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.