February Events in Bluffton and Hilton Head Island

Can you believe it is February already? Neither can we! Since February is typically a slower time in our area, we thought we would give you a list of things to do, both active and not so active activities, for those long February weekends!

February 2nd

  • 5K Love Run present by Mortgage Network
    Race is 9AM $25 pre-register, $30 day of the race Honey Horn Plantation, 70 Honey Horn Drive, Hilton Head SC 29926 Call 843.681.3754 for more details.
  • Taste of Gullah
    Learn about Native Island heritage and culture with lowcountry specialties such as barbecue ribs, conch stew, shrimp and grits, rice and beans, and okra gumbo along with storytelling by Ms. Louise Cohen Gullah Storyteller, gospel music and crafts. Noon – 4PM; $10 Meal; Arts Center of Coastal Carolina; 14 Shelter Cove Lane Call 843-842-2787 for more details.

February 9th

  • 11th Annual Hilton Head Island Half Marathon & 10K/5K
    Race will benefit three local charities; Jarvis Creek Park; 8:00AM Visit www.bearfootsports.com for more information
  • Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks Clambake
    Hudson’s Innaugural Clambake benefitting NAMI of Beaufort County. Live Music; Fried & Steam Clams ,Clam Chowder, Lowcountry Boil, Chili & Hot Dogs, and beer. 5-9pm Call 843-681-2200 ext. 2 for more information.
  • Black Marlin’s February Crab Cracking and Oyster Roast
    Menu includes Blue Crabs, Dungeness Crabs, Snow Crabs, Local Oysters, Middleneck Clams, and Lowcountry Boil. Saturday, February 9th, beginning at 4pm until the crabs are gone! Live Music by Vinyl on Fire from 6-10pm.

February 16th

  • Gullah Arts, Crafts & Food Expo
    Honey Horn 11 – 5PM Vendors selling their wares along with demonstrations of sweet grass basket sewing, indigo dyeing along with traditional Gullah food and entertainment. Admission -$5 adults / $3 children (5 & under free with canned good); Call 843-255-7304 for more details.

February 23rd

  • Red Apron Chili Cookoff
    Tanger 2 Outlet; Cookoff draws amateur and professional cooks from all over the southeastern region of the United States to compete in a sanctioned cookoff with the winner advancing to the International Chili Society cookoff to be held in California in October 2013. ICS is a national organization that promotes chili competitions that are all connected to raising funds for nonprofit organizations. Bluffton Self Help would welcome your support in creating a signature event for Bluffton and raise funds for a charitable organization that provides free food and clothing, plus emergency financial assistance to residents of the greater Bluffton area. Visit www.blufftonselfhelp.org for more information.
  • Face Your Fears Endurance Challenge
    The first annual Face Your Fears Mud Run Challenge, February 23rd at Palmetto Bluff, is the pinnacle test of your strength, stamina, mental-might and camaraderie. Challenge raises awareness and funding for the wounded and fallen Special Operations military servicemen and servicewomen and their families.  For more details go to www.faceyourfearsbluffton.com or call 843-304-2233

Volunteer Risk Management

Many organizations rely on volunteers for all sorts of tasks.  Volunteers, though, are an exposure in many ways from injuries to even damaging the reputation of the organization.

Are volunteers covered for the medical expenses for injuries? Are volunteers covered under your nonprofit insurance? They are not covered under workers compensation insurance, which protects your employees.  They could be covered under your Accidental Death & Dismemberment policy, if you choose.  The key is to be upfront with volunteers as to what occurs should they become injured.  Employees cannot file a lawsuit for their injuries, however volunteers can.  To minimize potential lawsuits, most organizations have the volunteers sign a waiver and hold harmless agreement, as it will clearly outline to the volunteers what the organization will not be responsible for should they be injured.

Almost all organizations screen their volunteers, especially those dealing the children and senior adults.  This would include criminal background checks, driver license check, finger printing and other similar types of checks.  Volunteers should also be reviewed by staff management periodically, as this will also help re-screen the volunteer on their performance.

The automobile exposures related to volunteers can be trying for many organizations.  The volunteer’s personal auto insurance covers and protects the volunteer should they be in an accident while partaking on the organization’s business.  The organization must have “Non-Owned Auto Liability” coverage which will protect the organization should they also be drug into the claim.

Organizations need volunteers.  It is good risk management practice that the organization and the volunteers understand the exposures present and how they will be covered.

Photo from Literacy Volunteers of the Lowcountry 2012 Fall Class

Cyber Liability and Your Insurance Gap

From Wall Street to Hospitals to the State of South Carolina, companies get hacked and quite easily it appears.  Whether you are a retailer, small business owner or nonprofit organization, you can be hacked.

Cyber liability insurance protects business from the failure to protect personal information from theft.  Can you imagine all the personal information that lawyers, retail stores, healthcare providers, social service agencies, banks and governments have on all of us?  It is tough to find a business today that has some information of others on computers, smartphones, laptops, paper files, social media sites, blogs, websites. It goes on and on.

Are you covered for any of this under your current South Carolina business insurance policy?  Most likely not.  There are specific exclusions in liability policies for claims arising out of electronic data or from blogs you own or host.  There are exclusions even for confidential information losses under property policies.  These are just a few of the areas claims are excluded for cyber threats.

So how large can these claims become.  There are Federal and State Statutes that require the degree of care you must exercise when storing or handling personal information.  If you know you had a cyber breach, you must notify all your customers or clients who possibly could have been affected.  The estimated costs to notify is $210+ per comprised record.  Then we move on to the individuals who may sue you for personal injury damages, emotional distress and mental anguish and invasion of privacy.

Do you get sense of just another area that could mushroom into many legal actions and lawsuits?  What is your business plan should a claim arise?  Your business survival could depend on it.

What We Know About Hurricane Claims and South Carolina Flood Insurance

The areas where most coverage issues arise are wind and flood damage. Here are a few things we learned from hurricane claims:

  1. Clients have not purchased any flood coverage.  A large percentage of coastal damage is historically from flood.  The flood insurance policy should cover your contents and personal property.
  2. The purchase of inadequate limits overall.  It is the insured’s responsibility to purchase adequate limits.  This may require a self appraisal of what they own.  An insurance carrier can give you an idea based on their valuation programs what they believe the property is worth.  The use of these types of programs can have many variables which can affect the value of your property.  Taking a rule of thumb square footage cost for a calculation can be wrecked with errors and underinsure your property.  Many insured desire to insure to real estate value which can be either higher or lower than the amount of insurance you need to replace the property.
  3. Some commercial insurance pitfalls from hurricanes are a business not purchasing business interruption coverage, off premise power failure, not meeting the coinsurance requirement of the policy, and lack of flood coverage at particular locations. 

A complete review and discussion is needed when setting up your insurance program so you know what is and is not covered prior to a claim occurring.  After it occurs, is too late. Please feel free to call and discuss flood insurance with your agent.

No, a Disaster Recovery Plan is Not Included in Your Coastal Home Insurance Policy

Many people are paying high expenses out of pocket if their home is seriously destroyed or uninhabitable. Your coastal home insurance and flood insurance policies will not cover every expense you may have at the time of a catastrophic claim. 

ACE Insurance has created a program that will reimburse your monthly mortgage payments, provide up to 24 months of emergency cash ($1,000 per month), and reimburse your insurance deductible up to $1,000.  This insurance program is quite interesting, especially if you live in catastrophic coastal areas.

Click on the link below to obtain a quote or let us know if you are interested in this policy in addtion to your coastal Home Insurance policy. We did a sample quote and received a premium of approximately $46 per month. 


Seminar: The Affordable Care Act & Your Small Business

You survived the Mayan Calendar! The fiscal cliff has turned into a fiscal slope! The question now is: will your business survive the Affordable Care Act?

Please join us for a seminar presented by the president of Carolina Care Plan, Carson Meehan. Mr. Meehan will be on hand to help you better understand what the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, means to your small business. He will help you:

  • Learn what taxes, fees and charges await 
  • Learn the options your employees will have
  • Learn if the Act pertains to your business now, and if not now will it in the future
  • Learn whether your health insurance costs are going to rise or fall

Who should attend? All business owners! This Act directly affects your bottom line.

When: January 29th, 2013 9:00am or 2:00pm
Where: Hilton Garden Inn at Moss Creek 
(just before the bridge going to Hilton Head Island)

Because space will fill up quickly at this important seminar, we request that you please register for the time that you would like attend.

Please click here to register for the seminar:  Registration

This seminar is brought to you by Carolina Care Plan – A Medical Mutual Company as well as Beacon Insurance Group and JCM Insurance of Bluffton South Carolina. We invite anyone that would like to know more about the Affordable Care Act and it’s effect on small business to attend.

From the Desk of Ken Groff: South Carolina Homeowners Insurance Premiums on the Rise

Across the country consumers are experiencing increases in their homeowners insurance premiums.  That being said, we have not even felt the impact of hurricane Sandy yet.

Homeowners insurance companies have seen a continuous climb in claims and losses with 2011 being one of the biggest years. Claim costs in 2011 increased 27%. Since 2000, insurance claim costs have increased 173% and the annualized increase in premiums was 7.4%.  People focus on hurricanes and floods but tornado and hail storms have caused havoc on the insurance industry in the past few years.

We have been experiencing and hearing of increases ranging from 9-25% depending on the state.   The low investment return climate for conservative investments which carriers are required to invest, has also severely damaged returns.  Always keep in mind that insurance companies must make a return for their shareholders to keep capital flowing to it.  Without this, needed capital rates would increase even further.

Coastal homeowners insurance rates, which are always volatile, are experiencing increases for a variety reasons in addition to the above. Standard insurance companies are pulling away from the coast or refusing to write wind and hurricane coverage.  Like in any business, this affects the supply and demand. While the cost of reinsurance is relatively stable, insurance carriers are being forced to carry higher and higher levels to satisfy rating agencies like AM Best thus increasing their costs to be passed onto consumers.

In conclusion, expect the next few years to be a little rocky in the homeowners insurance market.