Here are some helpful insurance tips. Click on any of the
links below to jump to that particular section on this page.
HELP US HELP YOU KEEP DOWN THE COST OF YOUR INSURANCE AND PROTECT
THE INSURABILITY OF YOUR HOME
These tips can help you avoid
cancellation of your homeowners or business owners policy.
- Pay premiums promptly. Use the Electronic
Funds Transfer (EFT) method if available.
- Have at least a $500 or $1,000 All Other
Perils (AOP) deductible and enjoy savings in your premium.
- Maintain a good credit history. Order a
credit report occasionally to check your history. Remember, you
can obtain a free credit report once a year from the three
reporting credit agencies
These credit agencies are:...
- Obtain a copy of your CLUE report. You
can order online at
Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange database contains
information filed by a
homeowner on a property.
- Do NOT use your policy as a maintenance
policy. Do NOT report small or careless and
- Maintain your property in good repair.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
- Be careful in the selection of pets.
Some dogs with a history of biting such as Rotwiellers,
Pit Bulls, and some Terriers will cause your home to be
- Do NOT have a trampoline in your yard.
This will cause your home to be uninsurable.
- If you have a swimming pool in your
yard, make sure it is properly fenced with a
self locking gate. Ask your agent for the exact guidelines.
- Keep in touch with your agent at least
once a year to review your coverage and to ensure
your property continues to meet the insuring guidelines of the
- Prevent water damage claims, safeguard
against fires, and prevent break-ins and thefts.
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Read these tips to help prevent water damage insurance claims
- The rubber hoses on your clothes washing machine and dish washer
should be replaced by stainless steel hoses that can be purchased at a local
home improvement store. You can do this yourself with a wrench. The cost is about $20.00
- If your air conditioner unit is inside your home, you must be sure to keep
the drain line open. It should be cleaned once a year.
- Overflowing toilets are a source of water damage claims. Everyone in your
home should know how to close the valve behind the toilet to shut off the water.
Show your children. Valves that are not used often can become stuck and hard to turn.
Close and open the valve occasionally to keep it loose. If it becomes stuck,
a substance like WD40 will loosen it.
- Hot water heaters can burst with no warning. It is best to replace a hot
water heater at least every 10 years. Any sign of rust is a sure indication
that trouble is close at hand!
- Although more expensive, tank less hot water
heaters eliminate most water damage issues associated
with hot water heaters. They also help save electricity by only
heating the water when it is needed.
- If your home does not have an outside shutoff valve, call a plumber and
have one installed. Without such a valve, you have no way of shutting off the
water to your house in event of a water leak or burst pipe.
- If your home has a shutoff valve, make sure everyone in the household knows
where it is and how it works. Show your children.
- When you leave your home for any extended time, even
overnight, shut off the water to the house by closing the
shutoff valve. Do NOT do this if your home has a residential
fire sprinkler system. In absence of a shutoff valve, at least
close off the water supply to toilets, sinks, tubs, and washing
machines. Each of these usually has an individual cut
- Clean your gutters and down spouts of leaves, etc. on a regular basis.
- Never operate any household appliance (washing machine, dish washer, etc.) while you
are away from home.
www.safeco.com/drip for additional information.
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Follow these suggestions to prevent your water pipes from freezing in cold weather
Your home or place of business
should have a cutoff valve so that the water to the building can be cut off. Close
this valve and then drain the water from the pipes
inside by opening all valves and allowing the water to
drain out. Once the water is drained, close the valves
in anticipation of the water being turned on once the
cold weather has passed.
If you drain the pipes, be sure you cut off the power to the
hot water heater to prevent the heating elements from
Pipes can freeze in a building even
with the heat left on! It is best to drain the pipes when
the temperature is forecast to drop below the low 20s.
Remember pipes on the North side of the house will
If you do not have a shut off
valve, leave the heat on in the building and open all cabinet doors where
pipes are located. This will allow the heat to enter
these spaces. Such cabinets are under the sinks in the
kitchen and bathrooms.
Outside pipes or inside pipes
likely to freeze (attic, crawl spaces) should be
wrapped with insulation such as foam jacketing or approved heat tap insulation.
If the products are unavailable, the common newspaper
makes an excellent insulation. Keep the paper thick and
tie it tightly around the pipes with cord.
Exposed pipes under a house with an
open foundation (like a beach house) will freeze
quickly. These pipes must be wrapped or drained. The
water to all secondary residences should be shut off
when the home is not in use.
FROZEN AND BROKEN WATER PIPES CAN BE
Do you need to be concerned about cold
temperatures during the Lowcountry winter? Here are the record low
temperatures (in degrees Fahrenheit) for the Lowcountry area.
||Isle of Palms
Remember such temperatures can lead to freezing
and breaking of water pipes in homes and businesses unless
precautions are taken!
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Follow these suggestions to help prevent fires in your home
- Install smoke alarms on each floor of your home and near the
kitchen. And test the batteries at least twice a year, changing
them as necessary.
- Have a fire extinguisher on each floor and another one in
- Never leave an open flame unattended. This means the kitchen
stove, the outside grill, the fireplace, candles.
- Clean the dryer vent regularly. Most dryers have a lint
accumulation between the back wall of the dryer and the drum.
- Make sure your electrical wiring is up to code. Homes over
30 years old were not designed to handle today's rising
electrical demands. Have an electrician inspect your home.
- Do not use frayed extension cords. Do not overload an
- Be sure you know where shut off valves to all gas appliances
are located and where the main gas shut off valve is outside
- Know how many amps your home is wired for. Modern homes need
150 to 200 amp service. Lights that dim, circuit breakers that
trip, the smell of burning metal or plastic - these are trouble
signs! Take action.
- Remove all potential fire hazards from the building and
store combustible material outside the main building.
- Make sure all windows open easily in the event an emergency
escape becomes necessary.
- Teach your children fire evacuation procedures. Stage a fire
drill. Make sure they know how to exit the house. Have them
actually open a window and remove the screen. Have them crawl on
hands and knees in a darkened house and locate the exits.
- Evacuation plans and other safety tips can be found at the
National Fire Protection Association's website...
EMERGENCY TIPS FOR FIRE DAMAGE
After a fire (with smoke and water) in your home:
- Contact a professional cleaning service vendor like:
- For clothes and other washables , contact a professional
cleaner such as Lyerly's Cleaners
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from
spreading to undamaged areas.
- Place clean towels and old linen on rugs, carpet, and
- Coat chrome faucets, trim, and appliances with petroleum
jelly or oil.
- Change HVAC filter.
- Tape double layers of cheese cloth over air vents before
running the HVAC.
- Drying will be faster when the room temperature is above
70°F (degrees Fahrenheit)
- Dehumidifiers will remove air moisture and allow drying to
occur more rapidly.
- Air movement is important to drying. Utilize fans.
- Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs
and wet carpet.
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Tips to help protect your home or business from burglary
- Make sure all door and window locks work. Dead bolt locks
are the best for doors as are key locks for windows.
- Keep your doors locked even when you are home. Most home
burglaries occur between 8AM and 5PM. One skilled home burglar
said he did his best work during the evening meal hour. While
the family was eating dinner, he was working in the master
- Consider installing perimeter motion activated flood lights
outside your building. Evaluate as to whether existing lighting
is bright and focused to illuminate potential entry areas.
- Install a central station fire and burglar alarm system.
Display the security system decals on your windows and doors.
The system should have a loud siren, sensors on all exterior
doors, and motion sensors in the master bedroom and
family/living rooms. Be sure to let your agent know you
installed the alarm system as most companies will give you a
- Bushes and shrubs close to the building should be kept cut
low to the ground so intruders cannot use them for cover.
- If you have house keys hidden outside, remove them. The
thieves know all the good hiding places!
When you are away on vacation...
- Put lights, TV, etc. on timers. Set the timers to turn on at
different times each day.
- Have your mailed stopped or have your neighbor clean out
your mailbox each day.
- Have your newspaper stopped or have your neighbor pick it up
- Ask your neighbor or friend to park their car in your
driveway. Or leave your car visible and have someone change its
position each day.
- Leave the same message as always on your answering machine.
Do NOT change it to say "We are on vacation and will call
you when we return.
- Leave your itinerary with a neighbor or friend so you can be
contacted in an emergency. Or make sure your neighbor has your
cell phone number.
- Have grass cut while you are away to make the house appear
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Tips to help protect your electronic devices from electrical surges
- Install surge protectors to all your major electronic
equipment, particularly computers, televisions, home
stereo/theatre systems, and any other expensive items you may
have. Here are few examples of surge protector manufacturers you
- Unplug your major electronic items when a thunderstorm or
lightning storm approaches.
- If you will be away from your home for more than a few days
during lightning season, unplug your major electronic items.
- Install a lightning protection system compliant with
And for more information about lightning, here is a link to the
National Weather Service's (NOAA)
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In an effort to ease the burden of the cost of
property insurance in coastal areas of South Carolina, the SC State
legislature passed the Omnibus Coastal Property Insurance Reform Act
of 2007. The following is a brief synopsis of some of the important
features of the bill as they relate to home owners along the coast
of South Carolina.
What is the Catastrophe Savings
Account established by this Act?
A Catastrophe Savings Account is an account
that is established by an insurance policyholder in SC to cover the
insurance deductible for the taxpayer’s legal residence.
The insurance deductible can be for hurricane,
flood, or any catastrophic wind event.
This account may also be established by an
individual to cover self-insured losses for the taxpayer’s legal
residence. The insurance deductible can be for hurricane, flood, or
any catastrophic wind event.
The account must be labeled a Catastrophe
Savings Account. You may have only one such account and shall
specify that the purpose of the account is to cover the amount of
insurance deductibles and other uninsured portions of risks of loss
from hurricane, flood, or any catastrophe wind event.
The Catastrophe Savings Account is a
regular savings account or money market account
How much can be put into this
Catastrophe Savings Account?
$2,000 if your qualified deductible is $1,000
or less, or the lesser of $15,000 or twice the amount of your
qualified deductible, or if you choose not to insure your legal
residence, up to $250,000 but not exceeding the value of your legal
What is a “qualified deductible”?
A qualified deductible is the deductible on
your homeowners policy for your legal residence. The Act does not
specify whether this means to All Other Perils deductible or any
wind/hail or named storm or hurricane deductible.
What benefit do I get from this
Catastrophe Savings Account
You are allowed a state tax deduction for
amounts contributed to the Catastrophe Savings Account. The interest
earned by the Catastrophe Savings Account is exempt from SC income
What is the tax credit allowed by the
You are allowed a credit against your SC income
tax for costs you incur to retrofit your legal residence to make it
more resistant to loss due to hurricane, flood, or other
catastrophic windstorm events. Normal ordinary repairs do not
qualify. The SC
Department of Insurance will promulgate qualifying
How much is the tax credit?
The credit for any one year is the lesser of
25% of the cost incurred, or $1,000. There is an additional credit
for SC sales or use taxes paid on “tangible personal property” used
to retrofit your home. The maximum credit is $1,500
Is there a credit available for my
You may claim a credit against SC income tax
for “excess” insurance premium paid on your legal residence. “Excess
premium” is the amount by which your premium exceeds 5% of your
adjusted gross income. The credit may not exceed $1,250.
Are any grants available for
Yes, a $5,000 grant is available for low income
homeowners as long as your legal residence is valued at less than
$150,000. More information can be obtained at our website. You can
also click on this link to
SC Safe Home.
Where can I view the entire Act?
You can find the link here.-
Coastal Property Reform Act 2007.
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