How to Avoid Road Rage

For some people, when they get behind the wheel of their vehicle, they become a different person. Sometimes you can seem unrecognizable to your friends and even your loved ones. When you experience road rage and have an accident, your insurance rates could be affected.

In Surfside Beach, SC, road rage is described as offensive and aggressive behavior towards other drivers. This can become extremely dangerous. If it is not controlled, it could lead to emotional or physical trauma, legal entanglements, and sometimes death.

The Warning Signs of Road Rage

Certain situations may be an underlying cause or precursor to road rage. Before you even enter your vehicle, be aware of your emotions. If you had a bad day at work, a fight with a friend, or are running late for an appointment, then you should examine your level of stress before driving. These incidences can quickly turn your inward feelings of anger to outward aggressive driving.

Types of Road Rage Behaviors

Anger can contribute to driving aggressively. When you start to notice that you are engaging in the following behaviors, you should try to avoid them.

  • Tailgating – when a driver begins to drive too closely behind another vehicle.
  • Offensive language – cursing or gesturing at drivers that upset you.
  • Brake checking – a driver taps on their brakes to discourage tailgating.
  • Unrelenting honking – laying on the horn or constantly honking at a single driver.

Prevent Road Rage

Start by acknowledging that you are upset. Take a deep breath before you get behind the wheel. If another driver does something that frustrates you, do not react. You don’t want a situation to escalate into dangerous territory.

Talk with your independent insurance agents at Benefit Insurance Services to find out how road rage influences your rates. Benefit Insurance Services in Surfside Beach, SC is an independent insurance agency with expert agents that can help you with your auto insurance needs. They can also research home, life, and business insurance policies.

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.

Can sand hurt your car after a beach trip?

There’s no point in living in Surfside Beach, SC if you never hit the beach, right? If you’re lucky enough to live by the ocean, there’s not much reason not to spend as much time there as possible. But, all that sun and sand can do as much harm as good. Spend too much time on the beach without sunscreen, and you’re looking at skin cancer, and if you’re not careful, all that sand can do some serious harm to your car.

One of the ways sand can harm your car is by working its way into the brake pads. This can cause premature wearing on the bearings when it works its way into the calipers. It can do some major damage to your belts by getting into the pulley system, and even clog filters, restricting air flow in your car. In many cars, it can affect the sensors and give drivers false readings.

The most obvious damages are usually cosmetic, scratching away at the clear coat, wearing away at your paint job and leading to rust. On the upside, it’s rare for sand to get right into the engine block itself, so you’re probably not going to wind up asking Benefit Insurance Services for a whole new car over sand.

If you expose your car to sand frequently, you can use an air pump to blast the sand out of there and keep your car relatively grit-free. Washing your car regularly can also keep sand from building on it and creating damage. You can also park a little farther from the coast on your next Surfside Beach, SC trip. Proper maintenance will help prevent most sand damages, and Benefit Insurance Services can help you when things get really bad.

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.

What Beach Town Drivers Need To Know in SC

If you live in Surfside Beach, and if you drive, then there are a few things that you need to know to stay safe and care for your vehicle while you’re out and about.

First, you need to be ready for tourist season. The snowbirds always come out in the Wintertime, folks from up North who are looking to escape the extreme cold down in cozy old Carolina. We’ve got good news and bad news for SC residents come December. The good news is that those extra dollars tourists bring with them are a big part of the economy of snowbird hotspots like Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, and if you want to try driving for Uber or Lyft for a few months, you can make a pretty penny. The bad news is that traffic does tend to spike around this time of year, and many Carolinians choose to do a lot less driving for this reason.

The weather is another major concern. Beach Town weather is amazing for people, but not so great for cars. The salty sea air combined with the sun can wreak havoc on your car’s finish. The best way to protect against the elements is to keep your car nice and clean, wax it regularly, repaint it when you need to, and store it in a garage if you can.

With proper care and a great insurance policy, there’s no reason you can’t stay safe in a car that looks as fresh as the day you bought it. Contact us for free quotes on some great policies, and treat your car with a little TLC and you should be fine.

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.

Fall Checklist-Exterior Maintenance to Prepare Your Home for the Winter

Although Surfside Beach, SC doesn’t always experience a lot of ice or snow, the area does experience cold temperatures during the winter, so it is a good idea to use the mild fall temperatures to prepare for the winter. Fall is the perfect time to review your current insurance policy with Benefit Insurance Services and to take care of a few tasks around the house. Here are a few things South Carolina residents can do to prepare for the winter.

Exterior Maintenance

Walk around the perimeter of your house and check the foundation for cracks and damaged caulking around the area where the foundation and the siding meet, around the windows and door frames and around the pipes and wires. Caulking and sealing openings is one of the least expensive maintenance tasks you can do that will save you money on your winter energy costs.

Lawn and Garden

Organizing the garage may be a dreadful task, but it will be easier to find your garden tools next spring in a clean garage. Clean all lawn equipment, empty the gas from the lawn mower and thoroughly clean all hand gardening tools. Drain the garden hoses and store them in the garage or inside the house. Also remember to shut off the outdoor water valves to prevent freezing. Inspect, clean and fill the bird feeders and remember to continue feeding the birds throughout the winter months.

Fall is the perfect time to clean the decks and porches. Clean all patio furniture and store in a protective area. If furniture is left outdoors, remember to remove the cushions and pillows and store inside. Make sure all of the soil is removed from your planters and don’t forget to clean and cover the barbecue.

Fall is an ideal time for Surfside Beach, SC residents to contact Benefit Insurance Services to review and update their current insurance policies or to purchase additional insurance.

How To Afford Auto Insurance In Surfside Beach

When you live in Surfside Beach, SC, auto insurance is a requirement. This means that you have no choice but to afford a policy if you plan on driving. Affordable policies are available, and there are several ways to make sure that you can find such a policy so that you remain compliant with the laws in South Carolina.

Compare Quotes

Comparing quotes is one of the most important aspects of finding affordable auto insurance. If you don’t get quotes from multiple companies, how do you know whether you are getting the best price or not?

You should get quotes from at least 3 to 4 companies, and be sure that you are comparing apples to apples. This means that you need to make sure that each company is quoting you with the same level of coverage. You can then look at the quotes to see if there is any unique value items for the companies, such as roadside assistance, online billing, or anything else that provides you with convenience.

Only after you have compared quotes should you consider purchasing a policy.

Look for Discounts

You may qualify for all sorts of different discounts on your auto insurance. This includes such things as multi-car discounts, storing your car in a garage, owning your home, or driving your car or pleasure instead of commuting back and forth to work. By working with one of our agents at Benefit Insurance Services, it will be easier for you to discover the various discounts that are available.

Finding affordable auto insurance in Surfside Beach, SC is simpler when you work with independent insurance agents from Benefit Insurance Services. We will make sure that you get multiple quotes to look at and will answer any questions that you may have along the way.

How Home Insurance Policies Can Vary

Shopping for home insurance in Surfside Beach, SC is vital. After all, you want plenty of protection against all that could happen. Knowing how policies can vary will make it easier for you to compare policies and choose the right one for you and your family.

What’s Included

Perhaps one of the most important things to look at with home insurance policies is how they can vary. You don’t want to find out that you could have had more coverage than what you had. This is why many homeowners choose to work with an independent insurance agent. You can look at ways to add onto your coverage so that you are protected against such things as wind damage, floods, and more.

You also want to make sure that you have enough protection on your belongings. This way, if you have estate jewelry, expensive artwork, or anything else, you know that it will be covered in the event that you have to file a claim.

How the Claims are Handled

Every insurance company is a little bit different. You want to learn how the claims are handled. For example, you need to call to place a claim or can you do it online? What is the company’s reputation for the turnaround on a claim? You don’t want to have to wait months in order to get a claim approved and then wait even longer in order to get the money released for repairs.

The Costs

The cost of home insurance can vary dramatically from company to company, as well as with the coverage that you have. Making comparisons between the policies will make it easier to determine who has the best premiums so that you can be sure that you are never spending more than what is necessary.

Learn more about home insurance policies by contacting Benefit Insurance Services today.