Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New Laws Reduce SC Homeowners Insurance Costs and Risk

According to the South Carolina Insurance News Service, Hurricane Hugo in 1989 was one of the most costly hurricanes that ever hit in the United States. It made landfall near Charleston, SC and nearly leveled the oceanfront homes from that point to the south end of Myrtle Beach.

Damages were reported to be $4.2 billion at that time. It became less devastating north of Myrtle Beach, but still did millions of dollars of damage before leaving the area to move northwest and into other states.
Fast forward to the years of 2004-2006, and all the hotel-condo conversions and luxury Myrtle Beach condo resorts that were built along the Grand Strand. The total insured property along our coast is now more than $200 billion.

Allison Dean Love, executive director of SCINS NEWS estimates that another hurricane of that strength could cause as much as $15 to $20 billion in damages. She does say that property insurance has improved and victims may have less overall loss from another storm.

Building codes have been strenthened to include extra protection for windows and doors...and impact resistant glass or storm shutters are required. Inspectors must now be certified and registered with the state to provide a better authority for code enforcement.

A new upgraded project designation is called the"Fortified for Safer Living®" program. Only one builder in South Carolina has earned the designation, but it's hoped more will follow. The houses are strengthened at roof and walls, doors, glazed openings, and even the foundation.

A new law was passed in 2007 that increased the availability of private insurance and has brought many new insurance companies to South Carolina. However, it requires insurers to give discounts to owners that have made their homes more storm resistant - with upgrades such as storm shutters, roof tie-downs and other safety procedures.

It also provides tax credits for property owners that purchase materials to make these improvements, as well as flood protection materials. Low income owners get a tax credit if their SC homeowners insurance is more than 5 percent of their income.

Homeowners can also set up savings accounts labeled as "catastrophe savings" that will pay insurance deductibles or or other costs that come with a hurricane, windstorm, or flooding. Depending on the deductible, a homeowner can contribute up to $15,000 that will be free from state taxes. Be as conscientious about insuring your home as you are about your own health when buying a health insurance policy.

There is also a new "SC Safe Home" grant program set up to offer help for homeowners to beef up their property in preparation for natural disasters. For information about these grants, visit

Our friends at Todd Insurance Agency strive to do all they can to help their policy holders with both North Carolina homeowners insurance and property protection in South Carolina.

Giving you timely information about available coverage and helpful tips is one way they try to get you the best rates - from ways to discount car insurance premiums to reducing the cost of national flood insurance or rental insurance in SC.

Scott Todd kindly contributed this article to our blog.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Acting Talent Found In Myrtle Beach

Ran across this impressive video that stars three of Myrtle Beach's most distinguished real estate and resort gurus...

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Pet Friendly Condos Wanted

Annette Smith and Snuffy
Because we have snowbirds staying for months at the time during the fall and winter, there's an amazing number of people that search Google for Myrtle Beach Pet Friendly Condos. It's understandable - nobody wants to spend 3 months in paradise and leave their best friend behind!

There are several websites that have this information, and it's in bits and pieces on all the big websites. However for our new website "The Best Myrtle Beach Condos" at, I went out and gathered the most up to date and complete information I could find on the condos and hotels in Myrtle Beach that allow pets.

Basically there are several types of accommodations available. You have hotels, such as Staybridge Suites out on Hwy 501, and the Laquinta at Broadway at the beach. Then you have condos, both oceanfront and inland, that the owners themselves permit pets...usually because they bring their own when they use it. Then there are some of the older beach houses that allow pets, many of which are handled by Elliott Realty in North Myrtle Beach.

We've listed them all, and tried to keep them organized to make it easy. There are phone numbers on all, and some that have online booking. In the case of finding a place to stay with your pet for several months, I would advise calling and talking with someone, and ask as many questions as you can. It's bad to be in a less than perfect condo for the week. The last thing you want to do is be somewhere you don't like for a month, or two, or three.

Anyway, if you're interested in finding a Pet-Friendly place to stay in Myrtle Beach, be sure and check our page!