Myrtle Beach experienced a bit of unusual weather yesterday. Temperatures skyrocketed into the 70’s only a day after they dipped down into the 20’s (with wind chills in the TEENS!) Not long after the temperature dropped, a nasty storm rolled through the area and brought a tornado watch, a gale warning, high gusts of wind, and heavy downpours with it.
It’s very uncharacteristic for our area to experience storms like the one we had yesterday during this time of year. It just goes to show we never really know when Mother Nature might throw us a curveball and how important it is to be prepared when she does.
A major concern in the Grand Strand area is flooding. Flood zones are created from ocean water and rain that is driven inland by severe storms, tropical storms, or hurricanes. The flood waters along the beachfront can rise to heights of 15-to-20 feet above sea level.
Some buyers avoid looking at properties located east of 17 Business because they fear outrageous insurance premiums. (Side Note: There’s a difference between HWY 17 Bypass & HWY 17 Business—also referred to as Kings Hwy.) While it’s true that mortgage lenders require special coverage for wind and hail damage (that can be rather pricy) on certain properties east of 17, they don’t require it on all of them because they aren’t all located within FEMA flood zones.
If you are considering purchasing a home east of HWY 17 Business that is located within a FEMA flood zone, have an elevation survey done on the property before you purchase a coverage policy. The elevation levels can vary drastically from one property to the next, and the policy’s rate can vary by hundreds of dollars.
Also, another thing to consider when you search for an insurance policy is that some companies don’t offer coverage for ANY property east of the Intracoastal Waterway. For property owners who can’t obtain flood insurance coverage through the standard insurance market, policies are provided by the SC Wind & Hail Underwriting Association. Our best advice is to check with a LOCAL insurance company for questions regarding these types of policies. It’s always best to consult a professional (i.e. lawyer, mortgage lender, insurance agent) for area specific questions.
The following links have some useful information regarding flood zones, insurance coverage, and the SC Wind & Hail Program (also known as the “Wind Pool”).
If you have additional questions about flood zones in and around Myrtle Beach or would like a list of local insurance agents, please contact us at Dargan Real Estate.