Does my Auto Insurance Cover Driving in Other Countries?

Are you planning a trip to the Bahamas or the British Virgin Islands from Myrtle Beach, SC? If so, you may wonder if your insurance is going to cover your rental car. This is a good question and something our team at Benefit Insurance Services is here to answer.

Understanding Rental Vehicle Insurance

The answer to this question is pretty simple and straightforward – no, your insurance policy won’t cover your rental vehicle when you are in the Bahamas or the British Virgin Islands. This has confused and concerned some of our clients and customers in the past. However, there is no need to worry. There is a good way to ensure you are fully protected, even when driving a rental vehicle.

Getting Insurance Coverage for Your Rental Vehicle

When you rent a vehicle in another country, the rental company is going to offer you insurance coverage. This is something you should pay for. In most cases, the cost for this additional coverage isn’t going to be much and will provide you with the protection needed while you are using a rental vehicle.

Keep in mind, there are usually going to be different levels of insurance coverage, and the more coverage you choose, the higher the price is going to be. You are going to have to determine the right coverage amount for your rental vehicle.

Contact Us for Help

If you are confused about whether your existing insurance policy covers rental vehicles when you travel from Myrtle Beach, SC to other countries, then call us. Our team at Benefit Insurance Services is ready and able to help and answer any questions you have and ensure you get the coverage needed to protect you and your rental vehicle while on vacation.

 

3 Ways To Ensure Your Motorcycle Is In Ship Shape

Now that you have your new motorcycle, your first thought probably revolves around the excitement of taking the bike for its initial spin. But while you prep your bike for its maiden journey by purchasing your Benefit Insurance Services Motorcycle policy, it’s time to think of a maintenance plan for your new beauty.

Naturally, you want your bike to run and last as long as possible, and your goal is to keep it in the best condition year-round. Here are some tips to help you preserve your motorcycle no matter how much you ride it.

Check Tire Pressure Regularly

Ideal tire pressure makes for perfect riding conditions. Over-inflated tires can pop easily, while under-inflated tires can throw your bike off balance. Either scenario is dangerous.

Consult your motorcycle’s manual to find out the appropriate tire pressure for your vehicle. Then, make a point of checking your tire pressure every week at the very least. Ideally, you should check the pressure after each ride.

Remember to change both tires at the same time. Even if just one tire needs replacing, changing them both keeps your bike well-balanced. Don’t wait until your tires are bald to replace them. They should still have some tread in them by the time they are taken off.

Check And Replace Your Oil Regularly

Riding your motorcycle in Myrtle Beach, SC on dirty engine oil can damage your entire engine.

Your oil lubricates all of the gears and keeps your engine running smoothly. Consult your owner’s manual to find out how often the oil should be topped off or replaced on your particular vehicle.

Even if your bike doesn’t use up that much engine oil, topping it off isn’t always the best choice. You should replace it instead. Do so on a regular schedule. If you just top off a dirty oil reservoir with new, clean oil, that can eventually damage your engine as much as if you never added new oil in the first place.

Check and Tune Up Your Engine

Cleaning the engine itself is as crucial as regularly changing your bike’s oil. When you tune up your engine, make sure to clean the spark plugs and the carburetor every 900 miles or so. Be sure to maintain valve clearances as well.

Keeping your engine nice and clean will reduce fuel consumption and will keep your bike running faster and safer.

Are You Ready To Ride?

Now that you learned how to maintain your bike, it’s time to protect it as well. If you haven’t already done so, contact us here at Benefit Insurance Services so that we can help you purchase a worthwhile motorcycle insurance policy. We are here in Myrtle Beach, SC, ready to assist you in protecting your most precious asset.

Important Features to Look for in Your Myrtle Beach, SC Condo Insurance Policy

If you are looking to purchase a vacation condo in the greater Myrtle Beach, SC area, or live here full-time, there are several features to look for when choosing your condo insurance policy. The team at Benefit Insurance Services is here to help condo owners in our area find the insurance policy that is right for them. If you are unsure what to look for when choosing your coverage, keep reading and learn more about a few important features that a comprehensive policy can offer.

Make Sure Your Condo Policy Includes These Features

Most condo association policies cover all common areas and the building structure itself. When you are choosing your individual policy makes sure that you have coverage for all damage that can occur in your unit, even if you aren’t at fault.

Liability insurance can protect you if a visitor to your home has an accident or becomes injured in some way. Make sure that you are protected from any liability if someone should be harmed in your residence. No one wants to see a friend get hurt, and the situation can be made worse if there is a serious injury involved. Make sure that you have the protection you need to deal with any situation.

Many primary policies enforce a single-item value limit and will cover items up to a certain point. If your jewelry, electronics, or art collection exceed these policy limits ask your agent about a personal articles policy or other supplement coverage. 

Ready to obtain the right condo insurance policy for your Myrtle Beach, SC condo? Call or stop by Benefit Insurance Services today and let one of our professional agents help you get the coverage that’s right for your needs.

Does flood insurance only help in natural disasters?

If you live in Myrtle Beach, you are probably already aware of the dangers water can pose to the local properties. Myrtle Beach, SC has several areas which are vulnerable to flooding, with most of the area flooding caused by ocean water or extreme rain that may go along with tropical storms or thunderstorms. 

If you live in an area which is higher, or which isn’t in one of the most vulnerable areas, you may not think you need flood insurance. Most people associate flood insurance with natural disasters,.Myrtle Beach has been affected by several major storms in the not-so-distant past, like Hurricane Bertha in 1996 and Hurricane Floyd in 1999. At Benefit Insurance Services, we understand how frightening those kinds of storms can be.

Flooding is considered a natural disaster, but it doesn’t have to happen because of a tropical storm or hurricane. Flooding is actually the most common natural disaster and can happen because of other more common acts of nature. The minimum requirement to be covered under flood insurance is that the flooding covers more than one property or at least two acres.  

One thing to keep in mind is that there is usually a waiting period after you buy flood insurance, usually at least 30 days. If you buy it because you see a storm coming, you probably won’t be covered for any damage caused by the flooding.   

There are several sources of flooding possible in Myrtle Beach, SC, and you want to be protected. If you own your home, you can purchase a policy to cover your property and possessions. You can also purchase a policy to cover your personal possessions if you are a renter. If you have any questions or would like to talk about purchasing a flood insurance policy, please call Benefit Insurance Services today.

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.