January 2017

Seacoast Insurance

Author: Kitty Bartell | Photographer: M.Kat Photography

Kate Boardman, Ray Craver, Kyle Craver and Teena Farrell at the Seacoast office located at 88 Main Street, Suite A on Hilton Head Island.

The little pig who built his house out of bricks knew a bit about risk management. At any given moment, the Big Bad Wolf might huff and puff and try to blow his house down. Unlike his brother, whose house was made of sticks, this little pig knew the importance of mitigating his risk. Minimizing impact to life, limb, and property requires thoughtful review and experienced guidance. The insurance professionals at Seacoast Insurance on Hilton Head Island have been successfully leading clients through the forest of risk management and insurance since 1981.

In preparing for 2017, and taking inventory of 2016, with category two Hurricane Matthew and its 16.56-inches of rainfall on October 8 packing the strongest punch, the wisest little pigs will be battening down their insurance hatches. “Don’t wait for the next hurricane season. Don’t wait for the next spring tornado season,” said Ray Craver, co-owner of Seacoast Insurance, recommending all policy holders read their policies and understand what is covered, and just as important, what is not covered—and for those without coverage to speak with a licensed insurance agent for a review.

“Make sure that you’re fairly aware of what your coverages are and your deductibles. It’s your policy; you should have a certain amount of knowledge about that policy,” Craver said. Setting a course through the new year with the peace of mind that comes with knowledge and the right protection is what the founders of Seacoast Insurance had in mind when they brought their Ohio-based, family-owned and operated insurance business to the Lowcountry. The agency’s current ownership is still all in the family, including Craver, Brian Hover, David Hover, and Karen Hover.

Starting out in the insurance business right out of college with the Cincinnati Insurance Company, Craver ultimately joined his in-laws’ agency. “This all began when my father-in-law bought a small agency in Celina, Ohio, just outside of Dayton.” After years of family vacations on Hilton Head Island, Jack and Margaret Hover grew their insurance business from one state to two, opening a branch on the island in 1981, creating a family legacy. “Our third generation is now involved in the agency,” Craver said. “My father-in-law was the second most influential person in my life [only after his mother]. Jack Hover was bigger than life. To see that continue to the next generation is pretty special. My hope is that they do take over and run with it and create an even better agency than we have now. That would be nice.”

Offering personal and commercial lines, including homeowners insurance, vehicle insurance, condo/renters insurance, flood insurance, and business insurance, the team at Seacoast Insurance lives and works in the Hilton Head Island and Bluffton communities they serve—a valuable connection found less and less often in an industry that has grown to global proportions. It is nearly impossible to overestimate the value of having local knowledge and local people guiding clients through insurance-covered life events. Craver and his team, including son Kyle Craver, and step-daughter Kate Boardman, are on-point whether it is an automobile accident, a worker’s compensation claim, a theft, or a catastrophic hurricane.

Ray Craver and Teena Farrell review a client’s insurance policy post Hurricane Matthew.

“As an insurance agent, I don’t know that you can ever get comfortable during hurricane season,” Craver said. “It’s not about whether we crossed our t’s and dotted our i’s; it’s about what we have to do afterward.” Setting the goal of being the voice of calm for their clients through any impactful event, during Hurricane Matthew the Seacoast squad kept up communication with their clients via email, their website, and their Facebook page, all while evacuating from their own homes, prepared for the worst and hoping for the best. “June first comes; I know it’s hurricane season and I know what a storm can do. I have an obligation to the people who are insured with us. We work hard at treating people the way we want to be treated; we put the client first. This is my home, this is my community, this is my business.”

Setting an admirable example, Craver encourages his team to get out in the community and get involved. “They all contribute in some way,” he said. For Craver, it’s a natural extension of his life and his business. A former two-term president, and current advisory board member for the Island Rec Center, his commitment to the local community extends beyond the doors of his family’s business. Craver has coached high school soccer for 16 years—nine years at Hilton Head Christian Academy and the last seven as assistant coach for Hilton Head High School’s varsity team. “I used to say every year, it’s going to be my last year. I don’t say that anymore, because it’s like crying wolf. It’s very difficult to stop, because the kids are great. You see these young people when they are freshman in high school, and now you see them and they’re 27, 28 years old and having children. It’s really pretty neat; now I take it one year at a time.” Seacoast also sponsors numerous fundraisers and promotes the Deep Well Project throughout the year. “You want to try to give back, because it’s the right thing to do.”

The foundation of Seacoast Insurance may be 35-plus years and three generations of local insurance and risk mitigation experience, however, it is love of this place and the people that ties everything together for Craver. “I love Hilton Head Island, Bluffton and the Lowcountry. I’m excited about crossing the bridge. This is home and I enjoy what I do. The island has changed so much, yet the core of this island is still the same”—building a legacy one customer, one generation at a time.

Seacoast Insurance is located at 88 Main Street, Suite A, Hilton Head Island. For more information, please call (843) 681-4340 or visit seacoastinsurance.com.

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