Top Ten Tips to Help You Prepare for a Disaster

Every year you hear a million ways to prepare for a disaster. Well, we’ve made it simple and have listed our top ten tips we think are most important. Of course, we believe the most imporant thing to do would be to look over your coastal homeowners insurance policy…so we’re assuming that you have already done that. If not – what are you waiting for? Here are the top ten:

  1. 1. Put things of real importance, such as pictures, deeds, money, and insurance in a safe place (out of flood areas or a safe) or take them with you. Make sure you have everything ready in case you need to evacuate. We’d suggest you take a second look at all of this information.
  2. 2. Medical information, medicines, etc should be packed and ready to go.
  3. 3. If possible, take a video or photos of your property before you leave. Doing so will help in the event you have to make a claim.
  4. 4. Have a plan of action. Know where you will go if you have to evacuate. Try not to wait til the last minute to leave and risk being caught without a place to go or even stuck in your car.
  5. 5. Have a pet? Never leave your pet at home. Make sure that if you destination is a hotel that it is pet friendly. If you can’t take your pet with you, find a shelter or somewhere where it can be safe until you return.
  6. 6. Have clothes packed in case you have to leave more quickly than anticipated.
  7. 7. We do not recommend it, but if you decide to stay and tough out the storm, stay away from windows.
  8. 8. Count on the power being out for at least a day or two (much longer if your area is hit harder). Remember to have cash, non-perishable food and water on hand as there will be no ATM’s, access to groceries, etc.
  9. 9. Boarding up your home would be the best decision, but if you are unable to do so, criss-cross the windows with layers of duct tape.
  10. 10. This may seem simple, but stay inside during the storm. You may want to take video or photos but try to refrain. No picture or video is worth risking your life; if the storm is that bad you are likely to be cut off from medical services.
Advertisements

Saving Money on Renters’ Insurance

Everyone likes saving money. You could reduce the cost of the necessary expense of insurance by choosing your apartment carefully. The key to saving money on your renter’s policy is choosing the complex that offers you the best security and safety features.

Security

•    Look for apartments that are already wired for an alarm system.

•    Deadlocks help prevent crooks from kicking in doors and picking locks. A double-end deadbolt adds additional protection since opening and closing the door requires a key.

•    Window bars could help reduce the odds of thieves breaking a window and crawling in.

Safety

•    A fire alarm could notify you of the danger before a fire gets out of hand, giving you the chance to put out the flames with your handy extinguisher.

•    During large fires, a sprinkler system could limit the amount of possessions that are destroyed.

•    Shatterproof windows could prevent blowouts during severe weather, which allow wind and rain to wreak havoc inside your apartment.

Insurance is a vital investment in preventing financial difficulties after unfortunate events, such as a burglary or fire. When purchasing coverage, it is important that you carefully consider the actual cost of your belongings to ensure you are able to replace all the items you lose.

*

Ronald McDonald House of Charleston – “Wear a Shirt, Provide a Place”

The Ronald McDonald House of Charleston is celebrating their 3rd annual “Wear a Shirt, Provide a Place.” The shirts with the logo stating “The House That Love Built” are worn in support of the Ronald McDonald House of Charleston in their efforts to create a home away from home. For families with children who are undergoing serious medical treatment, the house is provided so they can relax and live as normal life as they can without dealing with expesive hotel stays and distant travel.

The Beacon Insurance Group employees are proud to support the Ronald McDonald House of Charleston by sporting their tshirts today! Check out more information on the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Charleston, SC by visiting their website:  http://www.rmhcharleston.org/index.php

Does your Coastal Homeowners Insurance Cover your College Student?

Summer is coming to an end which means only one thing: back to school. For some, this is a dreaded time, for others it means starting a new journey in life – college. On this new walk of life, noone wants to think about what could go wrong.

So here you are, watching your son or daughter leave the small town of Hilton Head Island and making their way to a college campus of the same size. Next think you know, someone breaks into their dorm room and the laptop is gone, all of the school books have been taken, and on top of it all the thief grabbed the microwave on the way out. There goes $2000 worth of personal property! Now what?

Well, as long as the student still lives under the same roof as the parent, then the items stolen would be covered under the parent’s homeowners policy. The loss would still be subject to the homeowners deductible. Should your son or daughter live in off campus housing, a renters policy would be necessary. The safest thing to do would be to consult your insurance agent and discuss your coastal homeowners insurance policy to see how much is, or is not, actually covered before the student leaves for college.

Now, what if there is a car accident and it is the students fault? The family auto policy, as long as the vehicle is registered with the parent as the owner, will most likely cover the car that the student takes to college. It is also good to know that South Carolina auto insurance follows the car, not the driver. Also, let your insurance agent know if the student is going to school out of the area and taking the car, as the rates may be different.

Even though the items are covered, we would suggest taking preventative measures and do an  inventory of the students belongings. This inventory would streamline the claims process and aid in the the police report, should you have to do either.

Does your South Carolina Business Insurance include Data Breach Liability?

A recent article on Beaufort County School District and the Sunshine Law, or Freedom of Information Act, brings a warning for private business.  Private businesses do not fall under such laws and therefore information on employees and correspondence is, well, private.  This becomes a problem for business owners when private information on employees becomes public due to a breach of data or confidential information by outsiders or current, rogue employees. 

The exploding social media landscape has made it easier for private information to be displayed in various public forums.  When this information is private in nature, such as health issues or other issues an employer has in their records, and it leaks, it can have financial implications for the employer.  It is important for employers to keep employee records confidential and not accessible.  The same is true of confidential client information.  Employees and customers can file claims for damages due to their private information becoming public.  Keep your records secure and look into Data Breach Liability coverage in addition to your South Carolina Business Insurance.

Beacon Insurance Group can assist you with this coverage – give us a call today!

Review: “Bluffton Business Bank Account Hacked, $20K Stolen”, Island Packet 2012

Fund transfer and computer fraud are a growing threat to businesses everywhere.  “Phishing” scams have made it easier than ever for criminals to access your business assets.  Attacks, if not detected early, can leave a business and financial institutions with monetary losses.  While various security software, virus protection and firewalls are critical for protections, it is also important to have the correct insurance coverage if the hacker breaches these protections.

Computer Fraud & Electronic Funds Transfer coverage is offered under most Crime policies as an option.  It will protect your company if your computers are hacked and your user id and password stolen, thus allowing for fraudulent electronic wire transfers.  It will provide coverage for instances where a virus or Trojan horse enters your computer and reads key strokes thus obtaining banking information and passwords which leads to electronic transfers from your account.  Computer Fraud coverage will provide coverage if an employee uses company passwords to initiate financial transaction which divert monies to the employee’s account.

The internet and web are filled with financial land mines for which you probably need protection.  If you do not have the coverage, seriously consider it now.  You worked hard for those dollars, protect yourself the best you can.