Will Auto Insurance Pay for Medical Bills?

If you are hurt in a car accident, your first concern is getting proper medical treatment. But closely following that, you may wonder who is going to pay the medical bills. There is no blanket answer that covers all situations. Three important factors are involved: the type of accident, the state you live in, and the type of insurance you have.

No-Fault Insurance

If you live in a no-fault state, then your own insurance will pay for your injury regardless of who is at fault. And the other party’s insurance will pay for their expenses. There are limits, of course, to how much insurance companies will pay. This limit varies from state to state. If your expenses exceed that limit, you are responsible; your health care insurance may then take over and cover the additional expenses.

There are twelve states that have no-fault insurance laws. What about South Carolina?

In South Carolina

South Carolina does not have no-fault laws. So your liability insurance will cover injuries to the other party if you are at fault. Liability insurance includes bodily injury liability coverage, which will pay for your medical expenses. Again, there are limits to this coverage, and if the limit is exceeded, then the at-fault party is responsible for paying the extra amount. Your health insurance would generally cover the additional costs associated with your medical expenses. Benefit Insurance Services, which serves Myrtle Beach, SC, can provide more information and details.

Get the Right Coverage

It is important to have adequate coverage so you’re not left with a huge medical bill. Benefit Insurance Services can help you through these murky waters and find a policy that’s best for you. Serving Myrtle Beach, SC and other coastal South Carolina cities, you can rely on their experience and expertise.

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. 

Teaching Your Teen To Drive Accidents : Are Special Provisions Made When You Have Good Intentions

Learning The Benefit of Calling Your Benefit Insurance Services Agent – Before You Put On Your Teacher’s Hat

Parents who reside in Surfside Beach, SC area are no different from parents all over the globe. If anyone is going to teach our children how to drive a car, we may as well do the work. In this manner we are assured that they will be learning how to best navigate the road.

The fact is that a kind-hearted police officer may take pity on your plight of instructor in the event of an accident involving your properly permitted teen. However if the accident incurs some form of insurance liability, your policy may take the full brunt of the hit. Notice we say properly permitted. Your teen should be driving only when permitted and following the time of day and location guidelines strictly. 

In the unfortunate event of an accident you will be standing on better ground if you have adhered to all of the guidelines of your state laws. Letting the majority of your child’s driving education be handled primarily by driving schools or driver education programs is a good idea. These programs have adequate insurance for student drivers. The cars are clearly marked in most instances and other drivers are more aware of their presence. 

We not only handle auto insurance at Benefit Insurance Services. We can underwrite your policy or just answer your insurance questions about auto policies as well as many other types of insurance that we handle here. Serving the Surfside Beach, SC area as well as the surrounding areas we can talk with you about different ways you can teach your children how to drive without putting yourself at risk. 

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.

 

 

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 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.

 

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.