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Observers believe insurance codes holding real estate sales back

Under current South Carolina law, property insurance companies can bypass state regulators when they want to hike rates. This legal exception recently became the subject of scrutiny from real estate professionals in our state, since they believe that high rates are limiting opportunities for growth and real estate transactions.

Recently, a statewide real estate organization announced an effort to change South Carolina's property insurance regulations with legislative action. By passing such a bill, the hope is that there will be more oversight in the process to raise insurance rates in order to make sure they remain at reasonable levels. Currently, rates can be adjusted without approval if the proposed increase is smaller than 7 percent.

A recent study revealed that highly valued and coastal homes in South Carolina are subject to some of the highest insurance rates in the country. In fact, some homeowners in the coastal regions "now pay more for insurance than property taxes." By relaxing property insurance rates, many hope that real estate sales will be stimulated, particularly among premium properties.

When purchasing a piece of property, any number of factors can influence the transaction process. Sellers are motivated to move on and buyers are excited by the possibilities offered by a new home or commercial property, but neither party wants to finish the process feeling as though they didn't receive a fair deal. This is exactly why many people find it beneficial to consult with a real estate attorney when handling a real estate transaction. By taking this proactive step, the hope is that both parties will emerge feeling satisfied with the terms of sale and closing.

Source: The Post and Courier, "South Carolina Realtors push for property insurance reform," Tony Barelme, April 20, 2013

  • To learn more about your options when purchasing or selling property, visit our Charleston real estate page.

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