How Much Renter’s Insurance Do You Really Need?

People who rent or lease a space to live in, should seriously consider purchasing renter’s insurance. It is a policy designed to cover contents that you own in the event of loss from a variety of threats. Most people know that renter’s insurance is a good idea, but exactly how much renter’s insurance is enough to provide adequate coverage?

Renter’s Insurance

Renter’s insurance is fairly simple and is usually offered for coverage in the amount of $100,000 unless otherwise specified. Anyone who has contents that exceed that amount of value should consider asking if there are additional coverage options available through their carrier. Additional insurance products may be necessary to cover high cost collections, jewlery, and art. In order to discover that amount that works for a specific situation, calculate the value of all large ticket items such as appliances and electronics. Make sure to keep receipts for these items, as well as photos to help expediate the claims process. 

Finding Reliable Renter’s Insurance

Anyone who is considering purchasing renter’s insurance should work with an established insurance agency with representatives and agents who know how their products work and can guide clients in the right direction when it comes to selecting the right coverage. Residents in and around the Myrtle Beach, SC area should check out Benefit Insurance Services to provide quality renter’s insurance products. Their agents can work closely with each client to help them understand terms and conditions and even help them file a claim. 

Anyone who is searching for renter’s insurance should call or stop by Benefit Insurance Services serving the residents of the Myrtle Beach, SC area, to discover options that can protect their belongings from a variety of potential incidents. 

Must you Have Health Insurance on Dependents?

Health insurance is a hot topic and everyone wants to know just what is required and what is not. There are a few different ways that you can broach the topic of health insurance and one is to look at what is required if you have dependents. For those that live in the Myrtle Beach, SC area, the agents with Benefit Insurance Services can better answer all your insurance questions.

So, do you have to have insurance on a dependent, short answer, yes. It is required by law that all people have health insurance and that means dependents as well. If you have children or adults that are dependent on you, it becomes your responsibility to take care of their insurance needs. It is your duty to make sure that your dependents have health insurance of some sort. In most cases, major medical health insurance companies are going to offer family plans where you can add your legal dependents for a fraction of the cost so that they are insured.

If you cannot afford to insure your dependents or you cannot afford to insure yourself, you can opt for government-sponsored insurance in the state in which you live which will cover both the adults and the dependents as well. Insurance is something that all people need and that is required by law to making sure that you have the proper insurance is a must. If you have questions about insurance, about what sort of policy you need, and about what policies you are eligible for, you can always ask an insurance professional. For those that live in the Myrtle Beach, SC area, the agents with Benefit Insurance Services can help you to find the policy that works for you and your dependents alike.  

A Comparison of Whole Life and Term Life Insurance

The most common types of life insurance are whole life and term life insurance. They are similar in some manners, but also have several differences between the two. Learning about them can help you to make a decision on which of the two is best for your particular situation.

What is Term Life Insurance?

Term life insurance policies provide coverage for a specific term or amount of time. If you should pass away during the term, then the insurance company pays the benefits to your beneficiary. You can customize several parts of this life insurance from Benefit Insurance Services to fit your needs. The value of the death benefit is usually in increments of $50,000 and can be raised to suit your needs. The term length is anywhere from 1 year or 5 year increments up to 30 years. A level of death benefit pays out the same amount for the life of your policy. A policy is renewable so that it rises in cost as you get older, but you don’t need to re-qualify for it.  

What is Whole Life Insurance?

Whole life insurance has coverage that extends for your entire life without the need to set a term or to ever renew it. The death benefit remains the same throughout your lifetime, although you can purchase additional coverage. The premiums that you pay are consistent throughout the policy and you can pay them annually or for a period. Cash value is the amount you would receive if you surrender the policy to the insurer and receive a payout for the cash value your policy has earned. You can use this money to pay for other items. The cash value does not pay out to your beneficiary in Myrtle Beach, SC.

 Either type of life insurance policy is not perfect for all people. We understand at Benefit Insurance Services that it can be a crucial decision to make, and we are here to help you. You can visit our office in Myrtle Beach, SC or call us, so we can help you with your needs and find the life insurance policy that best fits your situation.

 

 

How Commercial Liability Insurance Can Protect You From Slip and Fall Lawsuits

When you own a business, the last thing you need is a lawsuit due to someone slipping and falling at your business. It’s tough enough looking out for all the things that need to be accomplished in the course of a day or week, without the threat that you could lose it all with one court judgment. That’s where commercial liability insurance comes into play. For the peace of mind of knowing you’re covered for slip and fall and other liability issues, ask your Benefit Insurance Services representative in Myrtle Beach, SC to go over your current policy or help you decide which one works best for your new business.

Slip and Fall Coverage

Slip and fall accidents are covered under the premises liability portion of your commercial insurance policy.  Slip and fall accidents are often seen as frivolous lawsuits, but it’s easy to overlook a potential hazard in the course of running a successful business. Whether it’s a leaky faucet that leaves a puddle of water on the restroom floor or a damp-mopped floor that causes someone to fall, accidents happen and it’s important to be prepared for them with the right insurance policy.

This coverage, much like a homeowners policy, protects you from accidents such as falls, falling objects, slips and the negligence of contractors, employees, and guests.  These claims can be filed by employees, guests, customers or anyone else who passes through your business. For construction, retail and restaurant-related businesses, commercial insurance is essential to protect your business and personal assets.

Injuries at a Business

Like homeowners coverage, most businesses have commercial property insurance which acts.  These policies cover you when the accident involved negligence.

If a customer, vendor or contractor is responsible for the accident, any lawsuit may involve those parties. Because these cases get complicated quickly, you’ll need to hire a qualified attorney to represent you. Commercial insurance usually covers your legal costs and any settlement reached in or out of court. 

To find out more about how commercial insurance can help you protect your business, contact Benefit Insurance Services today.

 

Will my homeowners policy cover my valuables, like my paintings and jewels?

Your home in Myrtle Beach, SC is doubtless covered by a homeowners policy, but you may be unsure what the exclusions and limitations are. At Benefit Insurance Services, we try to make sure our clients understand that the policy is really a contract, and the coverage should be explained in black and white.

It may be confusing, though, figuring out how your particular assets fit into the grand scheme of things. You have a policy limit, deductibles, and exclusions, and your policy may have slightly different details than you remember.

Possessions vs the Dwelling Itself

Your policy probably spells out how much of the physical building is covered, based on an earlier assessment. It will also detail how much of your possessions are covered, and the policy may consider one as a percentage of the total. For instance, if your limit is $100,000, 75% percent of that might be for your belongings.

Depreciation vs Replacement Cost

Not only that but your policy probably only covers the amount your valuables are worth after considering depreciation. If you want to insure your valuables for their actual replacement cost, you will need to negotiate that as part of your contract.

Item Limitations

Coverage on specific items, like jewelry, may be limited by your policy to a set amount, such as $1,000. If you want to insure specific items, you can insure them based on their actual value.

Even though you feel safe knowing that your home in Myrtle Beach, SC is protected, you may not have the coverage you need for specific valuables. If you have something particularly valuable, like a painting or jewelry, your policy probably only partially insures it. If you have any questions or would like to go over your policy with someone, call Benefit Insurance Services today and we can help make sure you get the coverage you need.

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 can I get a discount on my car insurance?

Nobody likes paying car insurance, and everybody likes saving money. It’s great to find out you can save money doing something you don’t really like. South Carolina only requires minimal amounts of liability coverage:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury or death overall
  • $25,000 for property damage.

You also need corresponding amounts of uninsured motorist coverage, in case you are in an accident with someone who doesn’t carry their own automobile insurance. Everyone driving in Myrtle Beach, SC, even visitors, is required to be insured. So you need the insurance, and Benefit Insurance Services can help you look for discounts that apply to you.

Multi-Car Discount

Insuring all your vehicles through the same company can earn you a discount.

Homeowner or Multi-Policy Discount

Many insurance companies will give you a better deal if they can get all your business. You may be able to combine other policies, like renters insurance, too.

Defensive Driver Discount

There is a special class recognized by the Department of Motor Vehicles which can get you a discount for up to 36 months after you take it.

Antitheft 

You might be able to get a reduction on your premium if you install special equipment which makes it harder to steal your vehicle.

Bill Plan Discount

Some companies offer a discount for paying by the year, or at least 6 months at a time, instead of monthly.

For Young Drivers: Good Grades or Driver Training

You can get rewarded for hard work or for taking a driver training course.

And More

If you drive in Myrtle Beach, SC, you might as well try to save some money. Call Benefit Insurance Services and we can compare rates and help you find discounts for your auto insurance.

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.

 

When can You File a Claim on Flood Insurance?

Even if you weren’t required by your mortgage company to purchase flood insurance for your Myrtle Beach, SC home, at Benefit Insurance Services we want to remind you of all the instances where it could protect your most valuable investment.

Hurricanes and Rainstorms

In our coastal neighborhood, the most obvious cause for flooding is the occasional hurricane and its accompanying torrential rainfall.  Even if you live miles from the ocean, small streams and gullies can overflow right into your basement. Flood insurance will help you repair the damage done to your home and get your heat and air conditioning working again.

Tidal Surge and Spring Flooding

Even if the hurricane is out to sea, we can experience a significant tidal surge. One minute you are high and dry and the next a surge of salty ocean water is flooding your garage, yard, and home. Rivers can also reach flood stage without Myrtle Beach, SC ever seeing a drop of rain. Your flood insurance will come into play in these circumstances. 

Water Main Breaks and Swimming Pool Collapse

Maybe your neighborhood is built far away from any body of water. But there are still water mains under the road–maybe in front of your home. Do you own a swimming pool?  When these types of structures fail, water appears where it has never been before. Your flood insurance will help you recover from such catastrophic damage.

What It Won’t Do

If your roof develops a leak, flood insurance will not help to repair water damage. It also does not protect you from a dishwasher or washing machine leak. The water must come from a source outside of your home.

Even if your home has avoided flood damage in the past, there is no guarantee you won’t see floods in the future. Give us a call at Benefit Insurance Services and ask how flood insurance can help to complete your home protection plan.