You’ve been living in the Lowcountry for a long time or maybe you just moved here from the midwest or northeast and your Homeowner’s Insurance is with State Farm. You feel great, right?
After all, you’re with a “giant” insurance company that you constantly see tv commercials for.
Please don’t take this with any disrespect but you may want to think twice about who is insuring your home in coastal South Carolina. Now let me preface everything I say below with THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH STATE FARM AS A COMPANY (my grandpa actually worked for State Farm back in the day!). The purpose of this article is to expose some secrets that your State Farm agent in South Carolina does not want you to know.
Are you ready to hear these secrets?
Make sure you are sitting down because these are some whoppers that could cost you BIG TIME.
#1 – Check your deductibles. From our research, State Farm clients have deductibles that are TWICE the average of other insurance companies that write on the coast in South Carolina. What does this mean for you? In addition to your premium that you pay, you will have higher out of pocket costs. This makes your “true cost” of insurance much higher than your neighbors and friends. Don’t find out after a loss that your claim is simply not covered because you haven’t reached your high deductible yet.
In addition to your deductible, you may even have a separate “wind and hail policy” through SCWHUA (aka the wind pool). This is a HUGE SECRET your State Farm agent won’t tell you…this is literally a “last resort” option…you can read for yourself on their website. In many cases, State Farm agents don’t have the option to write the wind insurance on your homeowner’s policy so they must resort to this high cost, minimal coverage option.
Andrew’s Tip: You are going to have multiple deductibles on your policy. One is for “wind or named storms or hurricanes” and the other is for “all other covered losses”. Make sure you understand ALL deductibles.
Often times the wind deductible can be $20,000+ and you don’t even realize it!
Secondly, if you do have a separate “wind and hail policy”, you should strongly reconsider reviewing this policy with an independent insurance agent so you fully understand the limitations and restrictions this policy has.
#2 – Check your pricing. From our research, coastal South Carolina State Farm clients are paying on average 35% more than non-State Farm clients. Think about this, you could possibly be paying 35% more each and every year. Over a ten year period, that could be thousands or tens of thousands of dollars wasted!
Andrew’s Tip: State Farm doesn’t have the ability to “shop” your insurance with multiple companies. We recommend finding a really good and trusted “independent insurance agency” because they do offer “options” to fit your precise needs and wants. Make sure that you are paying a fair price, receiving low deductibles, and are with a trusted company. Here is a list of the trusted companies that we work with at Mappus Insurance.
#3 – Flood Insurance. When it comes to flood insurance, State Farm can only “refer” their clients directly to FEMA through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for quotes. In
addition, State Farm cannot access any private flood insurance companies. Our research shows that by not having private flood options, you could be paying a lot more for your flood insurance and be limited on coverage for things like detached structures, swimming pools, and loss of use coverage. Again, costing you more if a loss occurs.
In one example, a downtown Charleston client was paying over $4,000 through FEMA and only $489 through Mappus. Think about that for a minute…
Andrew’s Tip: Similar to #2 above, because State Farm doesn’t have the ability to “shop” your flood insurance for the best pricing and coverage needs, you are at a disadvantage. We recommend finding an “independent insurance agency” that can find you options to confirm your peace of mind with coverage and pricing needs. Not only do we recommend an independent insurance agency, but we also recommend one that specializes in flood insurance as flood insurance on the coast in South Carolina can be extremely confusing and stressful to navigate.
In closing, homeowners insurance and flood insurance can be very tricky and extremely tough to navigate in coastal South Carolina. Many people “assume” that because they have been with State Farm for their entire life, that State Farm is the best option for them in coastal South Carolina. We recommend to do your research, collect the data, make informed and educational decisions, and make sure you can trust your agent. After all, we are insuring your largest asset, right?