March 2020

Belmont Insurance Services: Putting a face on your insurance coverage

Author: Linda S. Hopkins | Photographer: M.Kat Photography

The Belmont Team: (from left to right)
Esmeralda Carrillo, Alan R. Spachman, Angie Gauer, Kathy Kinard, Ruth Harper, Brian Spachman and Tiffany Ross

Imagine: (1) You’ve just returned from a hurricane evacuation to find extensive roof damage, a flooded garage, and ruined furnishings. (2) Your teenage son was involved in a fender bender. He’s fine, but your car is being towed to a local garage. (3) You need knee replacement surgery but are concerned about the out-of-pocket cost. (4) Your employee slipped and fell in the office and is at the emergency room with a possible concussion. Who are you going to call?

When you have an insurance claim, whether it’s home, auto, health, liability or something else, do you want to sit on hold for hours while waiting for someone at a call center in another state or country to process your information? Or do you want to call someone local, whom you’ve met face-to-face, who knows you, understands your coverage, answers your immediate questions and most important, provides you with the advice and direction you need at this critical time?

That personal connection is a strong reason to buy all your insurance from Belmont Insurance Services, a local independent agency. “When you have a claim, you can call me directly,” Kathy Kinard, Belmont’s agency team leader said. (Yes, you may also have to report the claim to the policy provider, but you will have a trusted friend to provide professional advice every step of the way, she explained.) “When a claim occurs, we want to make certain you receive every benefit available from the insurance you purchased. We know exactly which benefits you have coming, and I have no problem stepping in and advocating for our clients when they may not be receiving everything they deserve.”

In addition to the personalized claims service, perhaps the most compelling reason to choose Belmont is the perspective they have on our area and the options they offer to mitigate risks before a claim occurs.

“When you walk into Belmont, you’re going to receive options because we have the ability to provide quotes from many different carriers,” Kinard said. “We know the market, we know the builders, we know the Realtors, we know the people. I can speak specifically to the needs of the homeowner in Bluffton or on Hilton Head Island. We are dealing with different risk factors in our coastal community, hurricanes being one of the biggest.”

According to Kinard, when Hurricane Matthew blew through the Lowcountry in 2016, it came as a shock to many area property owners that much of the necessary repair work would fall under their wind or named storm deductible. “Because we hadn’t had a hurricane threat in so long, people got numb to what their policy said. And at the time they purchased their policy, even the lowest wind deductible was pretty high,” she explained. The resulting concern caused some of the carriers to change the way policies are written. “I have insurance companies now that will offer a wind, hail or named-storm deductible as low as $1,000. Premiums may not be any higher than what you are paying today, and your wind or named storm deductible will be much lower.”

Another surprise delivered by Matthew was confusion about flood insurance. “In this area, we have many different flood zones. The important thing to know is that everyone here is in a flood zone; it’s just a matter of how significant the risk of flooding is where your home is located,” Kinard said. “Standard homeowner’s insurance does not cover flood damage, and this can catch some people by surprise.”

The bottom line
While Kinard and her team are all about careful shopping and getting the best rates possible for their customers, she cautions against focusing solely on the premium “We can assist you in selecting the coverages, limits and features that best match your needs. If you secure the right coverage up front, it will eliminate any unpleasant surprises if you have a claim. Three hundred and sixty-four days out of the year, most people don’t think about their insurance. It’s on that one day when they pay the bill,” she said. “Yet many people don’t consider the end game—how much this is going to benefit me if I have a claim vs. how much I have to pay right now. It’s all about which insurance program offers the best value proposition.”

There is often a long interval between the time a client pays a premium for protection and the occurrence of an insured loss, so it’s easy to become complacent. “When I start talking to someone about their insurance needs, I often learn how little they understand their existing policy. I then have a responsibility to share with them the important terms of that policy,” Kinard said. “It’s not just about the bottom line, but the value of the protection you are receiving for the premium you will pay. Do you know what you’re getting, and how valuable is that to you?”

The agents at Belmont are committed to helping you find just the right coverage to meet your needs. Unlike company-employed agents, they can recommend coverage from multiple insurance companies, including specialty insurers that focus on unique situations and exposures. “This is not a sales job,” Kinard said. “We want to provide you with the best options for your needs. Our objective is to provide knowledge, service and value in everything we do for you.”

Determining that perfect fit is a matter of getting to know you, and that’s what Kinard and her team do best. Belmont specializes in serving families, businesses and individuals with customized insurance coverages specific to your situation.

“The rubber meets the road when there’s a claim. If I didn’t provide you the right insurance, you’re going to be upset with me. I don’t ever want you to lose sleep thinking that you don’t have enough. I don’t want to undersell or oversell my clients.”

Belmont Insurance Services, founded in 2009 by Alan Spachman and his son Brian, brings three generations of industry service to the Lowcountry to provide the precise amount and type of insurance coverage for individuals or companies. “We are licensed in all 50 states, so if someone has homes or exposures in multiple states, we can help them as well,” Kinard said.

From personal lines such as home, auto, life and health, to commercial lines specific to your company’s needs, the insurance experts at Belmont offer customized protection and deliver a total solution. Isn’t it time you put a face on your insurance coverage? 

Belmont Insurance Services is located in Bluffton at 1 Westbury Park Way, #101. Learn more at or call (843) 757-3838 for an appointment.

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