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Preparing for Hurricane Season

Hurricanes and tropical storms are famously unpredictable, which can make preparing for inclement weather especially challenging. However, there are steps you can take to protect your property and provide you and your family peace of mind long before a storm hits the radar. Here are some things you can do in advance of hurricane season.

Review your policy and identify any gaps in coverage

As your life changes, so do your insurance needs. By reviewing your policies on an annual basis, you can identify any areas where you may need to add or adjust coverage. For example, you may have insured your home for $200,000 when you first bought it. Due to recent inflation and supply chain issues, your home may cost $300,000 to rebuild in today’s market. That is a $100,000 gap in coverage, which could leave you without the proper resources to rebuild in the event of a loss.

An insurance review can help you understand what sort of damage may not be covered under your existing policies. For example, it is a common misconception that a standard homeowners insurance policy protects against flood damage resulting from severe weather events. Regardless of whether you live in a flood zone, flood insurance can help you protect your home and its furnishings against these damages, potentially saving you thousands in out-of-pocket expenses. Talk to your South Carolina Federal Insurance Solutions advisor about your risk of flood damage, or get a quote in minutes from Neptune Private Flood Insurance.

Be prepared to pay your deductible

As a result of rising insurance costs, many homeowners are experiencing an increase to their deductibles. In some instances, insurance carriers have increased deductibles on policies in an effort to pass along rising claims costs to consumers. In other cases, consumers are opting for higher-deductible policies to help lower premium costs. Either way, it is important to understand how an increased deductible will impact your budget if you need to file a claim. 

A typical hurricane deductible can range from 1% to 5% of a home’s insured value. If your home is insured for $500,000 and your hurricane deductible is 3% of your home’s insured value, in the event of a total loss, you will be responsible for paying $15,000 towards damages before your policy kicks in.  

If you are not sure how you would pay a large deductible, you are certainly not alone. In fact, many adults do not have enough emergency savings to cover repairs in today’s market. Whether you are just getting started or want to ramp up your savings, South Carolina Federal Credit Union’s complimentary financial wellness platform has tools to help you build your emergency fund. Click here to get started.

Create a home inventory

A home inventory is a detailed log of all of your possessions. Many insurance carriers recommend keeping an up-to-date home inventory, as it can help ensure you have enough coverage and save time and stress when filing a claim.

Your home inventory should account for nearly every item in your household. From appliances to furniture, and all of your miscellaneous items in storage, your list should be comprehensive and include the following:

  1. Item description including the serial or model number. If possible, use photos or videos to record everything inside and outside of the home and other structures on the property.
  2. Cost and date of large purchases with sales receipts or appraisals.
  3. Estimated replacement cost of each item.

Assembling a household inventory may feel like an overwhelming project. However, completing it in advance of a severe weather event can save you valuable time once a storm is projected for your area. Once you have completed your home inventory, do not forget to store it in a safe deposit box or another location where it can be accessed easily in an emergency! Remember, you can adjust your insurance policies at any time, though, you may experience a 30-day waiting period before coverage goes into effect. Hurricane season starts June 1, which means homeowners should plan ahead to ensure coverage is in place before a storm hits the forecast. To get started preparing for hurricane season, contact us to schedule a complimentary review of your coverage.

Flood Insurance FAQs

Floods are the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States. However, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, only about 15% of homeowners have the correct policies in place to cover their home and belongings for flood-related damage*. At South Carolina Federal Insurance Solutions, we are committed to helping you understand available coverage options and select a policy that fits your unique situation. We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you navigate the world of flood insurance.

Does my homeowners insurance policy cover flood damage?

Many homeowners believe that they are covered for flood damage by their homeowners insurance policy. However, flood coverage is excluded by most homeowners policies.  

How can I distinguish flood damage from other water damage that IS covered under my homeowners insurance policy?

Under most homeowners insurance policies, if water damage occurs suddenly or accidentally from a source inside your home, such as a busted pipe, it will likely be covered. The primary difference is that with a flood, the water comes from a natural source, such as storm surges, inland flooding caused by bodies of water overflowing, or flash floods.

How much damage can flood water cause?

According to FEMA, just one inch of water can cause $25,000 of damage to your home. Floods can cause power, water, and gas outages; pollute drinking water systems; damage homes and buildings; and cause severe environmental problems. Also, flooding can cause fatalities and serious injuries when people do not heed evacuation orders.  

I do not live in a flood zone. Do I still need flood insurance?

Many homeowners believe that they only need flood insurance if their mortgage lender requires it. However, you do not need to live in a high-risk flood zone or near the coast to be at risk. Wherever it rains, it can flood, regardless of your proximity to a body of water. According to FEMA, 99% of counties in the United States have been impacted by flooding.

How can I obtain flood insurance?

The majority of flood coverage in the United States is issued by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This program is managed by FEMA and offers flood insurance to homeowners in participating communities. However, homeowners can also look to private flood insurance companies to secure coverage at more competitive rates. Private flood insurance may be a good option for those seeking more coverage options than the NFIP offerings, need higher limits of coverage, or are looking for savings.

Insurance Solutions is proud to offer flood coverage through Neptune Private Flood Insurance. Neptune allows you to tailor your policy to cover more of your assets and provides flexible offerings that go above and beyond the limitations of NFIP. To get started, visit their quick self-quoting option or reach out to your Insurance Solutions advisor to schedule a comprehensive review of your policies.


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

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.

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.


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.


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.

Reviewing Your Home and Auto Insurance Around the New Year

As 2023 comes to a close, you may be spending time reflecting on the last year and celebrating all that you have accomplished. Or perhaps you are busy setting resolutions and looking forward to new beginnings. Either way, the end of the year is an ideal time to reassess your insurance needs. Any financial changes made this year or anticipated for the next year could impact your coverage. Your South Carolina Federal Insurance Solutions advisor is here help you:

Understand policy changes

Reviewing your coverage allows you to stay up-to-date with any adjustments that might affect your coverage, deductibles, or premiums. 

Account for life events

Did you experience any major life events, such as getting married or having children? Did you complete a big home renovation or purchase a new car for yourself or someone in your household? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may need to adjust your home or auto insurance policies. 

Identify coverage gaps

Over time, your insurance needs will likely change. By reviewing your policies, you can identify any areas where you may need to add or adjust coverage. For example, you may have insured your home for $200,000 when you first bought it. Due to recent inflation and supply chain issues, your home may cost $300,000 to rebuild. That is a $100,000 gap in coverage, which could leave you without the proper resources to rebuild in the event of a loss.

Experience peace of mind

Enter the new year with confidence, knowing that you have reviewed and updated your insurance coverage to financially protect your changing circumstances.

Our team of experienced advisors at Insurance Solutions is here to help. Contact us today to schedule your complimentary insurance review.

Hurricane Preparedness

While the Atlantic hurricane season officially kicks off on June 1 and lasts for six months, we typically see the most activity between August and October, with the peak being mid-September. Forecasters from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently updated their predictions for the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane season1, indicating that they now expect an above-normal level of activity this year. No matter what happens over the next few months, it is important to take the appropriate steps to prepare yourself and your family for potential disaster long before a storm hits the forecast.

Hurricane Preparedness Checklist

  • Review hurricane preparedness information. First and foremost, have a plan to keep yourself and your family safe during a storm and understand what to do in the following days. If you need help pulling together your emergency plan, knowing your evacuation zone, or learning about hurricane warnings and alerts, visit the South Carolina Emergency Management Division website.
  • Prepare and protect your home. Preparing your home to protect against hurricane damage is one of the most important things you can do in advance of a storm. Taking steps to eliminate weak branches and trees, install storm shutters, and seal outside wall openings such as vents and outdoor electrical outlets can help mitigate the impact of high winds and flooding. If you are a renter, be sure to speak with your property manager about the steps you can take together to protect the property and your belongings.  
  • Know how to access your insurance policy information. Please utilize the client center on our website to access your policy information including details about your coverage and your carrier. It is important to be knowledgeable about these details in advance so that you understand your coverage including deductibles for different types of damage.
  • Understand how to file a claim. In the event that your property sustains damage following a natural disaster, it is important to reach out to your insurance carrier to file a claim as soon as possible (while staying safe). Visit our website for a list of carriers, including links for filing a claim online.

Now is a great time to reach out to us for an insurance check-up to determine whether you have enough coverage to repair or replace your home. Keep in mind that standard homeowners insurance does not cover flooding, which is a separate policy and requires a 30-day waiting period in most cases. Neptune Flood Insurance offers a self-quoting option with the flexibility to customize your coverage to suit your specific needs.

Remember that natural disasters are not just a summer occurrence and can happen throughout the year. It is important to protect yourself and your property through every season. We are here to help – contact us to get started!


Auto Insurance for Your Teen Driver

As we begin a new school year and check items off of our never-ending to-do lists, there is another task that is worth considering if you have a new driver in your household: learning more about auto insurance. If you are a parent or guardian who has been through this before, you understand the expenses that come along with having a new driver. From the cost of an additional vehicle, to the recurring costs of maintenance, gas, and insurance, there is no shortage of opportunities to find ways to save while keeping your teen safe on the road.

Because we work with many parents and guardians of new drivers, we have compiled a few ways to help you keep costs down during this exciting, but often expensive season:

  • If you are purchasing a car for your new driver, be sure to choose the right vehicle. Ensuring your teen’s safety is paramount, so make sure you are considering industry safety ratings before making a purchase. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) is a great resource for drivers of all ages. There are also a number of factors to consider that could impact your insurance premiums – such as the vehicle’s weight, horsepower, and overall value. If you are not sure where to start, check out this year’s teen vehicle list from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Consumer Reports (CR).
  • Reward good driving behavior. If your new driver is able to avoid tickets and fender benders and make good grades, you will likely see that reflected in your premiums. Consider passing along those cost savings to your new driver to encourage them to keep up the good work. While there are many ways to do this, some parents and guardians choose to formalize a safe driving agreement with a parent/teen driver contract. If you are interested, we have a template that we are happy to share; simply fill out the form on our Teen Driver page to learn more.
  • Take advantage of telematics. Most carriers offer a telematics program to track driving behaviors, giving them a better understanding of the type of driver they are insuring. With many of these programs, parents and guardians have access to the same data as the insurance company, allowing you to stay informed of your new driver’s habits, such as rate of braking, average speed, and the time of day a car is driven. If the results are favorable, the insurance company may apply a discount to your premium.

While we know this can be a stressful time, it is also an exciting milestone for your family! Our team of experienced insurance advisors at South Carolina Federal Insurance Solutions is happy to walk you through what you can expect to ensure the transition is as seamless as possible.

Servicing States

  • South Carolina
  • North Carolina
  • Georgia


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