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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.

Understanding a Hard Insurance Market

We are currently in what is known as a hard market, which impacts insurance companies and consumers in a variety of ways. While insurers fight to offset growing costs, policyholders across the country are experiencing higher insurance premiums and deductibles, more stringent underwriting criteria, and are even receiving nonrenewal notices due to factors outside of their control. While a hard insurance market presents a unique set of challenges, it is important to remember that you do not have to face them alone.

  1. Why are we in a hard market?  

Supply chain issues are a leading cause as it takes longer to repair or replace damaged property, and the costs for materials continue to increase, driving the pricing even higher. Plus, larger catastrophic weather events put additional pressure on insurers, as we see an increase in both the quantity and cost of claims. Finally, social inflation, which is the willingness of jurors to award largely unexpected sums of money at trial is forcing insurers to settle claims they may have traditionally taken to trial. All of these factors have caused insurance rates to increase.

  1. I have not filed any claims through my insurance. Why are my premiums increasing?

Premium increases are not just tied to a specific customer’s coverage, but to the overall insurance market. As a result of rapidly increasing catastrophic losses and larger jury awards, the cost of claims for insurers has risen. Also, there is less competition as several insurance companies have withdrawn from the market, limiting consumers’ ability to shop around. These factors contribute to rising insurance premiums.  

  1. How long will this hard market last?

Hard markets are cyclical, though we do not know how long they will last. They vary in length and severity, depending on prevailing economic challenges, inflation rates, and the types of insurance affected. A hard market will begin to “soften” as premiums rise and bring more capital back to the insurance market.

  1. How can my insurance advisor help me in a hard market?

The advisors at South Carolina Federal Insurance Solutions are experienced professionals. We strive to be a valuable, trusted resource, and can help you navigate the current market conditions. We have long-standing relationships with insurers and are well-positioned to help you select the right coverage for your unique situation. We can provide information on available coverage options and recommend risk management resources that may help mitigate your exposure.

  1. How can I get a better rate on my policy?

It is always a good idea to review your policy with your advisor to better understand your coverage limits and deductible amounts. Sometimes, another insurance carrier may offer the same or better coverage for a more affordable rate. If you want to change insurers, be sure to ask your advisor how the switch may affect your ability to be fully covered in case of a large claim.

Investing in risk management strategies can reduce your exposure and make you more attractive to insurers. There are a variety of protection devices you could put into place to help mitigate claim exposures such as a central fire and home security system, a permanently installed backup generator, a temperature monitoring system, and/or a water leak detection system. Installing these systems could garner additional discounts to your policy.

Source: Trusted Choice Agent Toolkit: Navigating Client Communications in a Hard Market

Three Ways to Save on Auto Insurance

We know the rising cost of auto insurance premiums continues to be a concern amongst Americans. Regardless of whether you have filed a claim, your premium may rise as insurance companies continue to cope with inflation and an increase in theft and accident claims. Although many of these factors are out of your control, there are still steps you can take to keep your premiums as low as possible.

  1. Schedule an insurance review. We can help you find coverage for your specific needs as well as identify discounts you may not realize are available. By enrolling in automatic payments, bundling products, or maintaining a clean driving record, you may be eligible to receive additional discounts. Our team of advisors can provide a complimentary review to help you get the most out of your auto insurance.
  2. Participate in a safe driver program. Many insurance carriers offer safe driver programs which are designed to reward your safe driving practices. Also known as usage-based-insurance (UBI), these programs help align your auto policy’s cost with your actual driving habits by collecting data on your driving behavior over a period of time using a plug-in device or mobile app. While your auto insurance rate could be substantially discounted, it is possible that your policy’s premium may increase based on the results of the program. Our advisors can help you determine if a UBI program with one of our carriers, like Snapshot by Progressive, SmartRide by Nationwide, or IntelliDrive by Travelers, is a good option for you.
  3. Take a defensive driving course. Some insurance companies offer a multi-year discount on auto insurance by passing a state-approved defensive driving course. The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) recommends the National Safety Council’s 4-Hour Defensive Driving Course which may be completed online. Our insurance advisors can help you determine your insurer’s available discounts.  

As an independent insurance agency, you can count on our licensed advisors to help you build a coverage plan tailored to your lifestyle at a price you can afford. Have a question about your policies? Give us a call at 833-359-0725 or email us to learn more.

Spooky Liabilities

While many people enjoy getting into the Halloween spirit, it’s important to prioritize your safety and the safety of trick-or-treaters. When decorating your house and preparing for visitors, it is a good idea to consider potential risks and take precautions to protect yourself, including:

  • Be mindful of dangers that might not be visible during the night. Help trick-or-treaters stay safe by ensuring your yard is clear of debris and obstacles, and is well-lit.
  • Decorate safely. Keep extension cords away from walkways, use battery operated candles or lighting, and tie down any inflatable decorations.
  • Don’t forget about your furry friends. Keep candy, wires, and decorations out of your pets’ reach, don’t allow them near lit jack-o-lanterns, and have them in a quiet, safe area.
  • Slow down and be vigilant. Whether you are planning to be on foot or in a vehicle, be patient and alert as trick-or-treaters make their way through local neighborhoods.
  • Trick-or-treat safely. Make sure your little ones wear reflective tape, have flashlights, look both ways before crossing the street, and avoid dark homes.
  • Protect your unattended home and vehicle. If you’re planning to be out, remember to lock up, set alarms, and make your home look occupied to avoid any uninvited guests. Take the necessary precautions to prevent against theft and vandalism.

Don’t be frightened by the risks. Our team of advisors can help you prepare for a safe and happy Halloween by reviewing your insurance policies. You may even want to consider purchasing an umbrella policy for added protection beyond existing limits and coverages of your other policies.

We look forward to helping you stay safe this spooky season!

RV Safety Tips

Time slows down and scenic destinations become a picturesque surprise as you hit the road in your recreational vehicle. Whether you are planning an RV road trip to cheer on your favorite football team, explore different camp grounds, or enjoy the fall foliage, it’s important to make sure safety protocols are in place. It’s wise to start by reviewing your insurance coverage with your advisor to make sure your vehicle is adequately protected. Before you plan your next adventure, here are a few safety recommendations to consider:

  • Take your vehicle for a test drive, especially if this is your first trip. RVs, especially when fully loaded, have a myriad of driving considerations that go far beyond those of a typical vehicle. Cornering, turn radius, braking distance, blind spots, towing, acceleration, and height are just a few of the operational considerations you should be comfortable with before beginning your trip.
  • Be mindful of propane safety. Many RVs use propane for kitchen appliances, hot water systems, and heating systems. But the amount of propane stored can also pose a significant hazard. It’s important to properly inspect your equipment before traveling. You’ll also want to be knowledgeable of filling procedures, your maximum capacity, and what to do if you suspect or discover a leak.
  • Treat your RV as you would your home or car. Consider installing deadbolt locks, ensure smoke alarms and fire extinguishers are operational, inspect headlights, turn signals, all belts and hoses, and check all other equipment to be sure it is defect-free.
  • Assemble a safety kit with flashlights, batteries, road flares, repair tools, tape, jumper cables, and food and water. You never know what type of emergency or natural disaster you will encounter while on the road, so it’s best to be prepared.
  • Buckle up when the RV is moving. This is particularly important since passengers often act as they would in a home — sitting around a table playing games, snacking, and cooking. Travelers are subject to being thrown about by a sudden stop or collision because they are in a moving vehicle, so it’s best to wear your seat belts.
  • Understand the threat to your safety from overloading. While it may seem obvious that RVs are going to be far heavier, and thus more difficult to drive than a standard vehicle, don’t overlook the further complication of your own cargo and how you load it.

RVs can immeasurably add to the enjoyment of your road travel as long as you prepare beforehand and follow proper safety precautions during your trip. Our advisors stand ready to offer insights and advice to help you find the right insurance policy for your RV. Safe travels!

Source: Trusted Choice®

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