South Carolina Auto Insurance – 5 Rainy Day Driving Tips

We have been having extreme amounts of rain dumped on us lately and even if you already know to drive safe – there are a few tips we wanted to point out.

  1. Don’t follow the car in front of you too closely – you won’t be able to stop as quickly as if you were on dry asphalt.
  2. Pay attention to brake lights all around you.
  3. Keep your windshield wipers in good shape – if you notice them getting worn out, head to your local auto parts store and they will help you change them.
  4. Never drive through moving water and watch out for places where there is standing water.
  5. Last but not least – drive slowly and carefully as high speeds and wreckless driving can cause hydroplaining and skidding.

In addition to these tips, know that it is ok to pull of into a safe area if the rain gets to heavy.

As always, make sure that you have your South Carolina auto insurance ID cards in your car at all times. If there is an accident you will have the information readily available and be able to call and make a claim if needed.

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Literacy Volunteers of the Lowcountry Present “Cooks & Books”

Beacon Insurance Group is one of many proud sponsors of the 2013 Cooks & Books event presented by Literacy Volunteers of the Lowcountry (LVL). LVL’s signature event is on March 3rd, 2013 from 11:00-2:00pm and is hosted by The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa.

The Cooks & Books Preview Party is set for Friday, March 1, 2013 from 6:00-9:00 pm will be held at TidePointe, a Vi Community – luxury retirement living on Hilton Head Island.

At this Sunday event, guests will not only be able to taste local cusine from the area’s top restaurants but they will also have the opportunity to meet local authors who will be signing copies of their books. “The Heat is On” is the Chef’s competition and each ticket holder will have the opportunity to vote for a favorite tasting in “The Peoples’ Choice.”

Advance tickets to this years Cooks & Books event are $15 at many local businesses and will be available at the door for $20. There is also the option to purchase tickets online.

You may call the LVL office at 843-815-6616 or visit their website at http://www.lowcountryliteracy.org/cooksbooks for further information.

South Carolina Home Insurance: Yours vs. Your Neighbors

Why would one person’s coastal home insurance cost more than a neighbor in Beaufort County, South Carolina?

There are many factors that influence homeowners insurance premiums.  First are the limits and deductibles, everything else being equal from an underwriting perspective, the limits and deductible difference will affect the price.  Now we will look at all the other underwriting factors:

  • Year the house was built ( homes after 2003 have the potential for the most discounts in Beaufort County.)
  • Type and age of the roof – a hip roof will get you discounts do to its higher wind rating
  • Did you or the house have any previous claims – yes insurance carriers even track if the house had claims prior to you owning it
  • Credit Score – the infamous credit score can have a positive or adverse effect on your premium
  • Type of home construction – frame or masonry with masonry having lower rates
  • Central station security alarm – carriers use different credit percentages so ask
  • Swimming pool – if the pool is not fenced, most insurance carriers will not insure the home

There is even a street on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina where the homes on one side of street are in one underwriting territory and the other side in a different one.  And yes the insurance premiums are different based on that territory discrepancy.
Isn’t this fun?

These are a few of the underwriting criteria that can effect up your homeowners premium.  There are others based on individual insurance carriers.  Things constantly change for coastal home insurance, so what is great today, is not always great tomorrow.  Your professional insurance agent should be able to guide you through the maze.

When Should You Destroy Your Insurance Policies?

There is no specific statutory rule or law regarding retaining prior insurance policies.  A business that has liability exposures where claims may arise years down the road that involve asbestos or pollution should be kept and never destroyed.  All other property and liability policies 3-6 years is a good time frame.

The keeping and storing of insurance policies has actually become less burdensome with computers and the Cloud computing.  You can scan and keep almost anything.  For those without the capability of doing just that, at a minimum you should keep a copy of the Declaration Page and the page listing all the policy form numbers from your policies.  This will at least keep the paper load down to 2-4 pages.

Why Small Business Owners Should Purchase Directors’ & Officers’ Insurance

You are not a large company, heck you do not even have a Board of Directors.  Why do you need Directors & Officers liability insurance in addition to your South Carolina business insurance coverage?  You, the owner, your officers, your managers and employees can be held liable for the decisions that are made in the operation of your company.  Claims can come from stockholders, clients, competitors and even employees.   They all could claim that your company operation decisions affected them financially. 

A Directors & Officers Liability policy can protect and defend your company and assets.  Actions can occur from investors, whether public or private on how you utilized their funds.  Many of the claims that will under a D&O policy are for “monetary damages”.  Remember, your general liability policy protects you for “bodily injury and property damages” caused by you or your company’s negligence.  Monetary damages are what the entities mentioned in the previous paragraph claim, such as the claims from government entities.  Monetary damages from legal contracts which are disputed.

Even if you or your company believe you do everything perfect, you are still open to unfounded lawsuits, and you must defend them.  D&O Liability insurance will do just that.

Last Minute Super Bowl Menu Items!

Looking for that last minute idea to complete your Super Bowl feast? Well you are in luck! Our office ladies shared their favorite go-to appetizer perfect for any gathering.

Jane’s Pic: Six Layer Dip (her sister’s recipe!)
Layer from bottom up in a large (not too deep) casserole dish:
1 can refried beans
1 Cup Guacamole (You can make your own if you are energetic.)
8 oz. sour cream
2 (8 oz.) jars picante sauce
¾ Cup chopped black olives
¾ Cup chopped scallions
3 Cup peeled and chopped plum tomatoes
1 ½  Cup shredded cheddar cheese
Garnish with ½ Cup slices of Jalapeño peppers (optional)

1.Keep refrigerated.  Take out 15 minutes before serving. Nacho scoops accompany this dip perfectly!
2.You can’t make a mistake with this if you eliminate an ingredient that you don’t like or add something that you do. Other options: Substitute salsa for picante sauce ; Substitute Monterey jack cheese for cheddar cheese; Substitute onions for scallions

Kris’ Pick: Homemade Guacamole Dip
3 medium avacados, ripe and pitted
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
¼ cup Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped onion
3 medium plum tomatoes, diced
Salt to taste

Tanya’s Pick: Black Bean Hummus with Pita Chips
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
2 tablespoons tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
1 garlic clove, peeled

1.Preheat oven to 425°.
2.Place 1/4 cup cilantro, tahini, and next 8 ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth. Spoon into a bowl; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cilantro. Serve with Stacy’s Pita Chips

Jodi’s Pick: Little Pigs in a Blanket
Lil Smokie Sausages
Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
1.Cut each crescent roll square into 4 pieces, wrap around sausage, cook according to crescent roll package directions.

Stephanie’s Pick: Her husbands Spinach Dip with Pita Chips (his recipe is secret so here is another option!)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 cups grated Asiago cheese
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1 1/2 cups frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2.Combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, and garlic in a mixing bowl. Add the Asiago cheese and parsley; mix well. Press as much moisture out of the spinach as you can; stir into the mixture. Spread into the bottom of an 8 1/2 x 10 baking dish.
3.Bake in the preheated oven until the middle is bubbling and the edges are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.