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SCC News

SCC Encourages Virginians to Prepare for Potential Extreme Spring Weather

MAR 20, 2023

RICHMOND – Strong winds, tornadoes, hailstorms, lightning, and flash floods – these are just some of the severe weather events that can accompany the arrival of spring.

Severe weather can strike anywhere and anytime. Advance planning is the key to protecting yourself, your loved ones and your property – both physically and financially.

The State Corporation Commission’s (SCC) Bureau of Insurance (Bureau) encourages Virginians to plan now for the possibility of extreme spring weather. “Assess your risk and make sure you have the insurance coverage you need if severe weather causes damage to your home, business, vehicles or other property,” said Virginia Insurance Commissioner Scott A. White.

The Bureau encourages Virginians to consider the following:

  • Review your insurance policy and contact your insurance agent or company if you have any questions about your coverage.
  • Create a detailed inventory of your belongings including photos and receipts of your property if you have them. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) provides a free home inventory app that can help you with this process. Additionally, you can use the NAIC’s Home Inventory Checklist as a guide. Store your home inventory checklist and insurance policy information in a secure, waterproof location.
  • Most homeowners and renters insurance policies do not cover losses due to flooding. If you believe that you may need flood coverage, talk to your insurance agent about how to obtain flood insurance or visit the National Flood Insurance Program website at Keep in mind that there is typically a 30-day waiting period before a flood insurance policy takes effect.

Automobile other-than-collision insurance coverage, often called "comprehensive" insurance coverage, helps pay to repair or replace vehicles if they are stolen or damaged by such things as fire, water, wind, hail, vandalism, glass breakage, falling objects or contact with an animal.

If your home, business, vehicles, or other property are damaged due to severe weather, the Bureau recommends that Virginians keep several steps in mind:

  • Contact your insurance company or agent as soon as possible after the danger or risk has passed.
  • Take photos of your damaged property once it is safe to do so.
  • Save the receipts for the costs of any emergency repairs that are needed to prevent further damage to your property.
  • If you feel you are treated unfairly, contact the Bureau of Insurance Property & Casualty Consumer Services team at 804-371-9185 or file a complaint.

The Bureau 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 on the Bureau’s website at

The Bureau’s specially trained staff can 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 related to various types of disasters and hazards, visit the Virginia Department of Emergency Management website at


Contact: Katha Treanor, 804-371-9141

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SCC Securities Division Encourages Virginians to Understand Self-Directed IRAs Before Investing

MAR 17, 2023

RICHMOND – Individual retirement accounts (IRAs) are a popular way for many Americans to build their savings. They can take various forms including traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, Simplified Employee Pension IRAs, self-directed IRAs and others.

To open an account, an individual must find a bank, trust company, broker-dealer or other Internal Revenue Service (IRS)-approved company to act as the account custodian.

Like other IRAs, self-directed IRAs provide another option for those looking to invest retirement funds. Before opening a self-directed IRA, the State Corporation Commission (SCC) Division of Securities and Retail Franchising (Securities Division) encourages Virginians to consider how self-directed IRAs work and how they differ from IRAs offered by banks, registered broker-dealers, investment advisors and other IRS-approved custodians.

“With self-directed IRAs, it is up to the investor to evaluate and understand the investments in his or her account,” said Doug Joyce, director of the SCC’s Securities Division. “Custodians are only responsible for holding and administering the assets in an account and typically do not check the safety or legitimacy of an investment or accuracy of any financial information that is provided for an investment in their account. Custodians of those accounts have limited duties to investors. A self-directed IRA investor has sole responsibility for investment decisions,” he said.

Self-directed IRAs generally allow investment in a broader range of assets than is permitted by most other IRA custodians. These investments may include non-traditional assets such as real estate, precious metals, crypto assets, private placement securities and promissory notes.

Additionally, promoters of self-directed IRAs may not be licensed investment professionals and may not be subject to the same regulatory oversight and investor protection rules that govern the securities industry.

Fees for self-directed IRAs may be higher than those for other types of IRAs and may include transaction fees, account opening fees, annual account fees, administrative fees and asset-specific fees in the account. Self-directed IRAs are also subject to more complicated IRS tax rules than other types of IRAs.

“Understand the benefits and risks of any investment,” Joyce said. “Ask questions, get details in writing and make sure that the investment and the person offering it are licensed or registered, if necessary.” Joyce encourages Virginians to independently verify information such as prices and asset values in self-directed IRA account statements; avoid unsolicited investment offers and claims of “guaranteed” returns or “risk-free” investments, and consult with a licensed, unbiased investment professional or attorney before investing.

Virginians can contact the Securities Division with certain securities-related questions, including any questions about possible investment fraud, at 804-371-9051 in Richmond or toll-free at 1-800-552-7945. For more information, visit the Division’s website at or the North American Securities Administrators Association at


Contact: Katha Treanor, 804-371-9141

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