comprehensive portion of a policy.
• For flooded homes and businesses, flood damage most often requires insurance under a separate policy (standard homeowners, business, and renters policies do not cover "flood" - surface water that enters a structure). Individuals with flood damage who have not purchased flood coverage through the NFIP can visit DisasterAssistance.gov for more information about individual assistance.
Filing a claim
Make sure that your family and the structure of your home are safe before you begin to survey the damage. Be cautious before you enter standing water, and make sure that power has been turned off, especially if outlets and/or power cords have been submerged.
• Report damage to your insurance agent or company. Find your insurance policy and have your policy number handy when you are ready to make your claim. Once the damage has been reported, they will be able to review your policy, explain your coverage, outline the claim process, and answer specific questions.
• If it is safe to do so, we encourage people to take steps to protect their property from further damage.
• Do not dispose of damaged personal property until an adjuster has had the opportunity to examine it.
• Photographs or video documentation of damaged property may be helpful.
For more information from the S.C. Insurance News Service, or to schedule an interview, call (803)252-3455.
For over 35 years, the South Carolina Insurance News Service has been providing free insurance information to consumers and the media about property and casualty insurance issues.
For more information, contact the South Carolina Insurance News Service at 803-252-3455 or use our contact form.