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Homeowners Insurance or Flood Insurance?

What Water Damage is Covered by Your Myrtle Beach Homeowner’s Insurance?

homowners insurance coverage flood hurricane

When discussing water damage and the insurance policies needed, Myrtle Beach residents need to think differently. Whether deciding between homeowner’s insurance or flood insurance, residents of Myrtle Beach need to be able to identify the differences between the two. Aside from flooding that occasionally occurs, residents also must worry about hurricanes impacting the Myrtle Beach area and their homes from about June until November. Ultimately, this will affect the type of home insurance needed to protect your home should a hurricane or any type of natural disaster, that deals with water, comes our way.

Hurricane season begins on June 1st and runs until November 30th each year. A hurricane is a violent, tropical storm that brings heavy rain, thunder, lightning, tornadoes, and high wind damage. Hurricanes can reach gigantic sizes and bring catastrophic damage to areas that you live. These storms are broken into 4 different categories which are: tropical depressions, tropical storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes. Tropical Depressions are systems with max winds of 38 mph, while tropical storms have sustained winds of 73 mph. Moving on to hurricanes, their winds can reach up to 74 mph, while anything considered a major hurricane has winds 111 mph or higher. Studies have also shown that for the past 9 years we’ve had a hurricane impact our coastal region, with storms either striking the area or passing within 50 miles of our coast line (https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/climo/images/return_hurr.jpg).

As stated earlier these storms can cause flooding and cause substantial wind damage. Little do people know that homeowner’s insurance only covers damages caused by water from leakages from appliances or sewers, so if your home is damaged by water from a more natural source, you won’t be able to get reimbursed for that. To get covered by hurricane water damage you must sign up for flood insurance. The flood insurance will cover you if a storm hits and water starts to enter your home through flooding, and you’ll be covered by the storm. Whether you need the flood insurance or not depends on the area that you live in. 

In the past 5 years South Carolina was impacted by hurricane Matthew, Florence, and Dorian. Hurricane Matthew brought with it 8 to 12 inches of rain with some isolated spots reaching up to 20 inches of rain. Florence brought in the most damage to our area with serious flooding, and a storm surge that was well over 10 feet. While hurricane Dorian brought in mostly a storm surge. With hurricane Dorian our community wasn’t impacted as bad as with Florence and Matthew. Although, we still must take the necessary precautions that we have to take with every storm that heads our way. With Florence and Matthew, the way the storms hit caused rivers in North Carolina to flood bringing in the water down to Conway area which in return caused Conway and Myrtle Beach to flood significantly. Ultimately, when these storms stall providing continuously rain, it causes the river levels to rise which in return causes the flooding until all the excess water reaches the ocean. For our area that basically means that flood insurance is essential because we’re an area that is very prone to flooding.

To reiterate “water damage” (ex. Leaky pump) is covered in the homeowners insurance policy and “flood damage” is covered by flood insurance policies. Flood policies only cover damage from water rising from the ground up. The homeowner’s policy covers water damage from leaky appliances and water damage from hurricanes or any wind or hail event, as long as your policy includes the coverage.

To find out if your home needs flood insurance you can contact our representative Kathy James. Kathy will help you find the value of your home, proximity to any bodies of water, see if your home is in a flood zone, and then help create a homeowner’s insurance and/or flood insurance package for you. The value of your home helps determines how much you may need to budget for your insurance package. Your proximity to any bodies of water is needed to help calculate flood levels, and how it’ll affect your home plus to also see if you’re in any flood zone at all. Lastly, Kathy will help you craft your insurance package to help you get the most out of plan, if we were to experience another storm like Florence and receive the same amount of flooding.

You may reach Kathy at 843-496-4013 or email HERE

Reasons Why You Should Work With An Independent Insurance Agent

There comes a time in everyone’s life when misfortunate accidents happen. What we need is a protection to see us through the stormy times. But what do we as the consumers really know about insurance and how to protect ourselves and everything that matters to us. In most cases, our expenses after an accident fire or damage at home are way beyond our savings, and in such cases, insurance is there to meet those expenses.

The problem is, the market is already flooded with insurance options from hundreds of backs, and they all offer their coverage range and have a specific set of guidelines. You being a customer its hard to choose an insurance that will fit your requirements and will give you proper coverage when time demands. In cases, you can consult an independent insurance agent. Following are few important reasons why you must first consult an insurance agent before getting in contact with any bank.

1. Customer Service

When you have questions about your coverage or even worse, are needing to file a claim, when you try calling your insurance provider when you prefer to talk to an actual person or get an automated recording?

An increasing number of companies are switching over to automated systems, frequently making it time-consuming and hard to get in touch with the right individual.

However, there is a good chance when contacting an insurance agency that you will be able to talk to an actual person who can help you understand your coverage and help you with whatever you need.

If you ever, unfortunately, need to file a claim, your agent will be able to help you with reporting the plain and explain precisely what your insurance policy covers. If your loss is a significant one like your business is sustaining water damage your insurance agent will be able to help you with that too and connect you right away with a reputable remediation company.

For example, frequently, we have customers immediately contact us after a traffic accident to ask us what they need to do. If you ever have been in this type of situation in the past, you know that it is upsetting and scary, and it is critical to be able to speak with someone who can assist you.

When you call an independent insurance agency, you can talk to a person who is already familiar with your insurance coverage and can guide you through the entire process. By contrast, an online insurance company might require you to work through several different automated prompts, or you will end up on hold for a long time waiting to get help and get your questions answered.

2. Options

Independent agents represent several different insurance companies offering a wide range of price points and coverage options. There is no pressure or need to accept just one option from a single insurance agency, and it isn’t necessary to spend a lot of time filling out numerous online applications to get comparisons on your own.

Your independent insurance agency, with knowledge of and connections in the market, often can get a better value for you compared to looking for insurance by yourself.

For example, if you are searching for auto and home coverage, there are some insurance companies that provide only one or the other, which means you have to get multiple quotes from different companies. However, if you work with an independent agency, they will have carriers that provide both types of coverage, and even offer bundle or package deals with combined insurance coverage.

The result is a comprehensive proposal to meet all the insurance needs that are specifically tailored for you. It may not be cheap or quick, but having the right independent insurance agent will ensure things are easier and done right the first time.

3. One Stop

Auto insurance is not the only thing that independent insurance agencies sell. Often they can meet all of your various insurance needs with the different companies that they work with.

They can provide business, flood, renters, home, and auto coverage, in addition to health and life coverage. One agency can cover all your insurance needs, at no extra cost, and help you stay organized while limited how many companies you have to deal with.

For example, if you are a small business owner, most like you can get commercial insurance form the same agency insuring your home and car. If you are searching for life or health insurance, for either your business or family, an independent agency can also help you with that.

It may take longer than 15 minutes, and isn’t cheap, however, you can be assured that things will be done right.

4. Involved In The Community

An independent insurance agency is a local business owner, and therefore, will strongly emphasize giving back to the local community.

From supporting youth athletic teams and sponsoring fundraisers, to volunteer work to serving on the boards of non-profit organizations, there are several different ways that local agencies give back to their communities, and that can help you feel good about working with them.

For example, Hill & Hamilton not only participates in community relations activities but also has a vast network of companies that we love getting involved with. Thanks to assistance from H&H, Mary Rutan Hospital recently received a $7,500 grant from Westfield Insurance Foundation.

5. Local Presence

It is not only beneficial to work with an insurance agency that supports its local community but also their knowledge and familiarity with the community can be very valuable. Insurance agents, as local residents, will be very familiar with the community and local area and will be able to use their knowledge to help you protect your assets and reduce your risks.

For example, a local insurance agency in Ohio will be better able to help you with winter weather coverage and tips compared to an agency in Texas or Florida.

6. Consultation

Insurance is a very complex subject. Is the responsibility of the agency to understand the business, and even more importantly, to communicate things to you in a way that helps you make an informed decision for yourself.

Your independent insurance agent can work with you to ensure you understand your coverage completely, from what is and isn’t included, to the limits and deductibles that should be considered.

Unless you happen to be an expert at insurance, most likely you can benefit from having a professional provide you with advice on your 50+ page contract (your insurance policy).

After you have purchased your policies, the work of the independent agent is not done. Instead, she or he will be available all year long to answer your questions, make coverage recommendations, and update your policy.

For example, when you are researching what needs to be done to get a will created, you would likely seek assistance from an attorney to make sure that the dawn gets drawn up properly. So, when it comes to insurance, why wouldn’t you want guidance from a licensed insurance professional to make sure that your business, auto, or home are all appropriately protected.

7. Knowledge

Along with having many years of industry experience, independent insurance agents also have worked with various insurance companies and are familiar with what their strengths are.

Although a certain insurance company might provide the best claims service, more comprehensive coverage might be offered by another, and a third one may give you very competitive rates. An independent agent can find the one that matches you the best based on what things are the most important to you, such as the premium amount, the coverage that you need, the service you want, or the right combination of all of these.

For example, you call your doctor when you need medical assistance, right? I don’t mean heading over to WebMD when you have a call; I mean needing to have an expert to talk to you.

Insurance can be just as complicated. You need a doctor to help you improve and protect your health. An insurance advisor should be expected to preserve and protect your wealth.