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Extra Layer of Protection: Understanding Umbrella Insurance

Coverage Enhancement with Umbrella Insurance

In the beautiful state of South Carolina, living life to the fullest demands a comprehensive protection plan. Umbrella insurance enhances the coverage levels of your existing policies, and at South Carolina Federal Insurance Solutions, we can help you understand your options.

Understanding Umbrella Insurance

Umbrella insurance is a unique product that offers an extra layer of liability protection in addition to the coverage already provided by your existing insurance policies. It is triggered only after the coverage of the other policies has been exhausted. Umbrella insurance may add coverage that your underlying policies don’t! Imagine it as your safeguard on a rainy day, just  like carrying an umbrella.

The Assurance Umbrella Insurance Brings

When purchasing insurance policies for your home, or boat, most people hope that they never have to use them. However, if an accident occurs, you pay your deductible and trust that the coverage you bought will handle any claims made.

But what if the coverage isn’t sufficient? What if you’re involved in a car accident and the other driver sues you for damages above your primary liability limits? Lawsuits are common in our society and can be very costly. If you’re found to be at fault, you’d be financially liable for the difference, putting you at risk of losing everything you’ve worked for over the years. This realization underscores the peace of mind umbrella insurance can provide, knowing that you have more coverage.

Discovering Your Options

Our experienced independent insurance advisors can review your current policies and help you understand the available coverage options offered by an umbrella policy. We can explain what it covers and what it doesn’t so that you can decide if it’s worth buying in your situation.

Essential Flood Insurance Tips

Living in a gorgeous coastal city like Charleston has its upsides. Residents enjoy breathtaking sunsets, historical charm, and living in a vibrant southern community. Conversely, long-term residents know that coastal storms and hurricanes blowing through the city can have devastating financial and emotional effects.

The insurance professionals at South Carolina Federal Insurance Solutions want to help you minimize the financial aftermath that can result from flood damage.

Five Essential Flood Insurance Tips

Tip #1. Assess Your Home Flood Risk 

The first step is to assess the flood risk for your property. Learn about risks to your property by evaluating local flood maps, analyzing past flood events, and seeking the advice of an experienced flood insurance agent.

Tip #2. Purchase Flood Insurance Coverage

Devastating tornadoes and hurricanes that spawn flooding can happen with little to no notice. Choose a comprehensive flood insurance policy that will protect your home’s structure and interior contents against the unexpected. Check out the online quoting option on our Flood Insurance page!

Tip #3. Stay Informed About Local Weather

Staying on top of local weather-related news events can help residents secure their valuables or erect emergency flood barriers.

Tip #4. Mitigate Flood Damage Risks 

Mitigate the potential risks of damaging floods caused by rainstorms and storm surges by taking preventative measures. Elevating electrical systems, installing flood-resistant barriers, and maintaining proper drainages are all mitigation techniques that can reduce flood impacts.

Tip #5. Review Your Policy 

Homeowners should review all insurance policies annually with their insurance advisor to ensure they have sufficient comprehensive coverage to protect the interior and exterior of their homes.

Contact a knowledgeable and friendly advisor at Insurance Solutions for more information on flood insurance today!

Does Your “Side Hustle” Require Extra Coverage?

As inflation continues to take a toll on household budgets across America, more workers are considering picking up a second job to help make ends meet. Unlike part-time employment, a side hustle allows an individual to retain control over the work they do and the hours they devote to it. These ventures can include tutoring, dog walking, video editing, rideshare driving, and countless others. In fact, a recent study from Fiverr found that 74% of American workers plan on starting or continuing a side hustle in 2024. *

As individuals take on side hustles to generate more income or out of a desire to operate their own businesses, they also take on risks. If you are considering adding a side hustle to your income stream, the first thing you need to understand is what risks are not covered by your existing insurance policies. While your current home and auto coverage may offer some protection, even the smallest side hustle could severely damage an individual’s finances without the appropriate insurance policies in place.

Liability Insurance

Your homeowners policy likely includes liability insurance in case someone gets injured in your home. However, the coverage does not typically extend to a home-based business. If a client slips and falls while visiting your home office, your home insurance may not cover the resulting medical or legal expenses should that individual decide to sue. Additionally, if you are renting out a room or your entire home on an app like VRBO or Airbnb, coverage may be excluded for any losses. 

Cyber Insurance

If your side hustle relies on technology to collect payments or customer data, it is wise to consider purchasing cyber insurance. In the unfortunate event that a hacker steals your customers’ credit card data, would you be able to recoup your losses? Cyber insurance can protect you and your business in the event of a data breech, whether your computer is hacked or your phone containing sensitive information is stolen.

Auto Insurance

Some automotive policies are for personal use only, while other may cover a business-related accident with limited coverage. If your side hustle involves driving and you get into an accident, do you know whether your insurance will cover you? If you are employed as a rideshare or delivery driver, you need to know whether the company’s insurance covers you and what the limits are for collision, liability, and medical.

Fire Insurance

Your existing homeowners policy likely provides coverage for losses incurred in a fire. However, that protection may not extend beyond your personal belongings. If you run a business out of your home, you may want to consider purchasing additional coverage to protect expensive office equipment or your business inventory in the event of a fire.

Regardless of the nature of your side hustle, adding on the right insurance policies can help keep business running smoothly. At South Carolina Federal Insurance Solutions, experienced advisors can help you evaluate your side hustle, assess your existing coverage, determine where your personal coverage ends, and identify gaps in your business coverage. Contact us today to get started!

* Fiverr reveals top side hustles for 2024

What Happens If Your Insurance Carrier Goes Out of Business?

Insurance plays a vital role in the day-to-day lives of nearly all Americans. As consumers, we invest in insurance policies to protect against financial losses due to unforeseen events, such as natural disasters, accidents, or illnesses. However, despite being a highly regulated industry, some insurance carriers ultimately end up failing.

What causes insurance carriers to fail?

Many factors can contribute to an insurance carrier going out of business, including regulatory changes, poor management, or falling victim to fraud. Sometimes, carriers receive an unprecedented number of claims following a catastrophic event, leaving them unable to pay out policyholders – this happens more often in states prone to severe weather such as hurricanes and tornadoes.

Regardless of the reason, all 50 states have systems in place to protect policyholders in the event an insurer goes out of business.

How are policyholders protected?

In order to obtain a license to sell insurance in a particular state, an insurance carrier must participate in the state’s guaranty association and pay into a guaranty fund. Guaranty funds are regulated by state law and serve to pay out active claims that an insurance carrier is unable to fulfill should they become financially impaired. However, it should be noted that many states, including South Carolina, only cover claims up to $300,000. To learn more about the South Carolina Guaranty Association, visit scguaranty.com.

It is possible for an insurance carrier to sell policies through a broker in states where they are not licensed. Commonly referred to as “non-admitted carriers,” these carriers are not required to follow the same state regulations as licensed or “admitted” carriers. Non-admitted carriers offer flexible policies that may be considered too complicated or too high-risk for state-backed carriers. However, it is important to know that claims on these policies will not be paid out by the state if the insurance carrier fails.

Will I be notified if my insurance carrier goes out of business?

Once an insurance carrier decides to cease operations, policyholders will receive notification alerting them of the closure and be given a date which their policies will be cancelled. Those with an open claim will be contacted by the state guaranty association with additional instructions on how to proceed.

What happens next?

If you are notified that your insurance policy is being cancelled due to the carrier going out of business, remember these tips:    

  • Don’t panic! If you have an active claim, insurance guaranty funds are designed to protect policyholders if an insurer is incapable of paying.
  • It is imperative that you continue paying premiums to keep your coverage intact while you search for another insurer. This is especially important if you have an open claim.  

Before you shop around for a new policy, contact your South Carolina Federal Insurance Solutions advisor. Our experienced advisors stay up-to-date on carriers entering and exiting the local market and can help you find the best policy for your personal needs and budget.

“What if” Insurance for Small Businesses That Visit Customers

When your business involves visiting homes or businesses to provide services, you need commercial insurance to cover your work and any liability that’s involved with your services as a plumber, cleaner, or even caterer. At South Carolina Federal Insurance Solutions, we are able to provide insurance plans to help businesses protect their financial assets during off-premise customer interactions.

When It Happens to You, You Need Coverage

You may have seen movies where the comedy involved a series of accidents that made you laugh, but when it happens in real life, there’s often liability for damages caused by unfortunate situations. For example, if you’re a photographer, and you knock over and break a valuable item while repositioning yourself or your equipment, somebody’s paying for it. The cost to replace it could exceed the bill for your services. Insurance can help offset your liability from unexpected occurrences.

The Range of “What Ifs” Can Be Extensive

Again, let’s look at a comedy and see how it can become a tragedy for your small business. Imagine a beautiful ice sculpture as part of a catering display. While you’re off in the kitchen preparing meals for an event, it melts. Water goes everywhere and causes shorts in the electrical wiring that is temporarily run under the table.

In a movie, following that might be fire, damage to valuable electronics in use, or someone being insured by slipping down, and more. In reality, who knows? And, don’t forget that your equipment could be damaged in that scenario too. Let our experienced advisors provide a commercial insurance policy to help protect your business from potentially expensive claims so that you can stay in business! Give us a call today at 833-359-0725.

Top Tips For Driving in Heavy Rain

The idyllic, small town of Charleston, SC is no stranger to heavy rain. The coastline makes gorgeous scenery in sunny weather, but when storms pass through, they almost always make a stop in Charleston. At South Carolina Federal Insurance Solutions, we want to help you avoid having to make a claim on your auto insurance policy.

Here are some top tips for driving in heavy rain:

Apply Rain-repellent Treatment

You can find water-repellent products for your windshield at auto parts stores and other retail outlets. It takes only minutes to apply. This simple and affordable product beads up rainwater so it rolls off your windshield and improves visibility.

Understand Hydroplaning

Hydroplaning is when the tires lose contact with the road due to a layer of water. If you experience this, stop accelerating, steer straight and stay calm. In most cases, hydroplaning only lasts for a brief minute. To help prevent hydroplaning, slow down while driving on wet roads and replace worn tires.

Be Aware of Fellow Drivers

Give other drivers extra room on the road, on all sides. Rain often triggers anxiety in drivers, and they may drive differently. Anticipate sudden stops and erratic behavior from other drivers. Reduce your speed and maintain a safe distance behind other vehicles.

Avoid Standing Water

Drive around large puddles or standing water if you can do so safely. In heavy rain, roads sometimes wash out or leave deep potholes that can damage your vehicle.

Use Headlights

In the Carolinas, motorists are required to use headlights when using windshield wipers in the event of rain, sleet, or snow. Turning on your headlights makes your vehicle easier to see for other drivers. Motorcycles must have their headlights on at all times. Also, make sure your tail lights are in good working condition.

We Are Here To Help

To learn more or for a free quote, contact Insurance Solutions today at (833) 359-0725. We’re here to help, rain or shine!

Fitting Your Business With The Best Commercial Insurance Policy

If you’re opening a new business in South Carolina, make sure that you call us at South Carolina Financial Solutions to find your insurance policy. Our team fully understands the need for business and commercial insurance and will work hard to ensure that you are able to select the coverages to protect the financial assets of your business.

Know What Common Problems Impact Your Business

There are many issues that can seriously affect your company and potentially cause dire financial loss. It’s important for you to take these scenarios seriously and to do what you can to mitigate them. Just a few of the most common things that you might experience in your business include:

  • Potential lawsuits if someone gets hurts on your premises
  • Serious damage from fire, floods, and other problems
  • Issues with your security system that trigger hacking issues
  • Employee problems that can impact your operations

Seek Out a Comprehensive Policy

Business insurance policies can provide a comprehensive range of protection options such as liability coverage and much more. To select a policy that protects your firm, you’ll need to consider:

  • Liability protection that keeps you safe from expensive lawsuits
  • Comprehensive coverage that repairs for building damage
  • Commercial auto policies that repair your damaged vehicles
  • Cybersecurity protection to keep you safe from hacking risks

Let Us Help You

With the help of our team of advisors at Insurance Solutions, businesses can select the coverages that are most important to them. It’s important to do your research, so let us meet with you and provide the high-quality support to help you make a smart decision for your business.

Is Your Business Protected Against Cyber Liability?

According to a recent IBM report1, more than 550 organizations experienced a data breach this year. Given the rapid advancement of technology, it should come as no surprise that every business, regardless of size, is exposed to cyber risk in some capacity.

As cyberattacks become more frequent and sophisticated, it is increasingly important for business owners to minimize cyber risk and protect sensitive customer data. At South Carolina Federal Insurance Solutions, we understand that recovering from a data breach can be costly for businesses. That is why we offer solutions beyond standard commercial insurance.

What is cyber liability insurance?

Cyber liability insurance covers a company’s liability for a data breach involving sensitive customer information, such as social security numbers, bank account information, and health records. While general liability insurance covers bodily injury or property damage claims, protection against cyber risk is typically not included.

What does cyber liability insurance cover?

Cyber liability insurance can help companies comply with state regulations that require businesses to notify customers of a data breach involving their personal information. Depending on what options are selected, these policies can also reimburse businesses for the cost of recovering compromised data, repairing computer systems, covering bank fees associated with canceling stolen credit cards, and subsidizing lost income.

Does my business need cyber liability insurance?

If you use technology in any part of your business, it is not a matter of if cyber threats will arise, but rather when. In addition to money and data theft, businesses should consider other risks such as employee productivity loss and reputational issues that can occur as a result of a serious cyberattack.

Your Insurance Solutions advisor can help you understand and assess your business’s cybersecurity risks. Contact us today to get started.

1https://www.ibm.com/reports/data-breach

Holiday Safety Tips for Your Home

As the holiday season approaches, we look forward to filling our homes with festive decorations and gathering with loved ones over delicious meals. However, amidst the hustle and bustle of the season, it is important to keep in mind the increased risk of fire and other accidents.   

We all know the saying “there’s no place like home for the holidays,” which is why the advisors at South Carolina Federal Insurance Solutions want to remind you to protect your home against seasonal safety hazards. Get started by reviewing these simple tips:

Practice caution with Christmas trees.

U.S. fire departments respond to an estimated average of 160 home fires per year that begin with the ignition of Christmas trees, resulting in $12 million in property damage.1 Use the following tips to enjoy your Christmas tree safely.  

  • Position your tree so that it is not blocking any exits from your home.  Make sure that it is several feet away from candles, fireplaces, radiators or other heat sources, and out of reach from pets.
  • Have a steady supply of water to keep the tree hydrated. Remember, trees are EXTREMELY flammable when dry.
  • Dispose of your tree before it dries out and becomes a fire hazard in your home. Check with your city to see if local sanitation services offer curbside pickup.

Prioritize safety when decorating with lights.

Decorative lights can make any home feel festive for the holidays. Be sure to take appropriate safety measures when hanging lights indoors or outdoors this season.

  • Select lights that have been safety tested and only use extension cords that are rated to carry the electrical loads connected to them.
  • Inspect your light strands for damage and replace any that are not in good shape.
  • Turn off all lights and blow out all candles before going to sleep or leaving the house.
  • Make sure lights are unplugged before changing bulbs.

Keep your kitchen safe.

Unfortunately, entertaining family and friends in your home increases the risk of kitchen fires around the holidays. Keep kitchen safety top of mind with the following tips.

  • Unplug appliances such as air fryers, warming trays, and slow cookers when they are not in use.
  • Never leave food, grease, or oils cooking on the stove top without supervision.
  • Always keep children and pets at least three feet away from the stove while it is in use.
  • Make sure all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working by performing regular testing and changing the batteries twice a year.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in or near your kitchen in case of emergency. Check it regularly to ensure it is fully charged.

Despite exercising caution, accidents can happen. An annual review with your Insurance Solutions advisor can help you determine if you have enough coverage to protect your property and possessions in the event of an emergency. Contact us today to review your coverage so you can celebrate the season with peace of mind.

1https://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/Data-research-and-tools/US-Fire-Problem/Christmas-tree-fires

Maintaining Your Home in the Colder Months

As temperatures drop, your home is exposed to new risks. The advisors at South Carolina Federal Insurance Solutions know that the winter season presents unique challenges for homeowners and want to help you prepare for the months ahead. Follow these 10 steps to protect your home against damage this winter:

  1. Clean your gutters to ensure water runs freely from the roof to the ground. This will help prevent water from seeping in and causing damage to your home.
  2. Inspect your roof and make repairs where needed. This will help protect against leaks from the rain or snow. 
  3. If you have an attic, seal any potential entryways from pests seeking warmth, and replace or add insulation to keep drafts out. 
  4. Before using your fireplace this season, have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional.
  5. Check the weatherstrips on your windows and doors and replace any that are worn down. You should also use caulk to seal any gaps around windows or cracks in your siding.
  6. Help prevent frozen pipes during the winter by heating your home to a minimum of 65 degrees. If possible, shut off the water supply for all exterior outlets and drain all hoses, spigots, and sprinkler lines. If temperatures drop below freezing, let warm water drip from your faucets, and open cabinet doors to allow heat to reach pipes under your sink.
  7. Have your furnace and heating system checked by a professional to clear any buildup and replace filters.  
  8. Prepare your outdoor space by trimming or removing overgrown or dead landscaping around your home or other structures should snow or ice cause them to fall.
  9. Ensure you have the proper snow removal tools in the event of a winter storm. By shoveling snow and applying salt to your driveway and other walkways outside your home, you can prevent dangerous ice from forming. 
  10. If you are travelling during the winter, keep your thermostat set to 65 degrees while you are gone, and ask a neighbor or friend to check on your house periodically. If temperatures are expected to drop below freezing during your trip, ask them to turn on your faucets to help prevent pipes form freezing.

Winterizing your home can help you prevent damage and avoid costly repairs. To learn more, contact your Insurance Solutions advisor to review your homeowners insurance policy.

Servicing States

  • South Carolina
  • North Carolina
  • Georgia

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Our Carriers

  • Allied
  • Allied Trust
  • ASI/Progressive
  • All Risks
  • Foremost
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Main Street/Old Dominion
  • National Flood Services
  • National General
  • National Security
  • Neptune Flood
  • Openly
  • Orion180
  • Progressive
  • Safeco/Liberty Mutual
  • Sagesure
  • Slide
  • The Hartford
  • Travelers
  • TypTap
  • Universal Property
  • Utica