Oxygen - of all the things we put in our bodies, it is by far the most important. If it weren't for oxygen, we'd cease to exist. It's definitely a good thing, then, that we can find oxygen all around us. Oxygen fuels our cells and gives our bodies the basic building blocks we need to survive. It helps us heal, and when we're stressed, taking a few deep breaths can help us calm down. But did you know the oxygen you're breathing right now is only about 21% pure?
That begs the question: What if we could breathe air that has 100% pure oxygen? As it turns out, Better Life Carolinas provides exactly that with our hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). And while the name sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, the technology and benefits are real.
A wise person once said that oxygen under pressure equates to pure health. In some ways, that explains hyperbaric oxygen therapy in a nutshell. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) or hyperbaric chamber therapy is a revolutionary treatment where a patient relaxes in a comfortable chamber filled with 100% pure oxygen.
HBOT was initially used early in the 1900s and was later used in the U.S. to treat decompression sickness, which affects scuba divers. Today, hyperbaric chamber therapy is used by people from all walks of life, from businesspeople and athletes to blue-collar workers and stay-at-home moms.
During HBOT, the air pressure in the hyperbaric chamber is ramped up two or three times higher than typical air pressure. This increased pressure allows your body and lungs to absorb and gather higher amounts of pure oxygen - much more than you would be able to inhale, even if you were breathing pure oxygen.
If you're looking for an effective, efficient alternative to invasive procedures or heavy pharmaceutical medications, using a hyperbaric chamber in Nexton, SC is worth considering. Over the last few years, HBOT has exploded in popularity. More and more people are choosing to use hyperbaric chambers for certain conditions and ailments because they don't require surgery and have no serious side effects.
During hyperbaric therapy treatment, air pressure in the chamber is ramped up so that it is many times higher than ambient air. This increased pressure compresses the breathable oxygen inside the hyperbaric chamber, which you breathe into your body by way of your lungs and skin. The air is then circulated throughout your body via your own bloodstream.
When this pure oxygen is distributed in your body, it saturates your organs, tissues, blood, and spinal cord fluid. It even settles into areas of your body where circulation may be poor or blocked. Like powerful jumper cables, this potent oxygen jump-starts your body's cellular regeneration processes, significantly decreasing harmful inflammation.
This increase in pure oxygen and decrease in inflammation is used to treat many different types of conditions and illnesses, including:
When it comes to common uses for hyperbaric chambers, treatment for sports-related injuries is near the top of the list. Trusted by athletes of all persuasions across multiple sports, hyperbaric chamber therapy has helped countless men and women recover from common issues like fractures, sprains, and compartment syndrome. In fact, studies show that hyperbaric therapy for athletes may work just as effectively as traditional therapy when used as part of a recovery program to achieve the highest healing potential.
That's because competition, training, and recovery go hand in hand. To help with the rigors of high-level sports, HBOT oxygenates muscles, boosts immune systems, and speeds up recovery time for injuries. HBOT cuts down on recovery time by boosting your body's self-healing processes. That, in turn, promotes cell regeneration, which helps encourage tissues and muscles to mend organically, lessening scarring.
When a person has a stroke, blood flow to their brain is disrupted, most often by a major artery blockage. This causes a lack of blood flow, which manifests very quickly, and results in dead brain tissue or hypoxia. When untreated, the blocked artery causes a litany of damage which usually gets worse over time.
While it's impossible to say how much salvageable tissue is lost in the time after a stroke, hyperbaric chamber therapy may help boost cell reproduction and provide oxygen to tissue that died due to lack of blood flow. The non-functioning cells around the damaged tissue area cause much of a person's post-stroke issues. If HBOT can help bring life back to dead cells, the stroke victim could regain lost functionality.
Over the years, many studies have shown promising results when patients use hyperbaric chambers for stroke recovery. In fact, a study conducted in 2013 by Tel Aviv University's Dr. Shai Efrati showed without a doubt that high oxygen levels can awaken dormant neurons. After a two-month period of HBOT for two hours a day, five times a week, brain imaging showed a significant increase in neuronal activity in patients compared to periods of non-treatment.
Patients in this study reported better sensation, less paralysis, and more ability to speak.
Hyperbaric chamber therapy has been used for years by skincare clinicians to supplement common procedures. The results are often stunning and have been shown to help patients with the following:
But how does a hyperbaric chamber in Nexton, SC kick-start skin rejuvenation? When oxygen levels in your body drop as you age, your body's healing ability slowly declines, resulting in less tissue function, damaged tissue, cracked skin, slow-healing wounds, and wrinkles.
The pressurized oxygen used in HBOT sessions can reach tissue at the cellular level to improve stem-cell growth, immune system defenses, and circulation while reducing inflammation. This process can have a powerful detoxification effect on your body. When toxins are removed, skin blemishes and discolorations are often removed, too, leaving your skin healthy and rejuvenated.
They say that without pain, there is no gain, and that's typically true with plastic surgery and other cosmetic procedures. However, studies show that HBOT can help alleviate pain and boost recovery after plastic surgeries.
With normal levels of oxygen in the body, plastic surgery healing times can be lengthy and painful. Because hyperbaric chamber treatments expose your body to pure oxygen, recovery time is often reduced, and the healing process is accelerated - by as much as 75% in some instances.
The benefits of hyperbaric chamber therapy, when used for plastic surgery recovery, are numerous and include:
A few plastic surgery procedures that HBOT can help with include facelifts, liposuction, mommy makeovers, breast augmentations, and even rhinoplasties.
It's hard to fathom how much pain and PTSD a person goes through when they suffer from a traumatic brain injury. Serious head injuries don't just affect the recipient of the injury - they impact the patient's family, friends, and co-workers. Being able to treat people with serious concussions, TBIs, and other life-changing conditions like strokes is one of the main reasons we do what we do at Better Life Carolinas.
Mild TBIs usually require emergency care, medication, and extensive rest. But severe brain injuries require comprehensive medical interventions and post-care initiatives like speech therapy and physical therapy. The good news is that using a hyperbaric chamber in Nexton, SC as part of a comprehensive medical strategy may provide natural brain healing in TBI patients.
Hyperbaric chamber treatment's primary use in these cases is to hyper-oxygenate tissues, which helps dissolve oxygen in the plasma. This action triggers several healing processes without overwhelming the patient's antioxidant system. The working mechanism of oxygen under pressure can help improve cerebral blood flow through micro-vessels and target injured areas in order to decrease inflammation.
This promising anti-inflammatory effect is the primary advantage of HBOT for traumatic brain injury patients and clears the way for natural, non-invasive healing.
Hyperbaric chamber therapy has also been documented to help TBI sufferers in many other ways, including:
As it turns out, using a hyperbaric chamber in Nexton, SC may have benefits in the bedroom, too. Studies show that men suffering from ED may now have an additional treatment option to reclaim their sex lives. The International Journal of Impotence Research published a study in 2018 to determine if HBOT was a viable, non-surgical treatment for erectile dysfunction.
The results were very positive and showed that erectile function improved by as much as 88% in patients. Subsequent MRI scans analyzing blood flow of the penis also showed dramatic improvement. The study concluded that, even after years of ED, men could experience benefits from using hyperbaric chambers in lieu of risky surgeries and ineffective ED meds.
The documented improvements were due to more angiogenesis or growth of blood vessels in the penis. When new blood vessels grow in the penis, they can carry more blood to the organ, which helps achieve more frequent, stronger erections.
Though hyperbaric chambers are getting more popular with everyone from athletes to office workers, some folks are still out of the loop. If you're interested in learning more about this exciting, non-invasive, natural treatment, we encourage you to contact Better Life Carolinas today. Until we hear from you, here are answers to some of the most common questions we get regarding hyperbaric chamber therapy.
AWhen your session begins, oxygen will immediately circulate throughout the chamber, and pressure will gradually increase. At this point, most patients start feeling a fullness sensation in their ears, like they're ascending or descending in a plane. This feeling only lasts for 10-15 minutes. An experienced Better Life Carolinas hyperbaric technician will guide you on how to relieve any ear pressure, if necessary. Once the optimal pressure is reached, all you have to do is relax and breathe normally. As the session ends, your hyperbaric technician will gradually lower chamber pressure, which lasts about 10 minutes. During this stage, you may experience a light popping sensation in your ears. Once pressure is back to normal, you can exit the chamber and go about your day.
AIn general, you don't have to worry about serious side effects from HBOT. That's because it's an all-natural treatment - there are no incisions or addictive medications involved. However, some patients experience mild ear drum irritation. During your session, a Better Life Carolinas hyperbaric chamber expert will be by your side to help prevent this from happening.
AWithout a proper evaluation of your unique needs, it's hard to say with certainty. At Better Life Carolinas, we know that every patient is different. As such, every recommended therapy will be different, including the number of hyperbaric therapy sessions you need. Generally speaking, patients usually require 30 to 40 sessions. HBOT has a cumulative effect on your body and, as such, provides the best results with regularly occurring sessions.
AIf you have a form of air-trapping emphysema like COPD or have an untreated pneumothorax, HBOT isn't for you. At Better Life Carolinas, every one of our patients undergoes a full evaluation to ensure that hyperbaric oxygen therapy is safe for you and your body.
If you're looking for a hyperbaric chamber in Nexton, SC look no further than Better Life Carolinas. Whether you're a professional athlete looking to maximize recovery time or need a natural way to look and feel younger, our experts are here to help. Unlike some clinics that rely on major invasive procedures and addictive medications, our team focuses on natural, holistic ways to heal your body. If you're ready to optimize your health and reclaim your youth, contact us today to learn more about HBOT and our other natural therapies.
Contributing WriterThe local master planned community named the best in the nation has begun work on another phase, on the way to 7,500 residences. This new phase of the Nexton community in Summerville and Berkeley County is expected to add apartments for rent, hotel, office space and 150,000 square feet of shopping and dining space when it is completely built out over the next five to seven years.Nexton has sold nearly ...
The local master planned community named the best in the nation has begun work on another phase, on the way to 7,500 residences. This new phase of the Nexton community in Summerville and Berkeley County is expected to add apartments for rent, hotel, office space and 150,000 square feet of shopping and dining space when it is completely built out over the next five to seven years.
Nexton has sold nearly 24 acres to Charlotte-based Crosland Southeast, which plans to develop the new One Nexton segment in multiple phases, starting this coming summer. The first phase of One Nexton will include 351 new apartments and 37,500 square feet of retail space anchored by a Publix supermarket.
One Nexton is consistent with the mixed-use development philosophy of the larger Nexton community, which sits between Interstate 26 and U.S. Highway 176 and was named the “Master-Planned Community of the Year” in 2021 by the National Association of Homebuilders.
Nexton sold 456 homes in 2020 and another 576 in 2021 to earn a spot on the RCLCO Real Estate Advisors list of fastest-growing planned communities. More than 1,800 homes currently comprise greater Nexton, including 250 under construction.
Located at the northeast corner of Brighton Park Boulevard and Nexton Parkway, the first phase of One Nexton will break ground in the summer and is expected to be complete in the fall of 2024.
“One Nexton illustrates that Nexton continues to be a national leader in modern community design,” said Brent Gibadlo, vice president and general manager of Nexton. “By fostering thoughtful commercial and residential growth along Charleston’s I-26 growth corridor, we can provide everything our residents want and need while cutting down on commute times and improving quality of life by allowing them to live, work and play and shop all within a short walk or drive from their homes.”
One Nexton will include green space, parks and trails that connect to the rest of Nexton. The master plan for the entire Nexton development calls for 50 miles of walking/biking trails; 2,000 of the total 5,000 acres set aside for woodlands, wetlands and open space; and 400 acres of office, commercial and retail.
One Nexton is the latest phase of the community, built one section at a time over the past decade. Originally developed by WestRock, the real estate company that was formed from lumber giant MeadWestvaco. Today, the development is under development by Brookfield Residential, which acquired the previous developer, Newland, last year.
Nexton’s previous phase to begin development was Midtown, five districts built around a central area of shops, restaurants and a wellness center complete with tennis center, lap pool, yoga studio and more. That followed on the heels last year of Downtown Nexton, 100 acres between Sigma Drive and Brighton Park offering the same amenities and walkability.
OMNI INDUSTRIAL CAMPUS EYES JUNE FOR COMPLETION DATEBERKELEY COUNTY, S.C., March 6, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The final development lot within the Omni Industrial Campus is set to deliver 1.33 million square feet in June of this year, filling out one of the most prominent and successful industrial parks in the Charleston region. Developed by a partnership between Clarius Partners and Stonemont Financial Group, leased by Bridge Commercial, the three-building project located on the 100 acre Lot 1 of the park will offer tenants occupan...
OMNI INDUSTRIAL CAMPUS EYES JUNE FOR COMPLETION DATE
BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C., March 6, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The final development lot within the Omni Industrial Campus is set to deliver 1.33 million square feet in June of this year, filling out one of the most prominent and successful industrial parks in the Charleston region. Developed by a partnership between Clarius Partners and Stonemont Financial Group, leased by Bridge Commercial, the three-building project located on the 100 acre Lot 1 of the park will offer tenants occupancy ready, state-of-the-art, best in class, modern distribution and or manufacturing space.
With the initial building, Building 2, pre-leased to a long term build to suit user, the remaining two buildings, Buildings 3 and 4, (totaling ±971,000 square feet) are being developed speculatively and are available for lease. Both buildings feature 36' clear heights, ESFR sprinkler systems, LED warehouse lighting to 30 fc throughout and a full complement of 40,000 lbs. capacity loading dock positions. These buildings will also feature speculative office space to allow for immediate occupancy in June of 2023.
Building 4, at ±607,000 SF, is a cross dock building targeted to accommodate high volume distribution needs with ample trailer storage on site. Building 3, at ±365,000 SF, provides an alternate front park, rear load configuration, designed to attract a variety of smaller tenant spaces,100,000 SF and above. Supplemental circulation/driveways provide multiple or separate access points between the two buildings benefitting both single tenant or multi-tenant occupancies. These two buildings will offer solutions to a wide range of user types and sizes, all benefitting from Omni Industrial Campus' immediate proximity to the both the Jedbug Road and Nexton Parkway interchanges on I-26. Further, Tenants choosing to locate at the Omni Industrial Campus will enjoy competitive and consistent operating expenses, thanks in large part to a pre-negotiated FILOT agreement in place with Berkely County.
This announcement comes on the heels of a record-breaking year for the South Carolina Ports, handling nearly 2.8 million TEU's at the Port of in 2022, positioning it as one of the top ports for cargo volume along the East and Gulf Coasts. Together with explosive growth in the greater area this makes Omni Industrial Campus a prime location for companies looking to expand their operations for either distribution or manufacturing uses.
For more information or media inquiries, please contact with Pearl Public Relations at .
Bridge Commercial is a regionally focused commercial real estate firm headquartered in . Our brokers are best in class and known nationally for their experience and expertise. We offer a variety of services including tenant representation, owner representation, investment sales, strategic planning, site selection, and consulting services.
Stonemont Financial Group specializes in investing across a broad spectrum of real estate asset classes and geographies to deliver attractive risk-adjusted returns. Stonemont offers diversified and differentiated real estate investment strategies and vehicles to institutions, family offices, trusts and high net-worth individuals. The firm's founders and managing principals have a combined track record of more than 60 years' experience and invested.
Clarius is a full-service real estate investment and development company managing select, Class-A industrial, cold storage, hospital, medical office, corporate office and land development investments on behalf of the principals of Clarius as well as third-party real estate investors and owners. Clarius' completed and ongoing projects total over 16 million square feet of ground-up development delivered in multiple markets across . Through its deep industry knowledge and extensive network, Clarius Partners aspires to deliver exceptional development results with quality, clarity and integrity.
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State Rep. Jordan Pace says he, like so many others, felt the frustration when his internet and cable went out nearly two weeks ago. (WCIV)BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCIV) — There is a question of should there be some sort of oversight on internet providers if and when there's an extended outage.State Rep. Jordan Pace says he, like so many others, felt the frustration when his internet and cable went out nearly two weeks ago.Read more: ...
State Rep. Jordan Pace says he, like so many others, felt the frustration when his internet and cable went out nearly two weeks ago. (WCIV)
BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCIV) — There is a question of should there be some sort of oversight on internet providers if and when there's an extended outage.
State Rep. Jordan Pace says he, like so many others, felt the frustration when his internet and cable went out nearly two weeks ago.
Read more: Several Home Telecom customers still experiencing internet issues 6 days later
"About 5 or 6, I think once the load on the network started expanding and people started coming home from work, started experiencing outages and inconsistencies," he said. "That kind of thing for several days in a row."
Pace knows for many of his neighbors, Home Telecom is their only option because big name companies don't offer services.
"In the bulk of my statehouse district Nexton, Carnes Crossroads and Cane Bay - those other options haven't expanded out that way yet," he said.
Pace says free broadband initiatives presented by President Joe Biden's administration and by politicians like Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina help out people living in rural areas, but they don't guarantee people in his district more options. He says the issue is too much involvement from the government.
State Rep. Jordan Pace says he, like so many others, felt the frustration when his internet and cable went out nearly two weeks ago. (WCIV)
"It makes it very inherently expensive for competitors to come in and operate because of the overregulation," Pace said.
Pace says South Carolina has a lot of expensive hurdles for smaller companies that may want to come in and create internet access.
"If they're out of state, they're going to pay 13.5% on all the equipment they own, all of the assets they have that isn't real property every year forever, unless they're big enough to have lobbyists to get them special deals," he said.
Read more: Home Telecom responds to recent internet outage
Pace says he's filed a bill to eliminate the state income tax to make it easier for businesses to move into the area.
"What we can do on the state level is make it as business friendly as possible," Pace said. "Lower that corporate income tax, personal business property tax. Lower the state income tax."
"Allowing entrepreneurs to bring about different alternatives (is) the solution," he continued. "Not more involvement or more scrutiny from the government."
Other internet providers were asked if they have any plans to expand services to portions of Berkeley and Dorchester counties. Xfinity says its working to do that now with its 10G network and finished an expansion to Moncks Corner.
South Carolina home sales dipped to their lowest level in five years in January while prices went in the opposite direction.Residential transactions dropped nearly 32 percent last month compared to the same month a year ago, according to preliminary data from the S.C. Realtors Association.In January, 5,152 homes changed hands statewide, the lowest number since January 2019.Sales have now been down for 14 consecutive months across the Palmetto State. The median price, however, continued to climb, rising 7.7 percent to $30...
South Carolina home sales dipped to their lowest level in five years in January while prices went in the opposite direction.
Residential transactions dropped nearly 32 percent last month compared to the same month a year ago, according to preliminary data from the S.C. Realtors Association.
In January, 5,152 homes changed hands statewide, the lowest number since January 2019.
Sales have now been down for 14 consecutive months across the Palmetto State. The median price, however, continued to climb, rising 7.7 percent to $307,500. That’s about $22,000 more than January last year and $105,000 higher than in January 2019.
Rob Woodul, president of S.C. Realtors and an agent with Carolina One Real Estate in Charleston, said the lower sales reflect a normalization of the market to 2019 numbers “from the craziness of the past couple of years” brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also pointed out the December-February period is usually the slower time of year for home sales and looked to an uptick in the warmer spring-selling season, based on recent market activity of pending contracts.
For the year, Woodul predicted residential transactions will be “flat or a little above” 2019′s numbers. The higher cost of borrowing, persistent inflation and lack of available homes continue to hinder the market.
All 16 housing submarkets in the state reported double-digit sales declines, with some of the bigger metropolitan markets tumbling more than 30 percent from a year ago, just before the Federal Reserve began raising interest rates to try to tame inflation.
Charleston, the state’s largest market by volume, posted a 36 percent drop in closings. Myrtle Beach, the second-largest market in terms of sales, slipped 29 percent. Columbia saw a decline of 30 percent while Greenville was down 31 percent.
Hilton Head slid 39 percent while Rock Hill dipped nearly 32 percent.
Pricewise, every metropolitan area in South Carolina posted increases from more than 4 percent to nearly 9 percent. Myrtle Beach saw a 16 percent surge over the same month a year ago. While sales were down in January, the median price came in higher at every submarket except the Anderson-based, three-county region in the state’s northwest corner.
As for rising prices, which continue to put homes out of reach for many would-be buyers, Woodul pointed out a simple axiom of economics.
“It’s supply and demand,” he said.
Housing inventory hasn’t kept up with those wanting to buy a home during the past decade because homebuilders are reluctant to overbuild after being burned during the deep recession of 2008, Woodul noted.
Across the state, Hilton Head Island continued to post the highest median price at $500,000. Charleston ranked second at $380,000 while Rock Hill, in the growing suburbs of Charlotte, came in third at $374,500.
Beaufort wasn’t far behind at $366,000, with Myrtle Beach showing $313,000 and Greenville at $300,000.
Several areas reported median prices between $250,000 and $300,000, including Aiken, Columbia, North Augusta and Spartanburg. Those between $200,000 and $250,000 were regional offices in Anderson, Gaffney, Greenwood and Sumter. Those below $200,000 included Florence and Orangeburg.
Along with elevated home prices is the higher cost of borrowing.
Home loan financier Freddie Mac reported Feb. 23 the average rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage edged up to 6.50 percent. The average rate on a 15-year note rose slightly to 5.76 percent. Both rates were between 3 percent and 4 percent at this time last year.
“The economy continues to show strength, and interest rates are repricing to account for the stronger than expected growth, tight labor market and the threat of sticky inflation,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.
Mount Pleasant condominium owner Jay Smith recently saw his monthly regime fee rise 10 percent to nearly $400 a month.The price hike came after the company that provides hazard insurance for the eight-building, 64-unit complex off Shem Creek where the retiree lives hiked its premium by $27,000 this year, or 52 percent, to renew the policy.Other condo owners along the South Carolina coast soon could see similar spikes for the monthly fee they pay in association dues to cover expenses such as landscaping, roof repairs, painting, ...
Mount Pleasant condominium owner Jay Smith recently saw his monthly regime fee rise 10 percent to nearly $400 a month.
The price hike came after the company that provides hazard insurance for the eight-building, 64-unit complex off Shem Creek where the retiree lives hiked its premium by $27,000 this year, or 52 percent, to renew the policy.
Other condo owners along the South Carolina coast soon could see similar spikes for the monthly fee they pay in association dues to cover expenses such as landscaping, roof repairs, painting, amenities and insurance when their policies come up for renewal.
Insurance brokers who help condo associations try to find competitive rates from carriers blame the surging costs on the rash of natural disasters such as hurricanes, wildfires and other calamities across the U.S. during the past few years. Recent storms, to name a few, include Harvey in 2017, Michael in 2018, Dorian in 2019, Laura in 2020, Ida in 2021 and Ian in 2022.
Last year was the eighth consecutive year when 10 or more billion-dollar weather and climate disaster events affected the U.S., according to the National Centers for Environmental Information, an arm of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. During the previous three decades, the government logged five similar years.
That’s led to fewer companies serving the coastal condo market because they can no longer afford to cover all of the potential losses from structural damage.
“We are down to four or five providers that can be competitive when three years ago we had 12 or so,” said Isaac Matthews, a broker with Brown & Brown Insurance in North Charleston which helps condominium management companies try to find the best rates when it’s time for their association clients to renew coverage each year.
“The past five years in a row of catastrophic losses have affected their underwriting profits, so they are going to pull away from that sector of business or move out of the territory altogether,” he said.
Matthews and other brokers are sounding the alarm that some condo owners could be in for sticker shock when their policies come up for renewal this year. To offset the higher premiums, governing boards have few alternatives other than cutting services, raising dues or imposing special assessments.
“The best-case scenario is a 30-35 percent increase in premiums,” Matthews said. “We are facing one of the most challenging years in the last decade.”
He pointed to a 36-unit condo complex on Daniel Island as a recent example. The annual premium for hazard insurance to cover damage from fire, wind, hail, earthquakes and hurricanes more than tripled to $223,000 from $71,000.
“The previous provider is no longer writing (hazard coverage) that close to the coast,” Matthews said.
He cited another example, saying rates for a 153-unit complex in North Charleston more than doubled to $181,000 a year.
The rising insurance rates are not confined to the Lowcountry.
“It’s a problem along the entire coast,” Matthews said.
In the Myrtle Beach area, some condo associations could see rates balloon by 300 percent, said Mike Almond, a broker with Acentria Insurance on Pawleys Island.
Some of the main carriers for areas within three to five miles of the coast have exited the market because of the hurricanes, wildfires and other disasters affecting the U.S. last year.
“Hurricane Matthew (in 2016) and Hurricane Michael (in 2018) started the strain on carriers, and Hurricane Ian (in 2022) put the nail in the coffin,” Almond said.
Underwriters are now being picky.
“They want to insure a building that can withstand a Category 4 or Cat 5 hurricane,” he said.
He noted that “most of the construction on the coast” dates back to mid-1980s, “and a lot of the carriers don’t want to touch it.”
Matthews of Brown & Brown said some of the factors pushing rates higher include the increased demand for coverage, the rising costs of rebuilding homes and higher appraised values of older structures. That’s in addition to other standard considerations, such as the distance to the shoreline, the year a property was built and claims history.
“The few insurance companies that are still willing to place coverage are being very selective on risk quality,” Matthews said.
Like Matthews, Almond called the current premium increases the largest he’s seen in quite a few years.
“If our hurricane season this year is bad, you will definitely feel (the financial impact) even more at the end of the year,” Almond said.
Another pricing wrinkle for the industry is the so-called reinsurance market, which provides policies that carriers buy to cover some of their risks. It’s tapped out.
Matthews said the reinsurance money supply is down $50 billion while demand last year was up about $30 billion.
“This means there is currently an $80 billion gap between insurance companies’ capacity and insurable property values,” he said.
Owners of single-family homes along the coast aren’t feeling as much of a price sting because that market isn’t short on carriers, making it easier to obtain coverage.
“There are only so many companies willing to insure a 200-unit property valued at $50 million, for instance, rather than a house for $500,000,” Matthews said.
He also pointed out hazard insurance does not include flood protection, which is another policy altogether. It also does not cover problems with structural integrity, which is a maintenance issue.
Jason Besse, a broker with Correll Insurance Group of Summerville, said the market for hazard insurance is cyclical, with rates typically rising after major disasters. He doesn’t see costs coming down anytime soon.
“There is no end in sight this go round,” Besse said. “It’s a bad deal. We don’t have the capacity to fill the risk, and there are fewer players in the carrier and reinsurance markets.”
For condo owners such as Smith in Mount Pleasant, who retired and moved to the Lowcountry from West Virginia several years ago, the trend is troublesome.
“If the rates keep going up, it’s going to become unaffordable for some people,” he said.
Copyright 2023 by Dr. Mickey Barber's Better Life