Insurance costs soar. NMB Chamber sponsors resident/business meeting with Insurance Commissioner

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David Hucks
David Hucks
David Hucks is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at

Insurance costs for homeownership and business owners are soaring. Grand Strand Homeowners and business owners can expect a minimum 30% increase in insurance costs this 2023/2024 billing cycle.

A flyer put out by the North Myrtle Beach Chamber reads:

Are you seeing an increase in your insurance premiums, especially for liability coverage.

A meeting will be held with representatives from the South Carolina Insurance Commission on Tuesday, August 8th at 7 p.m. at the J. Bryan Floyd Community Center, 1030 Possum Trot Road in North Myrtle Beach.

Some members of the Horry County State Delegation have helped to schedule this local public meeting. Another will be held the day before in the Conway area.

This meeting is being held because of the understanding that rising insurance rates could force companies to pull out of South Carolina and also can be concerning for homeowner residents, HOA groups, and businesses. Insurance rates can be influenced by various factors such as the frequency and severity of natural disasters, changes in regulations, and market conditions.

It is encouraged that all local businesses, homeowners, and HOA representatives attend this meeting on Tuesday, August 8th at 7 p.m., at the J. Bryan Floyd Community Center.


A South Carolina restaurant and bar announced in July that it will soon close due to rising business costs.

Rotties 221 Biergarten at 228 South Main Street in Woodruff will close on Sunday, July 30, according to owners Yana and John Allen.

The recent increases in alcohol liability insurance rates have made it impossible for us to operate a profitable business and maintain our level of service,” the Allens wrote on Facebook.

As many small restaurants and bars have announced recently, they will not be able to remain open because of a South Carolina law, written by Horry County Senator Luke Rankin and Gerald Malloy, that went into effect on July 1.

SC Law 116 Luke Rankin and Gerald Malloy
SC Law 116 Luke Rankin and Gerald Malloy

Known as the Dram Shop Bill, the legislation requires alcohol-serving businesses or individuals to have liability insurance to assist victims of alcohol-related crimes who are injured, paralyzed or killed.

Those businesses that renew or apply for an on-premises alcohol license from the South Carolina Department of Revenue that sell alcohol after 5 p.m. are required to carry a minimum $1 million liquor liability policy. The high premium is the result of the legislation that allows trial lawyers to sue all businesses that may have served a customer on a given day. Example: Should a customer have a drink at lunch at Handleys Bar and Grill, then have a drink at Lulus Cafe for dinner, then visit the House of Blues for a show. All three venues are now liable, should the customer cause a wreck at 2 a.m. mid morning.

The unlimited liabilities are driving insurance carries from the state while trial lawyers rake in millions.

Homeowner insurance carriers are leaving the state as well, however, and driving up resident costs there as well.

After nearly 17 years, Smiley’s Acoustic Café in downtown Greenville is closing for the same reason.

The owner of Smiley’s, Mike Frazier, gave us this example: In 2020, Smiley’s paid around $6,000 to 7,000 per year for insurance. Frazier said last year it “blasted off” to $22,000.

Recently, he hasn’t been able to find anything less than $55,000.

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