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.

 

Winter is On Its Way: Are You Ready?

As the seasons change, you are not the only one that needs to unpack your coats and mittens. Get your house ready for cooler temps so you can all weather the winter together.  Let’s be real though, residents of Surfside Beach, SC may not have to deal with 6 ft. snow drifts during the winter, but it doesn’t mean they should ignore the changing seasons.

Rain, Rain and More Rain

El Niño is a Pacific Ocean phenomenon that impacts winter weather in the Carolinas by drawing moisture into the atmosphere and blowing it up and across the Southeast United States. This typically brings above average rainfall from December through February. Luckily, temperatures during winter months are pretty mild with averages in the 50’s and 60’s a majority of the time. Don’t be fooled into complacency though, Surfside Beach usually sees around 40 days of freezing temperatures.

Make Sure Your Home is Prepared for the Unexpected This Winter

Hurricane season and El Niño are no joking matter. Although Surfside Beach is popular because of its warmer winters, heavy rainfall and occasional frosts can wreak havoc on your home. There are steps you can take to help prepare your home and hopefully prevent major damage.

  • Clear drainage ditches regularly.

  • Sandbags, plywood and plastic sheeting is good to have for emergencies.

  • Put valuables upstairs if there is a possibility of flooding.

  • Make sure you have a valve to stop sewer back-ups.

Benefit Insurance Services serves Surfside Beach, SC with agents who can guide you in keeping your home fully covered in the event nature takes a turn for the worse. Homeowners insurance may not cover you if damage is caused by flooding. Speak to an agent at B.I.S. to determine if you need additional coverage in your area.

 

 

 

5 Things You Want to Know About Life Insurance

Life insurance is for the living. It is a financial investment in your loved ones and in your own future. The earlier you purchase it, the faster it builds cash value that can be wisely invested to build your life or handle emergencies. If you have a family, the investment ensures that your death will not leave them floundering. Here’s what you need to know when you start to look at purchasing or enhancing your life insurance coverage.  

Four Key Players: The insurer, the owner, the insured, and the beneficiary are the four bodies of importance in life insurance coverage. The insurer is the company that distributes benefits, the owner pays the premiums, the insured is whose life the policy covers, and the beneficiary is who or what will receive any benefits paid out. The owner and insured can be the same person. The beneficiary can be a person, persons, or entities like a trust.

Two Primary Forms: Term life is the most common form of insurance, costs the least, and is the most broadly suited to most people. The insurance provider is banking on the insured living for a set term, generally 10, 20, or 30 years. Premiums remain stable for the duration of the term and rise dramatically after.  Permanent life insurance builds a cash value over time as you pay into it that can be borrowed against. Within the umbrella of permanent life insurance, you can acquire:

  • Whole Life – which has an investment portion similar to bonds or CDs.
  • Variable Life – which has investment options like a mutual fund.
  • Universal Life – Which has a lower premium, higher risk, and higher interest rate.

Coverage and costs associated with life insurance can vary dramatically and depends highly on the unique needs of the individual. Contact Benefit Insurance Services today to discuss your options and find your optimal coverage option.

Is Your Commercial Property Protected?

Basic insurance is likely not near enough to protect your business and employees. Commercial insurance can offer peace of mind and a solid foundation of security if something goes wrong. This is never more vital than when it comes to your company, lively hood, and the well being of your employees. It may come as a surprise the domino effect that can cause important things to come toppling down, but being well insured protects your life from the repercussions of that first domino so it never reaches the point of complete disaster. 

Why Bother With Commercial Insurance? 

  • Commercial insurance policies can be tailored to the specific needs of your company, so you get the coverage you need. 
  • That moment when something goes wrong and you are not covered is bleak. But it can be avoided with a short phone call. 
  • There is more than just your own livelihood relying on your business being covered. If you have employees who depend on your company for their income is it vital to be protected. 
  • Whether you are protecting your companies’ vehicles, your commercial property, your money, or your building, some level of coverage will mean a catastrophe is just a bump in the history of your company instead of an end all. 

Contact us a Benefit Insurance Services for a quote on insurance for all aspects of your life both business and personal. We serve Surfside Beach and the surrounding areas for all their personal, vehicle, and commercial insurance needs. You can’t control the weather or the economy; sometimes things just happen. You can, though, control the amount of insurance coverage you carry. 

 

Auto Insurance Benefits for Seniors

If you’re a senior driver in Surfside Beach, SC there are a variety of perks for reaching the golden years when it comes to auto insurance.  In fact, individuals generally aged sixty five or older are considered seniors and their many years of life experience is rewarded with auto discounts.  

The General Senior Discount

First of all, when you reach the age of a senior, insurance companies give you a discount.  Just like that.  The fact is, you’re on the road less so they can pass on this savings to you.  Basically what you’re getting is a low-mileage discount and this makes you a very valuable low-risk customer.  

The Excellent Senior Driver Discount

If you want to take it a step further, opt for an insurance premium based on your driving performance.  Diagnostic devices can be put in your car to measure your driving capabilities.  The better a driver you are, the better your premium.  And it makes driving a whole lot more interesting, especially if your start competing with friends to see who the best driver is.  

Take a Driver’s Course Discount

When seniors brush up on their driving skills by taking an authorized course in defensive driving, they may get a discount on their auto insurance.  These courses are often offered by AARP or the local DMV and have shown to have positive results in getting drivers to adopt better driving skills.

At Benefit Insurance Services we love to help seniors find the right auto insurance.  We are a family owned and operated independent insurance agency who will help you find senior auto insurance in Surfside Beach, SC. Visit our auto insurance page find out more.