National Insurance Awareness Day is June 28th, 2013!

Our staff was awake all night thinking about what we should do for National Insurance Awareness Day today…

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Happy National Insurance Awareness Day!

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Boat Safety Tips

Boating is always a sure way to relax, have fun, enjoy the outdoors and spend time with friends and family.  That’s why it’s so tragic when a recreation boating outing ends with an accident.  On average, more than 700 boaters are killed per year on America’s waterways and thousands of others are injured. Waterways are second only to highways as the scene of accidental deaths.

As a boat owner and operator, you are responsible for your safety, the safety of your passengers and other boaters.  It is always important to do a walk-around of your boat at the beginning of the season to be sure all bolts are bolted, all wires are intact and no trouble spots have developed over the months the boat has not been used.  Boating is a great way to spend a day in the sun and be surrounded by your loved ones.  So, always make sure the safety of everyone involved is of utmost importance.

Here are a few safety guidelines:

  1. Always wear a lifejacket when boating.  Besides their lifesaving flotation, life vests and float coats provide added insulation to protect again hypothermia, and they only work if boaters wear them
  2. Limit the loads of people and equipment carried in boasts.  Overloaded boats are less maneuverable and more likely to become swamped or capsized
  3. Limit movement and keep weight low to avoid capsizing or falling overboard
  4. In case of capsizing or swamping, you should stay with your boat.  Even when filled with water, the boat will provide some flotation and is easier to see by potential rescuers
  5. Dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature.  Check weather forecasts before leaving home and be aware of changing conditions.
  6. Don’t drink and boat
  7. Bring your cell phone in a waterproof zip lock bag.  If you have cell phone service, you can call for help without removing the phone from the bag
  8. Take a boat safety course and receive your boating safety education card
  9. Be aware of tides.  Becoming stuck of stranded in a mud flat can be a serious safety hazard

As always, we ask that you review your South Carolina Insurance policy for your watercraft and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call Brian Rose at 843-706-3690.

What is it like to work or own a small business in Hilton Head and Bluffton?

Local small business owners and employees talk about what they like most about being a part of a small business in our community.

Recently, Jodi sat down with Chuck Wiseman of Wiseman & Reilley, Mickey Price at Outside Hilton Head, Carey Basciano from Street Meet, and Andrew Carmines of Hudsons Seafood on the Docks. The question was: “Why did you decide to own (or be a part of) a small business, and what is the best part being a small business?”

Check out their videos to find out what they had to say: Beacon Insurance Group YouTube Channel

 

Beacon Insurance Group, Inc. Turns 9 Years Old!

Can you believe it? Beacon Insurance Group is officially in their 10th year! Last month marked 9 years since Brian Rose and Ken Groff decided to venture out on their own and start a small business, an independent insurance agency.

Starting with the two of them, and now with a staff of six, Brian and Ken continue to lead the South Carolina Insurance industry.  In addition to Brian and Ken, the rest of the staff at Beacon Insurance Group is made up of 6 women. Stephanie Lee and Tanya Kirchner make up Commercial Lines Customer Service Representatives (CSRs), Kris and Jodi make up Personal Lines CSRs, Jane holds us down as our Office Administrator and Erin at Reception.

When asked about why they decided to start Beacon Insurance Group, Ken stated “To be successful you need to always be moving to the next level.  We were successful in our previous business situation, but both had the initiative and drive to want more.  Owning a small business means we set the expectations, control the expectations and find ways to meet those expectations.”

Celebrate National Small Business Week with Beacon Insurance Group!

National Small Business Week celebrates 50 years this year!  Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has announced National Small Business Week, which recognized the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.  More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.  During this week, outstanding entrepreneurs and small business owners are highlighted.

There are also many ways to support small and local businesses.  For example, instead of visiting McDonalds in the morning for your usual bacon, egg, and cheese bagel, try a local bagel shop.  There are a few bagel shops in the area that offer a wide variety of delicious homemade bagels. Or instead of a Starbucks coffee, head over to your local family owned coffee shop.

You can also visit local business’ Facebook pages and like their page to show your support.  Many small businesses will post about events in the area, specials they are offering and even about contests they have going on for prizes.

There are also many reasons to support small locally owned businesses.

Here are the top 10 reasons to support locally owned businesses:
1. Local Character and Prosperity
2. Community Well-Being
3. Local Decision-Making
4. Keeping Dollars in the Local Economy
5. Jobs and Wages
6. Entrepreneurship
7. Public Benefits and Costs
8. Environmental Sustainability
9. Competition
10. Product Diversity

Follow along with Beacon Insurance Group this week as we celebrate National Small Business Week in Bluffton and Hilton Head!

Last Minute Father’s Day Ideas!

Dad: A daughter’s first love and a son’s first hero

Father’s Day is on Sunday June 16th this year.  It is a day to celebrate the special person in your life that you call “Dad”.  So how do you thank these men in your life?  Since time is running out, we have pinned a few last minute Father’s Day Gift ideas on our Pinterest page.  There are several things you can do for dad including gifts, cards, crafts, and much more.

Here are a few ideas:
• Personalized Car Wash Kit
• My Favorite Things about Dad Card
• Father’s Day Candy Bouquet
• Father’s Day Handprint Grill Apron
• Father’s Day Fruit Pizza Dessert

Check out these ideas and more on the Beacon Insurance Group Pinterest page http://pinterest.com/beaconinsgroup/fathers-day-ideas/

June Events in Hilton Head and Bluffton

The kids are out of school, the temperature is heating up, and summer is about to begin! What comes along with summer? Festivals! Here is a list we’ve compiled of festivals and events happening in Hilton Head and Bluffton for the month of June!

June 11, 2013

  • Palmetto Bluff Summer Concert on the Green featuring Cranford & Sons 6:30-8:00 pm
    The gates will open at 5:00 pm and the concert begins at 6:30 pm.  Food & beverages will be available for cash purchase, and bring your own chairs.  Chef Brandon is cooking gourmet popcorn, boiled peanuts, fried chicken and pulled sandwiches.  Proceeds benefit Bluffton Self Help.
    Location: Palmetto Bluff, 1 Village Park Square, Bluffton, SC 29910; Admission: $25 per vehicle; Contact: Courtney Hampson at (843) 706-6451

June 13, 2013

  • Fishing Camp for Kids 10:00 am – 1:00 pm Admission: $35 per child (ages 7-14)
    An interactive day camp where kids learn the basics of fishing, crabbing and shrimping.  Reservations are required by calling Coastal Discovery Museum at (843) 689-6767 ext. 223.
    Location: Coastal Discovery Museum, 70 Honey Horn Drive, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

June 14, 2013

  • Blues & Brews on the bluff  5:00-9:00 pm Admission: Tickets at the door for $5, children 12 and under are free It is the second year of this beer, music & BBQ festival with live rock & blues. There will be a food court featuring Bluffton Oyster Co., Seafood House, Tavern 46, Palm Key Catering, Bomboras Grille, Grandma Battaglia’s Fiddleheads, Red Stripes & Grille 46.   Lawn chairs and leashed pets are permitted, but no outside food or drinks
    Location: Oyster Factory Park on the May River, Bluffton, SC;
    Contact: Bear Foot Sports (843) 757-8520

June 14-15, 2013

  • 3rd Annual Shag and Drag in Historic Old Town Bluffton 4:00-9:00 pm Admission: $5 to the concert, children under 12 are free
    There will be a free Classic Car Show on Calhoun Street from 4:00- 6:00 pm.  The concert will be from 6:00-9:00 pm.  Food and beverage will be available for purchase.
    Location: Old Town Bluffton Calhoun Street and the Promenade, Bluffton, SC 29910
    Contact: BJ Frazier at (843) 422-2321

June 22, 2013

  • Daufuskie Island Day
    Come celebrate the 37th Annual Daufuskie Day.  There will be boat rides from Savannah and Hilton Head with tickets being sold in those locations.  Island tours will be narrated by natives of the Island.  Vendors will be selling Daufuskie Deviled crabs and other Gullah enriched foods.  There will also be Gullah storytelling, music, raffles and more.
    Location: Daufuskie Island Contact: Ervin Simmons at (912) 660-0500 or Amelia Stevens at (843) 384-9941

June 29, 2013

  • Hilton Head Beach Bum Triathlon #1 8:00-10:00 am; Contact: (843) 338-1481
    There will be the 500m ocean swim, 6 mile beach bike and 3 mile beach run.  The course is entirely on the hard flat beach at low tide.  All bikes are welcome and costumes are welcome as well.Location: Coligny Beach, Hilton Head Island, SC

Car Care Tips: Beat the Heat

Whether you have a need for speed in your Dodge Challenger or like to cruise with the top down in your BMW convertible, it is important to make sure the heat doesn’t get the best of you or your car.  So lets do a walk around of a car to go over what you can do to keep your vehicle running properly with the temperatures rising. 

We will start under the hood of the car. 

  • First up is the battery.  When the temperatures rise, the liquid inside your battery actually evaporates.  If your battery is more than a couple years old, you could end up with a dead battery that won’t hold a charge and may not even jump-start.  If yours car’s battery is three years old or more, you should consider replacing it right away to avoid being stuck with a dead battery in the heat. 
  • You should also verify the degree and strength of the coolant in your car. If the level is too low, it could cause your engine to overheat. 
  • The oil in your car is also something you need to think about. Replacing dirty oil with fresh oil can boost the lubrication safety to your engine. Synthetic motor oils are great for higher temperature protection. 

Next we will move along to the sides of the car:

  • The tires! Go ahead, kick those tires!  You should check your tires for cracks or damage.  Underinflated tires make the tire run hot and increase the chance of a blowout. 

Last but not least is the inside of your car:

  • Check your air conditioner to make sure it is blowing cold and is working properly.  If it’s not, check the refrigerant charge to see if it is low.  You can then add refrigerant if it is low. 
  • A sun shade for your windshield will reflect light so the interior doesn’t get so hot if you are parked in the direct sun. 
  • You can also leave a window cracked so the hot air can escape, preventing you from burning yourself on a hot seat or other hot interior surfaces. 

So as the temperature continues to heat up, make sure to stay cool and keep these tips in mind to keep your car running in tip top condition. 

As always, review your South Carolina Auto insurance and make sure you know that you are getting the best rate possible. Call us – we can help you!