In Myrtle Beach, SC: Do Mopeds Require the Same Insurance as Motorcycles?

In Myrtle Beach, SC, scooters and mopeds are everywhere. The agents of Benefit Insurance Services can answer all of your questions concerning both insuring and licensing/registering them. There are distinct differences between the two, especially when it comes to how they are classified by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Scooters vs. Mopeds

The main differences between mopeds and scooters involve the size of the motors and where they get their power from. Mopeds are not considered to be motorcycles because they aren’t constantly being driven by the motor. Scooters, on the other hand, are classified as motorcycles because their motor provides all of the power all of the time. Even though they operate in a similar fashion, a moped doesn’t require insurance, but scooters do.

Being Prepared

Mopeds can be used on city streets and all public roadways, just like other motor vehicles. It’s important that you learn as much as you can about how your moped operates before taking to the streets. Make sure you know how each feature operates and study the driver’s license manual thoroughly. While you may not be required to carry insurance on your moped, you must have a valid driver’s license and understand the rules of the road.

The agents of Benefit Insurance Services are available to answer your questions and make sure you understand your rights and responsibilities when it comes to moped use in Myrtle Beach, SC. Don’t leave things to chance, call and talk to one of their licensed agents today to make sure you have the coverage you need at all times. 

 

 

 

How is Condo Insurance Different than Homeowner’s Insurance?

Condos are a great way to live but if you do not have the right insurance your valuables and home could be at risk. For those in the Myrtle Beach, SC area, condos are a must and the agents with Benefit Insurance Services can help you find the perfect policy.

The main difference between condo insurance and home insurance is that with a condo, you are not responsible for the exterior of the building. In most cases, the owner of the condos maintains the exterior of the building so that the residents need only worry about the interior of the home and their belongings within. In most cases, the actual building is going to be protected by an insurance policy that the owner holds and you do not have to worry about it.

This means that your policy is going to mainly focus on the protection of your items inside the condo and to help protect from any injury that might occur to guests while they are in the condo. This means that condo policies, much like apartment or renters policies, are going to focus on creating an in depth and in detail list of all the items that are within the home. This allows the insurance agency to get a good idea of what needs to be protected should there be something like a fire or a burglary.

For those that have condos, condo insurance is a great way to keep your valuables safe without having to worry about how you are going to do so. For those that live in the Myrtle Beach, SC area, the agents with Benefit Insurance Services can help you to find the right policy to protect yourself and your belongings if you live in a condo.

5 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Summer

With summer fast approaching, homeowners in Myrtle Beach, SC should prepare now for hot, muggy temperatures to come. There are various ways you can prepare your home in advance for summer. Here are just a few:

Check AC System  

Now is a good time to have your AC checked to ensure all parts are working properly. If your AC needs replacement or repairs, it’s best to have it done before summer weather hits in earnest. If your home lacks a programmable thermostat, consider buying one. A programmable thermostat can help create a more comfortable home environment and save on energy costs.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to reprogram your ceiling fans to turn counter clockwise for summer. This pushes cool air down so it can circulate more freely throughout the home.   

Spruce Up Patio

If you’re planning family gatherings on the patio, take time to spruce it up before summer. Clean your deck, add a fresh coat of paint to furniture, trim plants and shrubs and buy some new accessories to give your patio a fresh, new look.

Open Your Home to Natural Sunlight

Exchange thick, winter drapes with sheer summer curtains to allow more natural sunlight to filter into your home. Natural light will help brighten your interior environment at no extra cost.

Reorganize Your Shed

Pack up winter equipment and get out essential gear for summer. This includes sports gear, garden tools, lawnmower, hoses, etc. Reorganizing your shed puts summer gear within easy reach for all your summer needs.

Review Home Insurance

Make sure your home insurance from Benefit Insurance Services is up to par to suit your needs. This includes liability coverage to protect family and friends against accidents during their visits. For greater insight into home insurance options, contact a Benefit Insurance Services agent in Myrtle Beach, SC today. 

Does a Blacktop Driveway Increase Home Insurance?

There are more than a few ways to increase the overall value of your residential property. From adding on bathrooms to having an underground pool put in, these types of add-ons not only increase the value of your home but also provide enjoyment and convenience. Another great way to add value to your home is by blacktopping your gravel driveway. And like many other amenities you can add to your home, blacktopping your driveway not only increases the value of your property but also enhances its appearance. What you may be asking yourself, however, is whether or not adding blacktop to your driveway will increase your home insurance. Let’s take a quick look at the answer to this question.

Will blacktopping your driveway increase your home insurance premiums? 

The average cost of blacktopping your driveway will be somewhere between $4,000 to $7,000 per 1,000 square feet. This means if you have 3,000 square feet of the driveway you want to blacktop, then you will spend anywhere from $12,000 to $21,000. As you can see, the larger your driveway, the more it will cost, thus meaning the higher the value of your property. As your home increases in value so does the cost of your premiums, but you should know your premiums likely won’t increase by much. In fact, your home would need to increase in value by more than $50,000 for your premiums to increase by more than $10 to $20 a month. 

If you would like to learn more about homeowners insurance and how blacktopping your driveway will impact your premiums, make sure you contact Benefit Insurance Services serving the Surfside Beach, SC area. 

Home Improvement Upgrades That Cut Your Auto Insurance Costs

There is more to paying for auto insurance than just your vehicle. Where you live has a major impact in coverage as well. The location of your home and how your vehicle is protected while parked on the property all plays a role in your auto insurance costs. At Benefit Insurance Services, we want to help you save money on your Surfside Beach, SC vehicle. That is why you should consider these home improvement upgrades. Each has the potential of cutting your auto insurance costs. 

Garage

If you don’t have a garage or only have a covering, you park your vehicle under you should consider installing a garage. Not only will this increase your property value but by having a fully enclosed location to park your vehicle, it will offer additional protection, both from outside threats and the weather. 

Security System

A home security system doesn’t just protect the home. It protects the garage and everything else on the property. With alarms and flood lighting, it will reduce the chance of anyone breaking into the vehicle or trying to steam wheels off the vehicle. 

Enclosed Fence

An enclosed, locking fence makes it far more difficult for anyone to just walk onto your property. When your vehicle is behind a secured fence, it should help reduce the costs of your auto insurance, especially if this is where you primarily park the vehicle overnight. 

It is important to remember whenever you make a home improvement upgrade to inform your insurance company. You should bring up these different kinds of home improvements to your auto insurance company as it likely will reduce the monthly premium thanks to making your vehicle safe while parked. Benefit Insurance Services is here to assist you in insuring your Surfside Beach, SC vehicle. 

Home Safety and Insurance

Safety for family and guests is an important issue for home owners to consider. From safety fences around pools to no slip treads on the stairs, there are many simple changes that a home owner can do to ensure that their home is as safe as it is fun. Serving the Surfside Beach, S.C. area, we understand safety. Our independent agents at Benefit Insurance Services can discuss your home insurance and explore possible discounts that you may not have known about. What many people don’t realize is the wealth of information we have available from our years of professional experience. This not only includes home insurance and the coverage plans available from multiple well known insurance providers; we can offer helpful knowledge of safety issues that you might need to know for your own sake. Discussing your personal situation, with its unique home plan and budget needs, will let you know your options. You can also learn how to handle the issue of your dark basement with its narrow stairs.

At Benefit Insurance Services, we would be happy to explain what your home insurance covers and what it doesn’t. For instance, pools are usually a different insurance issue and not covered by standard home coverage. On the other hand, many insurance policies are automatically starting to cover pets. You might already have pet insurance that you don’t know about. Policies vary by state requirements and according to individual needs. So contact us today to have the assurance you need to avoid unfortunate events that can affect a lifetime. We have customers from Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Hilton Head, Surfside Beach and other areas along the coastal region of South Carolina. It’s a beautiful area with unique home insurance needs. Contact us today at (843) 238-4400.

 

 

Avoid Claim Denials Due To Homeowner Negligence

People take out homeowners policies to help them recover costs in the event of a loss. Fires, falling trees, and theft are things we all require financial protection. But as we update and upgrade our homes, we could create dangers that our policy may not cover. At Benefit Insurance Services, our professionals are committed to helping members of the Surfside Beach, SC community remains properly insured. We’d like you to consider these common areas where people may put themselves in a position of having a claim denied.

Faulty Plumbing

Homeowners insurance generally covers losses from burst pipes or leaks. Faulty plumbing can lead to significant water damage, flood and can create dangerous mold growths. These types of issues are understood by insurance carriers and are factored into the cost vs. risk math these companies use. But when a homeowner takes it upon themselves to update or replace plumbing, carriers may deny a claim. The reasoning is that they base their premiums on the work of industry professionals, not lay people.

Wood Burning Stoves

South Carolina may not suffer winters like the northeast, but a wood stove can take the edge off the chill. Wood stoves require expert installation and adherence to fire and building codes. If you have a fire due to or related to an uninspected wood stove, it’s very likely your claim would be denied. Also, your homeowner’s coverage must account for the introduction of an open flame. Things like wood stoves and fire places should be specifically listed on your policy to ensure you are compensated for any loss.

Electrical Updates

Improperly installed electricity can lead to fire and electrocution. There is an entire industry of tradespeople that are knowledgeable about safety and building code standards. If it seems like running a line into a dark area to install a light is a good idea, it’s not. If something goes wrong, you could be on the hook for replacing your home, paying an injured person’s medical bills or face a civil lawsuit. Updating electricity is work for trained electricians, and that is what insurance carriers expect.

It’s important to update your policy when changes are made to your home. Being a do-it-yourselfer is wonderful in many instances, but not at the expense of secure coverage. At Benefit Insurance Services, we are available to help members of the Surfside Beach, SC community revise and renew homeowners policies that provide security.

Should You Change Your Insurance Coverage?

Home insurance coverage is something that can fluctuate at the drop of a hat. What might seem like the perfect amount of coverage, to begin with, might end up not being nearly enough two or three years down the road? As such, having an agent like the agents at Benefit Insurance Services in the Surfside Beach, SC area can help you find the right coverage each and every time.

There are a few different factors that make the need for coverage change come about. The first is inflation. This is inflation both in the housing market and in the cost of materials. If the cost of materials is up, you should certainly get more coverage to compensate for the change.

Another factor that can change how much coverage you need is any home improvements that you have made. Upgrading appliances, adding new features, and remodeling rooms can increase the value of your home making it necessary to get more coverage on your policy. Similarly, depreciation of a home can also make for a need in coverage change as it might lower your monthly premiums.

A good example is remodeling your kitchen. This can add tens of thousands of dollars in value to your home making it necessary to add that much coverage to your policy. Still another change that might facilitate a need for a change of coverage is buying expensive things for your homes like large televisions or expensive appliances. It is always best to have too much coverage than it is to have too little. Having the right amount of coverage means the difference between being able to recover after a disaster and being left high and dry.

The Surfside Beach, SC area has Benefit Insurance Services to help them find the right coverage.

Vacation Beach Houses and Insurance

Whether the are owned as a personal resort property or an investment to be rented out for other peoples’ enjoyment, vacation beach houses are a popular option for home ownership in Surfside Beach, SC. You’re likely aware of the need to protect such an asset with insurance, but many people aren’t fully aware of why they need it, how much coverage would be typical, or what type of plan will best suit their needs.

Renting When You’re Away

If you intend to rent the home to other people when you aren’t there, your insurance agent will have to review your plans and recommend a specific coverage policy which meets the legal criteria required for such a situation. Unfortunately, the guests who rent the house don’t always take care of it as well as you would like. Additionally, if an accident occurs because of structural damage you weren’t aware of since you don’t live there, the responsibility may come back to your insurance policy. To the extent you can, while maintaining the property’s financial goals, you’ll want to have more insurance than you need rather than not quite enough.

Vacant Home Problems

Another unfortunate aspect of a vacation home is when it is empty it can potentially become a target for theft or vandalism. The best solution is for other people in the neighborhood to keep an eye on your house, but insurance is an absolute necessity for taking care of such damage should sit occur.

You can trust your insurance agent to be an experienced and knowledgeable professional who will help you determine which plan will best suit your needs. When you trust their advice, you can rest assured you will have the insurance you need.

Are You Fully Insured Against Fire?

There’s a certain picturesque beauty to sitting by a crackling fire in your home. Fireplaces are almost magical. Wood burning stoves are more practical. You don’t see the bright yellow and orange flames, but they are more efficient at heating homes. They also can double as stoves in a pinch. At the end of the day, both are excellent backups in the event of power outage. But some homeowners in the Surfside Beach, SC community may not realize that fireplaces and wood stoves need to be accounted for in your homeowner’s policies. That’s why at Benefit Insurance Services, we work closely with you to design policies that meets your unique needs.

Fireplaces

It isn’t unusual for people to buy a home with a non-functioning fireplace. Sometimes they’re driven by natural gas that isn’t connected. But the basic structures of hearth and chimney are in place and most will work by loading wood into them. However, if your policy lists it as non-working, then you may not be covered in the event of a fire. That’s because open flames create an additional risk. One of the main factors in figuring out the cost of a policy is the potential risk of damage or loss.

Wood Burning Stoves

Wood burning stoves are a particular insurance problem. They seem easy to install. Most do-it-yourself homeowners can lay some base bricks and knock a hole in an existing chimney. Unfortunately, installing a stove raises a number of safety issues. Connecting it to a chimney that other heating or cooling units use for ventilation can create a back flow of dangerous emissions. It’s also may not meet local and state fire code regulations. Those issues will very likely cause any claim caused by fire to be denied by your insurance carrier.

The use of fireplaces and wood burning stoves can be wonderful assets if done properly and accounted for on your homeowners policy. At Benefit Insurance Services, we serve the Surfside Beach, SC, community and our insurance professionals can help you create a policy that will ensure you are safe and secure.