SC.GOV - The Official Web Site of the State of South Carolina
SCDOI Online Services
Search SCDOI Database
SCDOI Connect Login
Bulletins and Orders
Public Information and Media
Government and Industry Resources
Frequently Asked Questions
Health Care Reform
Frequently Asked Questions
FAQs: Homeowners Insurance
The insurance company has non-renewed my homeowner's policy. Can they do that?
Your company can non-renew for any reason so long as the two requirements mandated by law are met. First, the company is required to put in writing the precise reason for the non-renewal. Second, the company must give 60 days advance notice for any non-renewal that would be effective between November 1 and May 31 and 90 days advance notice for any non-renewal that would be effective between June 1 and October 31. Section 38-75-740
There is, however, one exception. A policy can be non-renewed for claims even if the claims have not been your fault, though the law does not allow non-renewals for claims history if your ONLY claims have been Acts of God. Acts of God claims cannot be used when determining claim frequency.
I just took out a new homeowner's policy and the company has notified me they are going to cancel my policy.
During the first 120 days, an insurance company can cancel for ANY reason. The law only requires 30 days notice be given. Section 38-75-730(c).
When can an insurance company cancel my homeowner’s coverage during the policy term?
Generally, your policy can be cancelled for these reasons:
• Non-payment of premium;
• Material misrepresentation/Fraud;
• Conviction of a crime arising out of acts increasing the hazard insured against.
(For example, conviction for illegal storage of fireworks);
• Discovery of willful or reckless acts or omissions by the insured increasing the hazard insured against. (For example, not getting a gas leak fixed);
• Physical changes in the property insured which result in the property becoming uninsurable. (For example, should the home become vacant for more than 60 consecutive days, a greater exposure to vandalism and damage is assumed to exist); and
• A determination by the Director of Insurance that continuation of the policy would place the insurance company in violation of the law.
I have had my homeowner's policy for five months and now the insurance company says they are going to cancel because I had claims with another company.
If you did not answer all questions correctly on the application, a company can mid-term cancel for material misrepresentation of facts. Section 38-75-730. The company must give 30 days notice and the reason must be stated.
I have a homeowner's policy. Is my home covered for damages caused by high winds or tornadoes?
Most homeowner policies cover damages to the dwelling caused by tornadoes or other wind damage. The homeowner policy covers the dwelling and personal contents items inside the home. The homeowner policy also covers storage buildings and other outside structures on the insured premises, including personal items inside the building.
Am I covered for wind damage if I have a mobile home policy?
Most mobile home policies will cover losses caused by wind. Storage buildings on the same
premises of mobile home are also generally covered under the mobile home policy. Most mobile home policies will also cover additional living expenses for the homeowner and his family if the mobile home was damaged by a covered loss such as wind.
Will the damages, caused to my home by flood or rising water, be covered under my homeowners policy?
Most homeowner and fire policies, with extended coverage, will not cover flood damages or claims resulting from rising water. Generally, a homeowner would need a flood insurance policy from the National Flood Insurance Plan to have protection for this type of loss.
What must I do after a loss occurs to my home or other property?
The homeowner's policy requires the owner to protect his property from further damage following a loss. Generally, the cost of protecting the property from further damage is covered. Examples of the expenses covered include: tarps, polyethylene, lumber, shingles, sidings, etc. The homeowner should also begin making a list of damaged items for the insurance company. This will allow for the claim to be handled in a timely manner.
How long should I wait for the insurance company to handle my homeowner's claim?
Most individuals with insurance claims receive contact from the insurance adjuster within 48 hours after the claim is reported. The resolution period of a claim will vary, depending upon how extensive the damage from a catastrophe. Generally, the insurance adjuster will schedule a time to meet with the homeowner and adjust the loss.
Will my insurance policy pay for my family to live somewhere else while my damaged home is being repaired?
Most homeowner policies include coverage for additional living expenses. This coverage is designed to cover additional living expenses while repairs are being made to the damaged home. The company/agent should be contacted immediately.
If the insurance company and I cannot agree on the amount that it will take to repair my home, do I have to file suit?
No, your first step should be to utilize the appraisal provision of your policy. You will find it under "Selection I---- Conditions" of your policy contract.
Are deductibles required and, if so, what are they?
Yes, most homeowners forms contain deductible provisions applicable to losses occurring under Section I (Section I losses include (a) dwelling, (b) appurtenant structure, (c) unscheduled personal property, and (d) additional living expenses. The type and amount of deductible varies by company. Deductible provisions do not apply to Section II losses (Section II losses include personal liability [bodily injury and property damage] and medical payments to others). Some companies offer an optional deductible applicable only to wind or hail losses. Most offer higher deductible options such as $500 or $1,000 at a reduced premium.
My house was completely destroyed by fire. I'm trying to collect on my personal property that I had in the house, but the insurance company is telling me I need an inventory. Can they do that?
Yes. Whether your policy pays for the replacement or just the actual cash value, the company is only obligated to pay for personal property that you can show you owned at the time of loss. It is a very good idea to keep an up-to-date inventory in a secure place. Also, to help you remember what you had, it is helpful to take pictures of each room and keep them with your inventory.
Our sump pump failed and the insurance company is denying our claim because the water backed up through our sewer. Can they do this?
Most insurance policies exclude water damage for water which backs up through sewers or drains. You may wish to contact your agent to inquire about putting an endorsement on your policy which would cover sewer back up.
My boat was stolen and now my insurance company will not pay the claim on my homeowner’s policy. Can they deny my claim?
Theft to watercraft, including furnishings, equipment and outboard motors, are typically excluded if the theft occurs outside your residential premises. To adequately cover your boat and its accessories, you should contact your agent regarding a separate policy covering the boat.
During a storm, a tree from my neighbor’s yard fell and destroyed my fence. Does my homeowner’s policy pay for the damage or does my neighbor’s policy?
Generally, your own policy should cover the loss. Your insurance company may be able to recover the amount it pays you for the loss and your deductible from the homeowner's insurance that your neighbor may have if the loss occurred as a result of your neighbor’s negligence.
Online Services Agreement and Initial Disclosure
Copyright © 2011 State of South Carolina