Insurance FAQ's

General FAQs

Q: What kinds of questions should I be expected to answer when I’m applying for an insurance policy in South Carolina? Why do insurers need so much information?

A: H & H Insurance Brokers offers a variety of programs for different customers. Adults with good driving records will generally pay less for car insurance than young drivers with traffic tickets or accidents. In order to determine which program you qualify for, H & H Insurance Brokers will need basic information about you.

In addition to your age, gender, and driving experience, information about the car you drive and your driving record are also needed to determine a fair price. For example, a large luxury car costs more to repair or replace than a compact car. Also, someone who commutes 30 miles one way to work every day is more likely to be in an accident than someone who commutes via bus or only drives on weekends.

Q: What are the advantages of using an agent to purchase insurance?

A: By using an independent agent, such as H & H Insurance Brokers, the policyholder receives more personalized service. Having direct contact with H & H Insurance Brokers can be very important when purchasing insurance and, of course, when filing a claim. H & H Insurance Brokers is able to deliver quality insurance with competitive pricing and local, customized service.

Car Insurance FAQs

Q: I have an older car that has a lower current market value – do I really need to purchase car insurance?

A: Most states have insurance laws that require drivers to have at least some car liability insurance. These laws were enacted to ensure that victims of car accidents receive compensation when their losses are caused by the actions of a negligent driver. Often the cost of repairing the damages to an older car is greater than its value. In these situations, your insurer will usually just “total” the car and give you a check for the car’s market value, less the deductible. Many people with older cars decide not to purchase any physical damage coverage.

Q: What is the difference between collision physical damage coverage and comprehensive physical damage coverage?

A: Collision is defined as losses you incur when your car collides with another car or object. For example, if you hit a car in a parking lot, the damages to your car will be paid under your collision coverage. Comprehensive coverage provides for mostly other direct physical damage to your car, including theft. For example, damage to your car from a hailstorm will be covered under your comprehensive coverage.

Q: What factors can affect the cost of my car insurance in South Carolina?

A: A number of factors can affect the cost of your car insurance in South Carolina, some of which you can control and some that are beyond your control. The type of car you drive, the purpose the car serves, your driving record, and where the car is garaged can all affect how much your car insurance will cost. Even your marital status can affect the cost of your insurance. Statistics show that married couples tend to have fewer and less costly accidents than those who are single.

Homeowners Insurance FAQs in South Carolina

Q: What are some practical things I can do to lower the cost of my homeowners insurance?

A: There are a number of things you can do to lower the cost of your homeowners insurance, the easiest of which is to request a comprehensive review of your policy and your needs from H & H Insurance Brokers.

It is not surprising to find quotes on homeowners insurance that vary by hundreds of dollars for the same coverage on the same home! When you shop, be careful that each insurer is offering the same coverage.

Another way to lower the cost of your homeowners insurance is to look for any discounts for which you would qualify. For example, many insurers will offer a discount when you place both your car and home with them. Other times, insurers offer discounts if there are deadbolt locks on all your exterior doors or if your home has a security system. Be sure to ask H&H Insurance Brokers about any discounts that you may qualify for.

Q: What does homeowners insurance cover in South Carolina?

A: A typical homeowners policy has two main sections: Section I covers the property of the insured and Section II provides personal liability coverage for the insured. Almost anyone who owns or leases property has a need for this type of insurance. Usually, homeowners insurance is required by the lender to obtain a mortgage.

Q: What is the difference between “actual cash value” and “replacement cost”?

A: Covered losses under a homeowners policy can be paid on either an “actual cash value basis” or on a “replacement cost basis.” When the words “actual cash value” are used, the policy owner is entitled to the depreciated value of the damaged property. Under “replacement cost” coverage, the policy owner is reimbursed on an amount necessary to replace the article with one similar type and quality at current prices.

Q: What are the policy limits (i.e., coverage limits) in a standard homeowners policy?

A: (Note: This answer is based on the Insurance Services Office’s HO‐3 policy.) The home and other structures on the premises are protected on an “all risks” basis up to the policy limits. “All risks” means that unless the policy specifically excludes the manner in which your home is damaged or destroyed, there is coverage. The policy limit for the home is set by the policy owner at the time the insurance is purchased. The policy limit for the other structure is usually equal to 10% of the policy limit for the home. Losses to your personal property are covered on a “named perils” basis. “Named perils” means that you have coverage only when your property is damaged or destroyed in the manner specifically described in the policy. The policy limit on the coverage is equal to 50% of the policy limit on the home. Limits for the coverage of additional expenses that the policy owner may incur, when the residence cannot be used because of an insured loss, is equal to 20% of the policy limit on the home.

The coverage limit on personal liability is determined by the policy owner at the time the policy is issued. The coverage limit on medical payments to others is usually set at $1,000 per injured person.

Q: Where and when is my personal property covered?

A: Personal property is covered anywhere in the world, except property that is specifically excluded. For example, you are on vacation and decide to purchase a coffee table and ship it home. Your homeowners policy would provide coverage for the “named perils” while the coffee table is in transit, even though the table has not yet been in your home.

Q: Do I need earthquake coverage in South Carolina? How can I get it?

A: The standard insurance policy does not pay for direct damages caused by “earth movement.” “Earth movement” is a much broader term than “earthquake.” It includes earthquake, volcanic activity, and other earth movement. This coverage may be available by endorsement for an additional charge. If you live in an area that is susceptible to earthquakes, you will pay more for earthquake coverage than if you lived somewhere unlikely to have an earthquake.

Renters Insurance FAQs in South Carolina

Q: Why would I want to buy renters insurance?

A: If you live in an apartment or a rented house or condominium, renters insurance provides important coverage for you and your possessions. A standard renters insurance policy protects your personal property in many cases of theft or damage, and it may pay for temporary living expenses if your rental is damaged. It can also shield you from personal liability. Anyone who leases a house or apartment should consider this type of coverage.

Q: How does a renters insurance policy protect my personal property?

A: A renters policy provides “named perils” coverage. This means that the policy only pays when your property is damaged or destroyed by any of the ways specifically described in your policy. They usually include:

‐ Fire or lightning
‐ Windstorm or hail
‐ Explosions
‐ Riots
‐ Aircraft
‐ Vehicles
‐ Smoke
‐ Vandalism or malicious mischief
‐ Theft
‐ Falling objects
‐ Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
‐ Accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam
‐ Freezing
‐ Sudden and accidental damage from artificially‐generated electrical current
‐ Volcanic eruptions (does not include earthquake or tremors)

Renters insurance coverage applies to your personal property no matter where you are in the world. This means you are covered when you are on vacation as well as at home.

Q: Why do some apartment complexes require tenants to have renters insurance?

A: Owners of apartment complexes buy insurance policies for their liability in order to cover their buildings and personal property, but these policies do not cover any of the tenants’ property or liability. By requiring their tenants to purchase renters insurance, the apartment owner is assured that the tenants will not mistakenly believe the apartment complex owner’s policy will provide coverage for a tenant’s property or personal liability. Although this type of requirement benefits the apartment complex owner, there are benefits for the renter as well. At H & H Insurance Brokers we recommend you purchase renters insurance regardless of what your landlord requires.

Q: What if I have a roommate in my apartment? Do we both need to have renters insurance?

A: Standard renters insurance policies cover only you and relatives that live with you. If your roommate is not related to you, each of you will need your own renters policy to cover your own property and to provide liability coverage for your own actions.

Umbrella Insurance FAQs in South Carolina

Q: What is a personal umbrella liability policy?

A: A personal umbrella liability policy is designed to increase your liability protection. This single policy acts as an “umbrella” over all of your other personal liability policies – your car, home, boat, RV, etc., so you would have a higher personal liability limit than what would otherwise be available. In certain circumstances, an umbrella insurance policy may provide personal liability coverage that is otherwise excluded from your other policies. For example, an umbrella policy 
provides coverage anywhere in the world, whereas your auto policy usually provides coverage in only the U.S. and Canada.

Q: How do I know if I need a personal umbrella liability policy?

A: Previously, the only people who needed personal umbrella liability policies were wealthy individuals – those who had sizeable amounts of personal assets at risk in a lawsuit. However, in our very litigious society, even individuals with modest incomes and assets are often subjects of large lawsuits, and they are even less able to pay damages than a wealthy individual. H&H Insurance Brokers recognizes the need to provide coverage limits greater than what can be 
obtained in their homeowners or auto insurance policies.