SC Radio Network’s Tripp Girardeau contributed to this report
Governor Nikki Haley signed into law Friday a bill that is meant to stop thieves from gutting air conditioning units and farm irrigation systems to resell the copper. The law would require a person to get a permit to sell copper and buyers or recyclers must pay by check, not cash.
South Carolina Insurance News Service’s Executive Director Russ Dubisky spoke on what insurance companies think of the new law.
The insurance industry is very pleased with efforts that our state legislature took up. We’re pleased with the results. We definitely think it’s a step in the right direction to curb copper theft and help folks prevent this type of loss.
Dubisky explains it is a “severe problem” for South Carolina that has reached “epidemic proportions.” He says it “happens almost daily” and the theft of air conditioning units are costing insurance companies a lot money to replace them.
With an a/c unit, we can look at an individual unit costing somewhere between $5,000 and $10,000. Additionally insurers would have to cover any damages that are done to the walls …so the losses can range anywhere from just a few thousand dollars all the way up to $30,000.
The bill will take 60 days before it becomes law. Dubisky says insurance companies believe the new law will work to prevent the problem from continuing.