Get More With an Insurance Broker Who’s There For You
by Melissa LaScaleia
The lineage of Moore and Associates dates back to the late 70’s when Melvin Truett began working in the insurance industry. He took a job with Nationwide in Florence, South Carolina. In 1985, he moved to the beach to open his own small insurance agency, eventually purchasing Moore and Associates in 1991. That same year, Melvin’s son Sammy came to work for him, and the two have been operating Moore and Associates in Surfside Beach, collectively, since that time.
“My dad and I are here on a daily basis,” Sammy says. “I call myself the fireman. I put out the fires in the office if there’s a problem.”
Moore and Associates had been operating as an insurance agency in Surfside Beach since 1979, and the name was known throughout the Beach. After the purchase and transfer, Sammy and Melvin chose to keep it the same so the community would still recognize the services they offer.
Today, Moore and Associates is a full service insurance agency offering property, casual and commercial coverage. Last month, they commenced carrying life and health policies with Colonial Life and Health Insurance, an addition for which the entire team is very excited.
“We’re grateful for the opportunity to partner with them,” Sammy says. “They’re one of the biggest health and life companies in the world. They offer so many products for individuals, as well as products for businesses.”
“The best part of what I do is dealing with the public,” he continues. “And being there for my clients when they need me. Especially in the wake of Hurricane Florence, people need agents that they can trust to help them with their claims. We process all claims for our clients through the individual insurance company, but we’re there for them every step of the way if they need anything during the process.”
The biggest challenge that Sammy sees for people is that they don’t understand their policy, what they are protected from, and are covered for. This is what he and his team are ready to help their clients address. “It’s knowing, do I have enough coverage? Does a standard policy cover floods? Many people don’t think they need flood insurance because their home is not located in a flood zone,” Sammy says. “But over 50% of floods happening now are coming from areas that aren’t in traditional flood zones. Look at Conway, Georgetown, and Socastee. You can’t predict it. It’s just Mother Nature, and the topography of the land is changing too. As greater numbers of homes are being built closer to the water, it becomes harder for the storm water runoff to flow efficiently. And you can’t control for rain; with this past storm, the water simply flowed north to south. Flood insurance is worth looking into because it’s not that expensive.”
Sammy advises that the best terms to have as part of your policy are replacement costs on your home and home contents.
“A lot of people think their deductible is based on their loss, but it’s not,” he explains. “It’s based on the actual cash value of your home. If you have a twenty year old home, it will be depreciated. Whereas if you have a replacement costs policy, you will get an exact replacement. We discourage people from buying actual cash value policies.”
He uses the example of a two year old television. If lightening strikes it and you have a replacement cost policy, you are entitled to replace it with what you had, no questions asked. “A lot of times, after a storm is over, people are devastated, and they can’t remember what they have,” Sammy says. “I tell people to go throughout their house and videotape your possessions, room by room, so that you have it for future reference.
“When people evacuate, I tell them to take their insurance policy with them, and to make sure they have our number. When they return, call us, and we’ll start the process for you. We’ll have an adjuster go out in 24 hours or sooner. We often go out ourselves and take pictures and do the leg work. We’ll never give them an 800 number.”
During Hurricane Florence, Moore and Associates created a new system to operate remotely so that if they lost power, their customers would be able to reach a live person and not a recording. It’s a system that they’ll keep in place moving forward.
As a way to help educate the community, Moore and Associates offers an informational video series about all things insurance related that people can watch on their website. On it they address some of their most frequently received questions. If you’re looking for advice on a certain topic and they haven’t done a video about it, contact them, and they will create a video for you.
“We have a very experienced staff, most of whom have been with us for fifteen to twenty years,” Sammy says. “We understand the industry, and we’re not going to give you the absolute lowest price just to get your business. We educate our clients on the differences between policies, what they’re paying for, and what they get in return, and help them to choose what’s best for them. We want to make sure they know exactly what they’re getting.
“People can call us on the phone, or just walk in the door to talk to us. You don’t need an appointment; we’re very approachable. If you like, you can also go to the website and fill out the quote form, email it to us, and we’ll contact you.
508 Hwy 17 South, Surfside Beach, SC 29575. 843-238-1416. www.mooreandassoc.net; Facebook @mooreandassocins.