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South Carolina Earthquakes

South Carolina has experienced nearly 50 earthquakes since January 20211. Although only a few of these have been felt, this is a significant increase over our normal average – just 10 to 15 per year2.

Despite the fact that approximately 70% of earthquakes in South Carolina occur in the Coastal Plain and most are centered around three areas west and north of Charleston (Ravenel-Adams Run-Hollywood, Middleton Place-Summerville, and Bowman), a major earthquake anywhere in the eastern United States could adversely affect us3.

While purchasing earthquake insurance might not be at the top of your to-do list, it might be time to start researching your options. At South Carolina Federal Insurance Solutions, we have carriers with deductibles as low as 2 – 5%. Some carriers will include earthquake coverage as part of your homeowners insurance, and others offer standalone policies. Interested in learning more about earthquake insurance? Give us a call at 833-359-0725 or email us.

1 https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/search/
2 https://www.scemd.org/prepare/types-of-disasters/earthquakes/
3 https://www.dnr.sc.gov/geology/earthquake-info.html 

Insurance Premiums on the Rise

Our team of insurance advisors keeps a close eye on what is trending in our industry. This insight helps us stay on top of items that may impact our clients and allows us to take a proactive approach in offering you available coverage options.

This year, we are seeing increases in insurance premiums across the board. Increases can happen for a number of reasons, oftentimes for circumstances outside of your control. When carriers suffer losses due to an increase in claims, they typically increase premiums to offset the costs.

For example, 2020 was the deadliest year for auto accidents in a decade, despite many carriers offering discounts for limited driving1. In 2021, the auto industry experienced a spike in used car prices and felt pressure from computer chip supply issues. We also saw a historical increase in lumber prices and an uptick in natural disasters across the country.

While we proactively shop our clients’ policies when we see abnormal rate increases, it’s important to inform us of any updates to your home and/or auto(s), as it may help lower your premiums. For example, did you recently install a new roof or windows? Have you taken a defensive driving course within the last year? Would you consider utilizing a telematics device to track your driving habits for a period of time? Have you bundled all of your insurance policies with us? (As an Insurance Solutions client, you may be eligible for a multi-policy discount, even if your policies are with different carriers.)

Have a question about your policies? Give us a call at 833-359-0725 or email us to learn more.

1 https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/2020-fatality-data-show-increased-traffic-fatalities-during-pandemic

How commercial insurance can help your small business

All businesses face risks, but small businesses, which comprise about 99% of all businesses,  are at even more risk. As much as 45% of small businesses won’t survive for 5 years. That is daunting, to say the least, but you don’t have to be one of those businesses. Commercial insurance can help protect your business from many of the bad things that can threaten it. At South Carolina Federal Insurance Solutions, we will find and explain the available insurance options for your business.

If you have commercial property insurance and your business is damaged by a covered peril, you will be able to rebuild. Even if you just rent, it will help you to replace or repair all the things you need to do business. Depending on the type of business you have, it could be machinery, inventory, raw materials, tools, office furniture, electronics, and more. Without insurance, you would have to close your doors, maybe forever.

If you have commercial liability insurance, you will be able to survive legal action against you. One in three small businesses is involved in legal action every year, which makes your chance of being sued pretty good. It can bankrupt your business to have to pay a settlement and legal fees if you don’t have insurance.

Commercial business interruption insurance means the difference between being able to pay your bills and not being able to pay if your business has to close temporarily for a covered reason. It can help to pay rent and utilities, employee salaries, and even your salary. Without this important insurance, you might have to close your doors forever.

Workers Compensation coverage can pay medical bills and lost wages for an injured employee. While the state of S.C. does not require Workers Compensation coverage until you have four employees (which can include volunteers and uninsured sub-contractors), your liability for their injuries on the job begins the date of their first hire.

Cyber liability insurance can protect your business from data breaches and other cyber security issues with a number of coverage options. It can cover costs from business disruption, lost revenue, legal fees, forensic analysis, public relations, and mandated notification expenses.

Contact Insurance Solutions to discuss what commercial insurance products will work best for you. Give us a call or stop by one of our offices in Charleston, Columbia, or Seneca for a no-obligation quote.

What Your Home Insurance Protects

If you’re buying a home for the first time and need to purchase insurance to satisfy your mortgage lender, make sure you understand what your policy covers in the event of a claim. Many people are unaware of the different coverage types and optional coverages you can add to make sure your home and belongings are protected. For instance, replacement cost is an optional coverage which can help rebuild your home in the same spot, with the same size and quality of construction, at today’s costs. At Insurance Solutions, we can help you understand the terminology in your policy to determine if the coverages and limits are sufficient to protect your investment.

The Scope of Your Policy

Depending on the type of policy, homeowners insurance is surprisingly broad in its scope and will cover many different elements of your home. It will cover the dwelling itself and your personal property in it, subject to the policy limitations and deductibles selected.

But what about protecting you and your family? Let’s take a deeper look to find out what you can expect on this coverage front.

Personal Protection

Your home insurance can protect you and your family in a few different ways. The most obvious is your liability protection which helps to pay for injuries suffered by others on your property. This minimizes your financial liability should you experience a lawsuit.

Will your home policy protect your family if they get hurt on your property? Generally not. This coverage is provided most often by your family’s health insurance.

Protect Your Home

Give us a call today to answer your any questions you may have. Our experienced advisors can create an affordable home insurance plan that works best for your specific needs.

Important Home Insurance Tips To Remember While Researching Coverage

Insurance Solutions serves the residents of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. We can help you select an affordable policy with coverages tailored to your specific needs. Call us today at (833) 359-0725 to get started! We look forward to serving you.

Important Home Insurance Tips

Your home is one of your most prized possessions. Homeowners insurance can cover your house, other structures on your property, personal property, and additional expenses you may have in the event of a covered loss such as vandalism, fire, or a natural disaster. It’s important to make sure you are fully covered to protect this valuable asset. Our advisors can let you know what coverages are available to meet your needs. Click on the Email an Advisor link at the top of the page to upload your policy for a free review.

Here are some important tips to consider while you are searching for coverage.

Extra Coverage

Depending on your situation, it may benefit you to add extra coverages to your policy or obtain a new one. A standard homeowners policy does not include coverage in the event of an earthquake or flood. Our advisors can provide online quotes for you to consider. Also, if you have luxury items like art or jewelry, we can help get them scheduled separately on your existing policy to make sure they are covered if damaged or stolen.

Accessories

If you plan to install a swimming pool, consider adding umbrella insurance. This covers you if someone is injured on your property.

South Carolina Federal Insurance Solutions Can Help You Protect Your Assets

Call or email us today to learn more about our coverage options. We look forward to working with you to build a homeowner’s insurance package that will fit both your needs and your budget.

What Does Boat Insurance Cover?

South Carolina has an beautiful coast and an abundance of waterways. Its residents enjoy water-skiing, fishing and just cruising the day away in their boats! You want to make sure your watercraft and passengers are protected from the unique risks encountered while on the water. Did you know that risks, such as fire or theft, may happen whether or not your boat is in use? If you do not currently have boat insurance coverage, contact Insurance Solutions for a free quote.

Injury Liability

If you are deemed at fault for a boating accident that leads to another individual’s injuries, there is a risk of being sued for injury-related damages. You can potentially shield yourself from these costs by having boat insurance. In addition, a policy can offer coverage to reduce legal expenses that you could incur in these situations.

Property Damage Liability

From mechanical failure to bad weather, there are a number of reasons you could wind up in a boating accident. In the event that a collision is your fault, you are likely to be held liable for any related damages. A boat insurance policy will cover the repair or replacement of any property that was damaged as a result of the accident up to the amount specified in the policy.

Uninsured Boat Operators

If you are involved in an accident on the water caused by someone else, they might have the proper insurance coverage to cover any damages and they might not. If this occurs, it can be beneficial to have your own policy that offers protection for damages that are sustained during a collision with other watercraft operators who are uninsured.

If you would like to learn more about what boat insurance can cover, contact us at Insurance Solutions. We will help you select from available insurance coverages to suit your individual needs.

Who should have flood insurance?

Flooding is a devastating natural disaster. In the last few years, flooding has occurred in places that have never experienced flooding before. Starting this month, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Flood Insurance Program’s pricing model will take into consideration a property’s unique flood risk factoring in climate change. If you haven’t considered purchasing flood insurance before, this might be the right time to get a free quote from an Insurance Solutions advisor.  

Flooding isn’t usually covered by a standard homeowners policy. Instead, you’ll need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy. It is important that you assess your risk level. What is the chance that your location will experience flooding? In the last few years, cities and towns across the country have been hit by what is referred to as 100-year floods. They usually only have a 1% chance of it happening in any given year.  

Many South Carolinians live on or near a lake, river, beach or other high-risk area where it’s worth considering flood insurance even if your mortgage company doesn’t require it. Insurance Solutions is happy to help explain more about this important coverage. It is sold in two parts; property and contents. Homeowners can purchase one or both parts.

Anyone who thinks they need flood insurance and who lives in a participating community is eligible to purchase it. Flood Insurance is typically purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program. Insurance Solutions offers coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program but also has access to several private carriers that may be able to offer expanded coverages and more competitive rates. If you are interested in a quote, Insurance Solutions has a team of insurance specialists who are ready to help you. 

Do I Need Umbrella Insurance?

There are so many things in life that are uncertain, including the fact that your dog could bite a neighbor or a guest slips down by your pool or patio. Insurance coverage protects us against many incidents; however, auto and home insurance policies may not provide enough coverage in the event you are held liable for another’s injuries, emotional distress, property destruction, or legal expenses. Umbrella insurance provides coverage for claims that my be excluded by other liability policies.

To find out if you need umbrella insurance, call your trusted advisors at Insurance Solutions.

What is Umbrella Insurance? 

Personal umbrella coverage exists to protect you and your family when you’ve exceeded the limits on your existing auto and/or homeowners policy. Consider this scenario: You’re sued and found liable for $1 million in damages for an incident on your property yet your homeowners insurance policy only covers $400,000 of liability. Do you have the remaining $600,000 in your bank account? Most people cannot afford that kind of judgment. An umbrella policy would cover the remaining amount without putting your assets at risk.

Do You Need Umbrella Insurance? 

When deciding if you need an umbrella insurance policy or not, you need to look at your assets and financial situation. You can select a limit of liability that best protects your assets, usually up to $5 million. Do you own a boat, a motorcycle, or an RV. Umbrella insurance is not just for wealthy individuals. It’s for anyone who wants to protect the lifestyle they’ve worked so hard to build – including you!

For additional information about umbrella insurance in South Carolina, call Insurance Solutions today. Our advisors can review your particular situation and help you decide on the options available to safeguard your lifestyle.

2 Reasons Why Auto Insurance is Important

From making the payments to routine maintenance, owning a vehicle comes with a lot of responsibilities. If you are thinking about buying a vehicle, one of the most important things you can’t overlook is maintaining the required automobile insurance. It is common for people to think that paying their auto insurance premiums is a waste of money, a cost that they may never reap the benefits of. However, this is far from being the actual fact. Automobile insurance provides you with more benefits than you may realize. South Carolina Federal Insurance Solutions has gathered two of the reasons why auto insurance is important for the residents of South Carolina.

It is the Law

It is a legal requirement that vehicle owners carry at least the minimum amount of coverage. Liability insurance is the minimum type of coverage required by the law, which covers damages to the other party if the damage is caused by you. Although liability is the minimum required, you may want to purchase additional coverage or increase your coverage limits. Full coverage protects you as well as passengers, injuries, damages, and more. Since auto insurance is a requirement in all U. S. states if you are caught driving without it, even in a different state than your place of residence, you are at risk of being fined, arrested, having your driver’s license suspended, and/or having to pay higher insurance premiums later on.

Financial Responsibility

Other than it being a law for vehicle owners to carry automobile insurance, having coverage can relieve your financial responsibilities should you be involved in an accident that was your fault. Getting in an accident is a stressful, scary situation, and the situation can get even worse if you are found to be at fault. When at fault for an accident, you are responsible for the cost of repairing the damages to the other vehicle as well as the cost of medical expenses for the other parties involved in the accident. So, carrying automobile insurance, especially if you have comprehensive insurance will help to relieve the financial burden you may be faced with for another person’s damage or injuries.

Although the minimum requirement by law is a liability, it is extremely important that you verify this is the minimum coverage you are required to carry. If you are leasing or financing your vehicle, comprehensive and collision coverage may be required by your lender.

Contact a trusted advisor with Insurance Solutions to learn more information about auto insurance requirements. We will provide a free review of your current coverages and limits of insurance by clicking on the Email an Advisor link at the top of this page to upload a copy of your policy.

Commercial insurance requirements

Being a business owner is stressful. Times are tough and the risks to your business can keep you up at night. Commercial insurance is designed to help mitigate some of the risks you face. Sitting down with your independent insurance advisor to discuss your business concerns can help. At Insurance Solutions we make it our business to get to know you and your business. With that knowledge, we can let you know about available types of commercial insurance so that you can make a selections that meets the needs of your particular business.

We can make sure you have the correct mandated by the state at a minimum. South Carolina has two requirements for businesses: commercial auto and workers’ compensation insurance.

Commercial auto insurance

If your business owns any vehicles, you need to carry commercial auto insurance. The minimum requirement is 25/50/25 in liability coverage. Liability protects other people from you and your vehicle in the event of an accident where your vehicle is at fault. The coverage means $25,000 for one person injured in an accident with the total payout for the accident of $50,000. An additional $25,000 is allowed for damage to property/other vehicles. Needless to say, those limits are insufficient for many accidents. Our advisors can help you select affordable coverage limits that better protect your business.

If you use your personal vehicle in your business, particularly if you have signage on it, we strongly recommend commercial auto insurance to avoid possible coverage gaps in your personal auto policy. Frequently, we can find a cost-effective commercial option that serves to better protect you and your business.

Workers’ compensation

In South Carolina, you must carry workers’ compensation insurance if you have at least 4 employees. They can be full or part-time, seasonal, adults and minors. If you don’t have workers’ compensation insurance it does not take away your obligation as an employer to pay for work injuries and the reality is, it is probably financially advantageous to have insurance to pay for the medical bills and possible lost time.

While these two types of commercial insurance are required, having other types of commercial insurance makes sense. Commercial property insurance protects your building, inventory machinery, and more. Commercial liability insurance protects you from legal actions that may be taken against you.

Contact Insurance Solutions toll-free at (833) 359-0725 and let us review your current insurance policies. We can advise you of insurance coverage options to help you determine which meets your needs.

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