Celebrate National Ice Cream Month in Bluffton & Hilton Head!

Hurry – July is almost over and it would be a shame to not celebrate National Ice Cream Month!

Where should you go? Here are Beacon Insurance Group’s favorite ice cream places in Hilton Head Island and Bluffton: (In no particular order!)

    • Head Ice Cream (The first micro-creamery in the lowcountry!) Get the birthday cake flavor – Jodi’s favorite!
    •  Dairy Queen(Stephanie & Tanya’s favorite!
    • Parrot Cove Ice Cream

                 ° Kilwin’s Chocolates & Ice Cream

                  °Jack Frost Homeade Ice Cream – it’s homemade – what could be better!

You could also go the frozen yogurt or gilato route if you’d like:

    •  Watusi– You get to add whatever toppings your choose – and they also have coffee/breakfast/lunch!
    •  Lovin’ Spoons

                   °Josie’s Frozen Yogurt

                   °Pino Gilato– Unique and delicious!

                   °Delisheee Yo– Diet (and earth) friendly!

Click on the name of the business to go to their website!

We’ve got an office full of ice cream lovers, so if you have a favorite place or a suggestion on what we should try – let us know on our Facebook page!

**Suggest your favorite ice cream parlor in the comment section of this Facebook post for a chance to win a giftcard to that place!

 

Image from: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Weathering the Storms in South Carolina flood insurance

Regardless of whether you’re on the South Carolina coast or a little
further inland, storms and flooding can be a concern at this time of year.
Naturally, those in areas prone to, or at risk of experiencing rising waters
should have a flood insurance policy in place. However, it’s not just the
rising water than can damage possessions, cause injury (or hurt you
financially) during a bout of heavy rain or a sudden storm. Here are a few more
wet weather risks!

Tree branches

Add wind to the mix and falling (or in some cases flying) tree branches
can cause personal injury, damage motor vehicles, and of course, crash through
roof tops. The value of the damage caused can be quite substantial.

Slips and falls

Whether it’s you who takes a nasty tumble while hurrying up the slippery
path or a business customer who slips over in your entry foyer, a few drops of
water in the wrong place can turn into quite a costly and inconvenient problem.

Mold

There are numerous different types of mold. Some are believed to be
harmful to the health, while others (when left unchecked) can contribute to
deterioration in the condition of your home.

In addition to having insurance in place to
cover the event of flood damage, it may be a good idea to have comprehensive
coverage on your vehicle, an absorbent non-slip door mat, and some bleach or
other mold removal products on hand in your cupboard!

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Ken’s South Carolina Homeowners Insurance Forecast:

Insurance Forecast:  As the summer temperatures rise, so too do coastal homeowner insurance rates for areas like Hilton Head Island, Charleston and Myrtle Beach. 

Many of our larger most stable companies are looking for a 5-10% rate increases.  Some the smaller less capitalized companies are either pulling back on writing new business on the coast or looking for 10%+ in rate hikes. 

South Carolina homeowners insurance is seeing even higher percentage hikes in the midlands and west, as standard admitted carriers have been hit hard by hail and storm damage the past few years. 

On the bright side, South Carolina auto insurance, is still quite competitive with direct writers and agency companies targeting good drivers.

Vote for Bluffton, SC to WIN a Dog Park!

Bluffton, South Carolina in is the race to receive $100,000 towards a brand new dog park! The dog park, which will be located on Buckwalter Parkway, has already had approval from the county and town.

Here is what you need to do:

  1. 1.  Go to www.petsafe.net
  2. 2.  Create a log in
  3. 3.  VOTE for Bluffton, SC!
  4. 4.  You can also vote on their Facebook page! Click here: https://www.facebook.com/PetSafeBrand#!/PetSafeBrand
  5. 5.  Repeat tomorrow! (You can vote once a day!)

Time is running out – you must vote by July 31st!!

For more information on the Bluffton dog park, visit www.blufftonbarkpark.org

How to Use a Fire Blanket

Fires occur more often than you may think. A pan left on the stove too long, a candle knocked over, an overloaded extension cord – a variety of situations could lead to a fire. With such high risk, it is important you obtain renters insurance. It is also vital that you prepare yourself for such a possibility by learning how to handle a fire.

With small fires, you may be able to extinguish them yourself, but this should only be attempted if you have the proper equipment on hand. One essential item for your disaster kit is a fire blanket. Proper use is key for optimal effectiveness.

•    Your first step should be to completely unfold the blanket.

•    Hold the blanket out in front of you like a shield to block the heat of the flames. By wrapping the blanket around your hands, you could prevent burns while doing this.

•    Once you are close enough to the fire, throw the blanket over top the flames to suffocate them.

•    Do not move the blanket for at least 30 minutes to ensure it is cooled down enough to put away.

There are two basic types of fire blankets on the market – synthetic and fire retardant wool. These blankets should only be used on small, easily managed fires. For larger blazes, evacuate and contact the fire department immediately. Once the flames are put out, it is important to call your renters insurance provider to notify them of any damage.

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Carriers Non-renewing Policies on the Coast

Recently, news has been reported that various insurance carriers are non-renewing some South Carolina homeowners insurance policies. Allstate and South Carolina Farm Bureau are just a few that have announced that they will be non-renewing many coastal homes, but we have heard rumors of a few others.  It shows admitted insurance carriers have a hard time making money on the coast due to the inability to adjust rates in timely fashion.  Admitted carriers need to go through regulatory approval for most of the changes they desire to make to their products.  Non-admitted insurance carriers, such as Lloyds of London, Lexington, and others can adjust rates quite quickly.

The always changing homeowners insurance market on the coast drives the insured to always be searching for the panacea of insurance.  The homeowners in coastal cities such as Hilton Head Island, Charleston and Myrtle Beach are affected the most, but it still does not mean communities inland such as Bluffton, South Carolina are not also affected.  Insurance carriers desire to make a profit and when they cannot, they move on to areas and types of coverage where they can.

Are you one of these people who have to search for coverage due to your carrier non-renewing your policy? Give us a call – we can get you a competitive quote as soon as possible.

2012 Players Amateur in Bluffton South Carolina

The Players Amateur, played at Berkeley Hall Club in Bluffton South Carolina was played Thursday July 12th through Sunday July 15th. This popular event features amateur golfers from all around the world.

On Wednesday, Brian and Ken of Beacon Insurance Group, had the opportunity to play in the fundraising event with two young Australian amateurs. The photo above is Brian Rose with Buddy Konecny, owner of SeaShore Vacations, and Nathan Holman an amateur contestant from Austrailia.

Other than the weather, the 13th annual Players Amateur was a huge success. Daniel Nisbet a 21-year-old Australian was announced the winner after the final round was cut short because of storms. Nisbet became the second Australian to win the Players Amateur.

Look for Daniel Nisbet at the RBC Heritage next April at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island!

For more information on the Players Amateur visit The Players Amateur Website

 

Keeping Elderly Family Members Safe In a Flood

The elderly and anyone with mobility difficulties can be particularly vulnerable in a flood. Although you may have South Carolina flood insurance to protect your home, making sure everyone is safe during a flood should be your first priority.

Often elderly people and those with mobility issues choose to live in ground floor apartments or single storey homes, and this can make their homes and possessions more vulnerable as well as potentially compromise their safety.

In the event of a flood warning make sure your elderly friends and family members are evacuated ahead of time to avoid them becoming stranded.

It is important that any elderly persons have a suitable escape route which they can take if they are unable to exit the house via the door. Keep a list of numbers close by and make sure windows are accessible and keys kept nearby so they can be unlocked if necessary in a flood situation.

Safeguarding your family should always come first during a flood. When you are preparing your emergency kit, don’t forget to include your insurance policy information and contact details for your agent in the event that you need to make a claim on your South Carolina flood insurance.*

Going on Vacation? Keep Your Home Safe

Vacation season is almost here and if you are planning on taking an extended trip, it is a good idea to take a bit of time before you leave to make sure your rented home will be in the same condition when you return. The last thing you want to deal with after your vacation is a theft, disaster or a claim on your renters insurance in SC. Taking a few precautions before you set off, could save you time and money, not to mention stress, when you return.

Inside the home

  • Make sure all your electrical appliances are unplugged to reduce the risk of a fire.
  • Move any expensive personal belongings such as televisions and computers out of view from windows.
  • Close your blinds or curtains to prevent outsiders looking in and being tempted by anything inside.
  • Consider buying a timer for lights to make it look as if there is someone inside.

Outside the home

  • Ask one of your neighbors to collect your mail, newspapers and any deliveries for you and generally keep an eye on the place.
  • When you are away for a significant amount of time, it may be worth getting someone in to trim hedges and mow the lawns so the place looks well taken care of rather than abandoned.

By keeping your property safe while you are away, you can potentially avoid becoming the victim of a fire, break in or other damage. Keeping the claims on your renters insurance in SC to a minimum can also help you to maintain lower premiums.*