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SCC News

SCC Reminds Virginians to Plan Now for Hurricane Season

MAY 31, 2024

RICHMOND – Hurricane season is just around the corner, and the State Corporation Commission’s (SCC) Bureau of Insurance (Bureau) reminds Virginians that the time to plan is now. This includes reviewing your insurance policies to make sure you have the coverage you need if a hurricane or other disaster strikes.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30 each year. Once a hurricane develops in the Atlantic, it may be difficult to find an insurance company willing to write hurricane-related coverage for your home, vehicle or business until after the storm threat passes

“Protect yourself physically and financially against hurricanes and other disasters. It’s never too early to start,” said Virginia Insurance Commissioner Scott A. White. “Hurricanes can wreak havoc on your home and other property. Review your insurance policies now and know what is and is not covered. If you have questions, contact your insurance agency or company or the Bureau of Insurance.”

Even areas hundreds of miles from the coast can experience floods and other damage caused by hurricanes’ high winds and torrential rains. Most hurricane damage is caused by flooding, not high winds. Even minor floods can cause extensive damage to your home, vehicle, business or belongings.

The Bureau offers the following reminders: 

  • Homeowners, renters and commercial insurance policies issued in Virginia typically do not cover damage caused by floods, surface water or storm surge. The federal government sells insurance for direct flood and flood-related damage to homeowners, renters and businesses in eligible communities through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Keep in mind that there is typically a 30-day waiting period for a new flood insurance policy to take effect. To learn more about this program, contact your insurance agent or the NFIP at 877-336-2627 or visit floodsmart.gov. Some private insurers also offer their own flood policies, so check with your insurance agent about the availability of a private flood insurance policy. In either case, ask whether your flood policy provides coverage for your personal property.  
  • Some homeowners policies require a special deductible for wind or hurricane losses. These deductibles may be applied separately from any other deductible on the homeowners policy. Deductibles may be written as a flat amount, such as $1,000, or as a percentage of the insurance coverage limit on the dwelling, such as 2% of a $200,000 coverage limit ($4,000). Remember that the deductible is the amount that you must pay before the insurance company pays its portion of a claim. 
  • Prepare a complete inventory of your personal property including photographs, videos and serial numbers. Having a home inventory can facilitate the claims process if damage occurs. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners offers a free smartphone app that can facilitate this process. The app is available at naic.org/consumer/home-inventory. Keep your insurance policies and home inventory together in a secure, waterproof and fireproof place. 
  • Know what to do if your property is damaged by a hurricane. Contact your insurance agent or company as soon as possible. As soon as it is safe to do so, make any necessary emergency repairs and take reasonable steps to prevent further damage to your property. Additionally, make a list of all damage to your property and include photographs, notes and repair-related receipts.
  • If you must evacuate, know the name of your insurance company and take your homeowners, auto and other insurance policies and your home inventory with you, or make sure you can access these important documents electronically. The policies will contain your policy numbers and the phone numbers of your insurance companies in case you have questions or need to file a claim. 

The Bureau of Insurance offers free consumer guides for homeowners and commercial property owners with information about what to do when a disaster strikes. These and many other consumer insurance guides are available at scc.virginia.gov/pages/Insurance. The Bureau’s specially trained staff stand ready to assist consumers with their insurance-related questions and concerns. To learn more, contact the Consumer Services Section of the Bureau’s Property and Casualty Division toll-free at 1-877-310-6560 or in Richmond at 804-371-9185. 

For additional emergency preparedness information regarding hurricanes and other types of disasters and hazards, visit vaemergency.gov

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Contact: Katha Treanor, 804-371-9141

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SCC Seeks Public Comments on Appalachian Power’s 2024 Biennial Review of Rates 

APR 25, 2024

RICHMOND – The State Corporation Commission (SCC) is offering time for members of the public to give oral comments by telephone on Appalachian Power Company’s 2024 Biennial Review of Rates. In the review, the SCC will analyze the company’s base rates as well as the terms and conditions for the provision of generation, distribution, and transmission services. 

In its application, Appalachian Power requests to increase revenues by approximately $95 million, or 5.1 percent. The company states that the factors that contributed to its request include cost recovery for restoring service during major storms, increases in capital, material and labor costs, and rising interest rates. 

The overall impact of the company’s proposals would increase the monthly bill of a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per month by approximately $10.22, or 6 percent. 

The SCC has scheduled a public witness session to begin at 10 a.m. on September 9, 2024. Public witnesses intending to provide oral testimony must pre-register with the SCC by 5 p.m. on September 4, 2024. The hearing will be webcast at: scc.virginia.gov/pages/Webcasting.

Public witnesses wishing to provide oral testimony may pre-register in one of three ways: 

  • Completing a public witness form for case number PUR-2024-00024 on the SCC’s website at: scc.virginia.gov/pages/Webcasting 
  • E-mailing the same form (PDF version on the same website as above) to SCCInfo@scc.virginia.gov
  • Calling the SCC at 804-371-9141 during normal business hours (8:15 a.m. – 5 p.m.) and providing your name and the phone number you wish the Commission to call to reach you during the hearing
  • To promote fairness for all public witnesses, each witness will be allotted five minutes to provide testimony. 

A public evidentiary hearing will follow the public witness hearing at 10 a.m. on September 10, 2024, in the SCC’s second floor courtroom at 1300 East Main Street in Richmond to receive testimony and evidence from the company, any respondents and the SCC staff.  

For those who prefer, there is also an opportunity to provide comments in writing on the Appalachian Power application. Written comments may be submitted through the SCC’s website by September 4, 2024, at scc.virginia.gov/casecomments/Submit-Public-Comments. Simply go to the SCC website, select "Cases" and then "Submit Public Comments," and scroll down to case number PUR-2024-00024. Then select SUBMIT COMMENTS. 

Comments can also be submitted by U.S. mail to the Clerk of the State Corporation Commission, c/o Document Control Center, P.O. Box 2118, Richmond, Virginia 23218-2118. All comments must refer to case number PUR-2024-00024. 

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Contact: Andy Farmer, 804-371-9141

Case Number PUR-2024-00024 – Appalachian Power Company’s 2024 biennial review of rates, terms and conditions for the provision of generation, distribution, and transmission services 

 

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