Guest Blog: Ken Gort, Architect, Talks Emergency Permitting on Hilton Head Island; Part I

Click Here for Part II

Hopefully, a catastrophic weather event will never visit Hilton Head Island. Imagine not being allowed to rebuild your property as it previously existed? This is likely the case with your property as changes to the local codes and ordinances have established new and more restrictive design standards.

The Town of Hilton Head Island’s Land Management Ordinance (LMO) offers a pre-disaster recovery procedure called Emergency Permitting. This procedure allows the rebuilding of existing homes and businesses including all their non conforming features “to a state or condition that existed prior to the disaster without the necessity of a full review….under the Land Management Ordinance”. A non-conforming property feature may be its use, building size, setbacks, a deck, signage, buffers, parking, pool, etc. All new vertical construction must comply with current building codes and FEMA regulations.

Digital Docs Emergency Permitting services have been successfully performed by our licensed professionals with over 25 years of land planning, building design and construction experience on over 100 Hilton Head Island properties. We are very familiar with the LMO requirements and the town staff administering the procedure. We will efficiently and accurately assemble the required drawings and documentation to protect your property.

Features & Benefits of an Emergency Permit:

  • Right to rebuild all structures to pre disaster conditions
  • Grandfather all non conforming site and building features
  • Duplication of physical features necessary for business success
  • Transferable with the sale of the property
  • Property Value includes land plus rights to rebuild structures
  • Commence Design and Drawings immediately
  • Accurate record for an insurance claim and settlement
  • There is no cost if we are unsuccessful in securing an Emergency Permit. The procedure takes about 2 weeks.

Act now before a disaster to avoid several months of LMO approval delays, tens of thousands of dollars in fees and costs and the uncertainties involving the increasingly more restrictive Land Management Ordinance.

I can be contacted by email or by phone 843-384-6566 to answer your questions and provide a quotation of the fee to secure an Emergency Permit for your property.

Thank You,

Kenneth L. Gort, Architect, Owner of Digital Docs

Be sure to look out for Ken’s next guest blog where he shares the other service that he offers, and a few examples of some residential and commercial properties that have benefitted from the feature of an Emergency Permit.




Beacon Insurance Group Expands Coastal Homeowner’s Insurance Offerings

The coastal insurance marketplace for consumers just improved in South Carolina.  Beacon Insurance Group recently finalized contracting with three additional carriers who will be offering choices for South Carolina homeowners insurance.

The new homeowners insurance companies are all rated A or better by either A.M. Best or Demotech rating agencies.  The insurance and financial marketplace, along with decreasing reinsurance costs have allowed companies to expand into coastal homeowners insurance writings in South Carolina areas such as Hilton Head Island, Charleston, and Myrtle Beach.  This most recent influx in companies and capacity should put pressure for more competitive rates.  Homeowners will still find that newer, better constructed homes and higher credit scores will obtain them the best possible rates.

Not every coastal homeowners insurance carrier targets the same types of homes or distance from coastal waters. A thorough review of each homeowner’s situation needs to performed and evaluated. When choosing a carrier, a homeowner should consider the claim paying ability of the insurance carrier. Not all insurance carriers have the manpower or capacity to offer swift claims responses in a catastrophic situation.  During testimony before a Senate hearing on Superstorm Sandy, it was claimed the lack of available catastrophic adjusters was an issue in delaying the payment of claims.

Most of the newer companies just began writing business in August 2014.  “We have been comparing rates on the new companies with existing companies we represent and we are quite pleased with the competitive options they provide our clients and prospects”, stated Ken Groff, partner at Beacon Insurance Group.

About Beacon Insurance Group:

Beacon Insurance Group is an independent insurance broker located in Bluffton, South Carolina. Beacon is a compilation of experienced insurance professionals who develop innovative solutions for South Carolina Insurance and risk management needs. The South Carolina agency utilizes both innovative and alternative risk methods in strategic planning for their clients. Beacon Insurance Group works hard to understand needs and problems which assist them in providing solutions that are designed specifically for their clients. Beacon’s forward looking approach helps protect their clients from seen and unseen risk factors.

Beacon Insurance Group – the right people can make a difference in your insurance program.


Beacon Insurance Group Expands Coastal Homeowner’s Insurance Offerings

Emails and Risk Management Issues

Was your company ever issued a subpoena to produce records regarding a lawsuit? In the past it usually meant having only a bunch of documents photocopied.   Not today, they also want all your emails. They used to say loose lips sink ships. Now they are loose emails. Here are some emailing tips for business:

  1. There are times when a phone call is the best method to communicate. You can judge those that are better typing about and having a record and others that deserve a call.
  2. Emails to your lawyer are always privileged and should be marked as such. This is best done in the subject line.
  3. A written email policy for your employees. The dos and don’ts on how you are the owner demand email be used.
  4. Did you know that there is keyword tracking software that an attorney will use to check emails sent? Therefore do not use terms which are demeaning to others or insult others.
  5. Emails can also be used to help defend you in a claim. Therefore archiving emails is important. In the past paper records may have been kept for 3-7 years or longer. Emails and their attachments should be archived too.
  6. Keep in mind also deleted does not always mean deleted when it comes to emails. Email servers store everything.

Emails and risk management is a topic that should not be taken lightly. Meet with your IT staff and attorney to set the best course of action for your company.