Freedom of Information Requests (FOIA)

The South Carolina Department of Insurance (Department) discloses information in accordance with the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the South Carolina Family Privacy Act. The South Carolina Department of Insurance ("Department") complies with the requirements of the FOIA and makes available to the public those records subject to disclosure under the FOIA that are not otherwise afforded confidential treatment by some other provision of the law. Records of the Department are open to the public for inspection and copying pursuant to, and subject to any limitations of, the FOIA, S.C. Code Ann. 30-4-10 et seq. (1976, as amended).

In order to ensure open access, accountability, and timely and appropriate response to the public, all requests for information will be coordinated through the Office of General Counsel.

How do I request information?

All FOIA requests must be in writing. No particular written format or form is required; however, written submissions should identify or describe the materials requested so that staff may efficiently search for the records sought.  Broad or vague requests may make it difficult to locate records or produce records at the lowest possible costs.  Department staff may contact you regarding the scope of your request to ensure that searches are tailored to the specific records sought.

FOIA Requests may be submitted by U.S. mail, fax or email transmission to:

Office of General Counsel
South Carolina Department of Insurance
1201 Main Street, Suite 1000
Post Office Box 101105
Columbia, South Carolina 29202-3105


South Carolina law prohibits obtaining or using public records for commercial solicitation purposes directed to any one in this state and provides penalties for noncompliance.

How long does it take to respond to my request?

Certain requests may require a determination to be made regarding confidentiality, trade secret, or other FOIA or separate statutory exemption from release. In such cases, the requester will be notified that the files are not immediately available and that they will be contacted by the Department upon determination regarding exemption by the Department.

The Department will notify the requesting party of its determination and the reasons for such determination within either ten (10) or twenty (20) working days of receiving the request, depending on the age of the records requested.  Working days do not include Saturdays, Sundays, or legal public holidays.  

The Department does not guarantee that a search will yield any responsive records. If the requested records are available and subject to public disclosure, the Office of General Counsel shall coordinate with appropriate program areas to arrange for retrieval, review and / or copying of records. In person review of records shall be by appointment only at the South Carolina Department of Insurance.  Designated Department staff will be responsible for establishing and coordinating procedures with office/program areas for all FOIA requests.
 Unless a deposit is required prior to searching for or reproducing responsive records, the information or materials generally will be furnished or made available for inspection or copying within either thirty (30) or thirty-five (35) calendar days of the determination of the request, depending on the age of the records requested.  

FOIA requests are processed in a manner designed to ensure open access, accountability, and a timely response to the public.  Because some requested records could potentially implicate or involve ongoing litigation, or confidential matters that are otherwise protected or exempt from disclosure under state or federal law, FOIA requests are coordinated through legal counsel.

Section 30-4-30(b) provides for the establishment and collection of reasonable fees and for certain exemptions. These fees are subject to change. A current schedule of fees will be available from the FOIA Coordinator. Fees will include both the cost of reproduction and personnel costs for research and retrieval. 

SCDOI Record Copying Fee(s)​

Paper Copy Records Request

$.25 a page plus 8% tax

Administrative Time for Search, Retrieval and Redaction

$20 per hour

Annual/Quarterly Statements

$50 per statement plus 8% tax

Postage or Faxes

Actual Cost

Electronic Data Storage Device

$20 per hour. If the cost of the electronic data storage device (e.g., thumb drive, CD, etc.) is $2 or more, the charge for copies will include the actual cost of the device.

The Department does not charge a fee for staff time devoted to determining whether the documents requested are subject to disclosure.  Under South Carolina law, the Department is authorized to furnish records when appropriate either without charge or at a reduced charge if it determines that waiving or reducing the applicable fees is in the public interest because producing the records under the circumstances primarily benefits the general public.  

In some cases, it will require prepayment of 25% of the estimated cost as a deposit before copying the records if the costs exceed $200. The Department requires full payment of staff costs for searches of archived and other records whether or not the search yields any records that are responsive to requests for information.

The Department charges for the costs of copying a record and attempts to minimize those costs where practicable.  The Department notifies the requestor of the estimated charges to fulfill a request prior to copying the documents to give the requestor an opportunity to narrow or broaden a request for information.  Invoices are sent to the requestor along with the copies.  The full amount of the total cost must be paid by the requesting party when the records are produced.