|By Dan Burley, The Island Packet (Hilton Head Island, S.C.)|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The increase in private insurers could mean lower rates for customers, insurance agents said Tuesday.
"There's a big difference between having to go to the wind pool and having five companies willing to take your business," said
"As a customer, I get to figure out what the right price point is for me."
In the past three years, nearly 25 percent of property owners in
Much of the shift stems from private carriers entering the coastal market. As many as 25 companies have started offering wind coverage in the past few years, Harrison said.
Other national insurers like
Companies differ in their reasons for expanding.
"I don't think they thought they could make a profit with wind and hail because of the proximity with potential to disaster (such as a hurricane)," he said. "But once they understood there was a way to make a profit, it helped."
"The lack of catastrophic hurricane activity, in the Lowcountry specifically, has led to a flood of private insurers in the market," he said.
Another way to lower those rates is to increase competition, insurance experts argue.
The expanded private market will eventually do that, they say.
"It makes us able to offer a product that is more inclusive and more competitively priced," said Dubisky.
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