Can Maintenance Records Lower My Insurance Premiums?

Residents of Myrtle Beach, SC, typically know that they need to take care of their vehicles. If you don’t happen to be a motor head, you might be collecting a nice pile of service receipts. Hang onto them. According to Benefit Insurance Services, a good maintenance record might be able to save you money on your car insurance. Here’s how.

Indirect Effects

There are two ways that regular maintenance can lower your insurance rates regardless of policy. The first is in extending the life of your vehicle. While exceptions exist, owning a vehicle for longer typically lowers your premiums. Since payouts are based on the fair market value of the car, having the same car for longer means you’re paying on a lower value for longer.

The second source of savings is in safety. Properly maintained vehicles are typically safer than those that aren’t. Avoiding accidents is good in general, but safer vehicles also give you a better chance of extending your safe-driving record. For most policies, that amounts to more savings.

Being Direct

Passive gains are great, but maintenance records can also directly lower your premiums. Since we’re talking about specific policies, the generic disclaimer applies: savings will depend on policies and procedures of the insurer. That said, there are plenty of programs that offer savings if you can show a good maintenance record (receipts are the most common proof).

If your policy doesn’t offer you such an option, you can still ask. Contact your Benefit Insurance Services representative. They can help you look for less overt opportunities to put your receipts to good use. That will leave you with a little more cash in the pocket to make the best of your life in Myrtle Beach, SC.

 

How Is Motorcycle Insurance Different Than Auto Insurance?

It seems pretty obvious that driving a motorcycle is very different than driving a regular vehicle, but few people realize that covering a motorcycle with insurance is also very different than covering a vehicle. Here are a few things you should know about covering a motorcycle.

Car Insurance Will Not Cover a Motorcycle

Do not assume that you will be able to cover your motorcycle under your car insurance policy. Because a motorcycle is a two-wheel vehicle instead of a four-wheel vehicle the coverage must be different. You will need to speak with an insurance agent in order to understand how to add your motorcycle to your policy. 

Passenger Rules Are Different

Passengers are automatically included in vehicle insurance, however the same does not apply to a motorcycle. It is assumed that a motorcycle will be a single passenger. However, if you want additional passengers included, then you will need to add this specifically to your insurance policy. You should talk with an insurance representative to get the details on how to do this. 

Seasonal Vs Full Time Coverage

Another big difference between motorcycle insurance and vehicle insurance is that with a regular vehicle it is assumed that you will be using the vehicle year round, therefore the coverage is for year round. However, many motorcycle owners only use their motorcycles seasonally. Because of this motorcycle owners have the option of carrying only seasonal insurance. This helps keep costs low for individuals who only use their motorcycle for some of the years. 

You should speak to an insurance agent to better understand whether you will need full-time coverage or only seasonal coverage for your motorcycle use. 

If you would like to learn more about motorcycle insurance, you can call one of our friendly staff at Benefit Insurance Services in Myrtle Beach, SC. 

Do You Really Need Condo Insurance?

Even though your Myrtle Beach, SC condo has insurance coverage through your association, you still need condo insurance to protect your individual unit. Your association insurance is designed to protect the exterior of your building and common areas, not your personal unit. With condo insurance from Benefit Insurance Services, you can protect your individual unit and personal goods against such risks as fire, storm damage, theft and more. Here’s why you need condo insurance.

Property Damage

With insurance protection, you can preserve your condo for years to come. Condo property damage insurance covers the interior of your unit to include ceilings, walls and floors. If a fire were to ravage your unit, your property damage insurance will help cover rebuilding costs. By taking precautions, you can protect your valuable investment from unforeseen disasters. 

Personal Belongings

If your condo was burglarized and expensive electronics, jewelry or artwork stolen, would you be able to replace these goods on your own? With contents insurance, your goods will be protected against theft or damage due to a break-in or other catastrophe. Contents insurance will cover such personal goods as furniture, appliances, electronics, clothes, jewelry, artwork and anything else you own. It even extends to the carpeting, cabinets, light fixtures and ceiling fans of your condo home.

With replacement coverage, your insurer will cover the cost of replacing your goods if they are stolen or suffer loss. An updated home inventory will enable you to keep track of your possessions to simplify making a claim if and when the time comes.

Liability

If you’re like most condo owners, you probably enjoy having family and friends over for special occasions or holiday parties. In the event of an accident, you could be held liable for damages. Liability insurance protects you against lawsuits by covering medical costs of visitors who are accidentally injured on your property.

For comprehensive condo insurance coverage at affordable costs, contact us at Benefit Insurance Services, Myrtle Beach, SC.

 

Does Home Insurance Cover Contractor Damage?

You’ve decided to add to your home’s value by adding to it or remodeling it. Whether you simply update the wiring or add a deck, you add value. You do have a few homeowners’ insurance items to consider before embarking on your project. One aspect to consider is what your home insurance covers if a contractor performs faulty work or damages the home. Call or visit Benefit Insurance Services in Myrtle Beach, SC to learn more about home renovating insurance needs, but jump into the topic with this introduction.

Policies vary. Each state’s law varies. Homeowners policies cover property damage. In Amerisure Mutual Insurance Company v. Auchter Company, a Florida court found that removing or repairing “defective work” did not qualify as property damage, therefore, the policy did not cover the defective roof Auchter, a general contractor, installed on a building for Amelia Island Company.

On the other hand, if a contractor causes damage to your home while conducting work there, homeowners’ insurance does cover the damage. For example, if their welding sparks a fire, your policy generally covers that. So will the contractor’s policy. Always ensure that the contractor you hire carries proper insurance.

Your home policy doesn’t cover poor workmanship. To address that issue, you’d need to contact the contractor to have them repair or redo the work.

Let’s say you don’t catch the shoddy work until it damages your home. In this case, the poor workmanship causes property damage. In most cases, the property damage is covered by the policy. It won’t cover the replacing the cause of the problem.

Stop by Benefit Insurance Services in Myrtle Beach, SC to discuss your impending remodel and check your coverage limits. Your policy may not automatically cover an addition or new room.

The top ways to insure your recreational toys

As the weather starts to heat up, many residents in the Myrtle Beach, SC area are ready to begin using their boats, jet skis, RVs and other recreational toys so they can start enjoying the summer months. To have peace of mind will you are engaging in summer activities with recreational toys, you will want to make sure you have adequate insurance in place. If you are unsure if you have the correct insurance for your recreational toys, reach out to an agent at Benefit Insurance Services, and we will be happy to review your coverage.

Whether you own a water ski, a boat, an RV or an all-terrain vehicle, it is essential to have insurance outside your homeowners’ policy to make sure you are adequately covered in the event of an accident.

It is critical to have insurance for third party liability and property damage. Activities like jet skiing can be great fun, but it also comes with unique risks. A liability policy will help with costs arising from liability as a result of you operating your recreational toy.

In addition, carrying a policy that will cover the medical payments as a result of an injury while operating the recreational toy is important.

Recreational vehicles are a financial commitment so you will also want to carry comprehensive coverage in the event your recreational toy suffers a loss when not in use such as theft or vandalism.

Finally, collision coverage will assist with the cost of repairing or replacing your recreational toy in the event it is physically damaged in an accident.

No matter if you use your recreational toy once a month or every day it is critical that you carry a policy that will protect you in the event of the accident. If you have questions about your current policy or would like to explore options for a new policy, please feel free to reach out to an agent at Benefit Insurance Services. We proudly serve the Myrtle Beach, SC area.

What Kind of Insurance Policy do I Need for my Motorhome?

If you live in the Myrtle Beach, SC area and you are purchasing- or have purchased- a motorhome, you may be wondering what kind of insurance you need.  Benefit Insurance Services serves customers in the Myrtle Beach, SC area. We can help you identify the proper insurance policy for your motorhome or RV. Below are some facts about motorhome insurance you may not have been aware of.

RV and Motorhome Insurance Classifications and How it Works

Auto insurance policies for motorhomes and RV’s works differently than with a general automobile insurance. Motorhome insurance is broken down by classification and the classification types are determined according to full-time living, usage, etc. Motorhome and RV Insurance are classified as follows:

The classes of RV include:

  • Class A- Motorhomes and coaches up to 75 feet long, including luxury coaches, motor coaches, and converted buses.
  • Class B- These vehicles are the smallest class of RV’s and include campers, travel trailers, and cargo vans. Class B vehicles do not have a cab-over.
  • Class C- Class C vehicles are a blend of A and B class types. They include an attached cab as well as an overhang extending over the body of the cab for sleeping or storage. These vehicles are built with a truck or van base that has been designed for motorhome usage.

Basic insurance coverage for motorhomes works the same as a general auto insurance policy. Coverage includes basic collision and liability. If you want to go further in covering your belongings from theft, fire or damage, you can opt to purchase additional insurance. Not sure where to begin? Contact our agents at Benefit Insurance Services today to receive a comprehensive breakdown of the best motorhome insurance policy for you.

Can a Condo Association Require You to Buy Condo Insurance?

Condo insurance is similar to home insurance. It helps to protect the investment that you made in the condo you purchased. However, unlike home insurance, condo insurance only covers the space you own, instead of the entire structure. One of the questions that is asked at Benefit Insurance Services serving the greater Myrtle Beach, SC area, is whether an HOA or Condo association can require you to carry condo insurance. Here is the answer.

Can a Condo Association Require You to Buy Condo Insurance?

A condo association can require you to buy condo insurance. However, this requirement has to be in place when you purchase the condo. If this is a requirement that is added after you move into the building, you are grandfathered into the old rules of not having to buy condo insurance. If an association requires you to purchase condo insurance, it must be written in their condo association rules and made clear to any potential buyers.

Who Else Can Require You to Buy Condo Insurance?

If you have taken out a loan to purchase your condo, the lender can also require you to purchase condo insurance. This protects the investment that they made when they lent you the money. This is very similar to a lender requiring a borrower to obtain homeowners insurance when purchasing a new home.

Even if you are not required to purchase condo insurance, it is strongly recommended that you do. This helps to protect the investment that you made when you purchased the condo. If you are looking for condo insurance in the greater Myrtle Beach, SC area, turn to Benefit Insurance Services. Give us a call today to learn more.

Do You Need Motorcycle Insurance Year Round?

If you are a motorcycle owner in the Myrtle Beach, SC area, you may be wondering if having motorcycle insurance is something that you need to have at all times in the year. This is especially true if you do not ride your motorcycle insurance year round. Here at Benefit Insurance Services, we recommend that you should always have motorcycle insurance on your motorcycle. These are some of the main reasons why we recommend it.

  • You will not have coverage for any damage when you are not riding. There is always the possibility that your motorcycle could have some damage even when you are not actively riding it. If this happens and you do not have insurance, you will have to pay for this out of pocket.
  • You never know when you may ride it. The winter season does not last very long here in Arizona. If you are trying to estimate how long you will need to have coverage for the year, you could easily underestimate the time that you will be driving it. You could want to take it for a ride and will not be able to because you will not have coverage.
  • You will remain legally compliant by having year-round coverage. If you are going to be driving your motorcycle, you need to have the right amount of coverage that is mandated by the state. You should have this coverage on your motorcycle at all times.

If you have a motorcycle and you do not have motorcycle insurance that is currently on your motorcycle, be sure to contact us today here at Benefit Insurance Services, serving Myrtle Beach, SC. We can help you find a quote for coverage that meets your needs and is also within your budget.

Is my basement covered?

When it rains, it pours! Myrtle Beach, SC residents are no strangers to flooding. Many homeowners have refinished basements, and sadly, these areas are most likely to be affected by floods. It’s important to make sure that your flood insurance policy includes your basement. Your insurance agent at Benefit Insurance Services can help you make sure that your entire house- basement included- is covered.

When we see flooding on tv, we rarely see what’s happening inside people’s houses. Flooding can cause intense structural damage to buildings, but it’s easy to forget about the damage that can be done to everything inside of the building. FEMA encourages you to purchase two types of flood insurance- one policy is called building coverage, the other is called contents coverage. Building coverage will pay for your foundation, walls, wiring, furnace, hot water heater- but not much else. This is where contents coverage comes in. If your basement is refinished, it’s likely that you’ve invested quite a bit of money getting the decor just right. Contents coverage will cover everything inside your basement, from the washer and dryer to the furniture to the fridge and the food it contains. If your basement is prone to flooding, remember that it’s not a good idea to keep irreplaceable items (such as family heirlooms, photos, and jewelry) in the basement, unless they’re in a locked waterproof/fireproof safe.

It’s important that you talk with your qualified insurance agent at Benefit Insurance Services in Myrtle Beach, SC to ensure that your basement (and all the valuable items inside of it) are covered by your flood insurance policy. Call your agent today to make sure your coverage is sufficient.

Why Renters Insurance Is More Affordable Than You Think

Renters insurance covers renters from a number of different events that may occur to their possessions, but it does a lot more than that. It also keeps renters out of hot water should there be a liability claim against them. And yet, it’s one of the most affordable types of insurance on the market. So how can it be so low for the renters of Myrtle Beach, SC? Learn more about why this is and why you may need renters insurance more than you think.

Expected Loss

When it comes down to it, your policy is determined by your expected loss. And for renters, this loss tends to not be very high. So while it’s true that common catastrophes such fire, theft, and flooding can occur, the odds are low enough and the payouts small enough that renters can typically make out like bandits when it comes to protecting their possessions. Along with protecting all of your physical possessions, insurance manages to keep people protected from the absolute worst-case scenarios.

Worst-Case Scenario

Did you know that you may be held responsible if you hosted a party and a friend happened to leave the premises after having a few too many drinks? This means that you could partially have to pay for any medical costs if they happened to accidentally hurt someone on the drive home. While it’s unlikely that this will happen, Benefit Insurance Services doesn’t want anyone to be caught unawares.

The renters in Myrtle Beach, SC need an insurance company that they can count on which is why Benefit Insurance Services is here to fill that role. If you want to learn more about just how useful renters insurance can really be in a crisis, it’s time to give us a call today.