Archive for cheap homeowners insurance

Home Insurance: When Cheap Turns Costly

We are all looking for cheap home insurance in Oklahoma.  However, cheap can turn to costly very fast if the home insurance policy you purchase does not cover  Additional Living Expenses (ALE).

ALE are monies paid to you by the home insurance company to pay for additional living cost that you incur as a result of a home insurance loss.  The best example of this is the cost to rent or lease another house while your home is being repaired or while the insurance company is assessing your home’s damage that is covered by insurance.  

As you seek cheap home insurance in Oklahoma, remember to make certain that the quote you request contains ALE as an important part of your home insurance plan.  Below is a typical example of the wording that an Oklahoma home insurance company will use in order to provide ALE.  This particular contract wording is from Safeco Insurance Company.  Safeco is one of the companies that we count on to provide home insurance value in Oklahoma without compromising critical policy coverages.  


If a loss covered under this Section makes that part of the residence premises where you reside
uninhabitable we cover Additional Living Expense, meaning the necessary increase in living
expenses you incur so that your household can maintain its normal standard of living.

Statewide Home Insurance Rate Card Flyer 2016

Homeowners Coverages – Actual Cash Value vs Replacement

Oklahoma Homeowners usually think about the insurance on their home twice — when they get new homeowner insurance quotes and when they need to file a claim. The first is often hurried; a policy is needed to complete the mortgage package or equity loan, and the driving concern may be cost and speed more than depth and type of coverage. The second is the day after the fire, hailstorm, or other natural disaster. Unfortunately, that hastily purchased cheap homeowners insurance policy may not be the bargain it seemed. The time to learn about the breadth and depth of coverage is at the time of purchase, before the loss.

There are two primary types of homeowner’s insurance: replacement cost and actual cash value. In a replacement-cost policy, the structure is insured for the cost of repairing the damage or building a comparable replacement, regardless of its age. If mandated by the local authorities, the repairs and construction will have to incorporate any upgrades required by the building codes in force at the time of the rebuild.

A key provision is that in a replacement-cost policy, there is no reduction in the payout because of depreciation. A 10-year-old roof is paid out the same as a nearly-new roof. For example, a 15-year-old roof is destroyed in a hailstorm. The roof has multiple layers of shingles, and the sheeting is deteriorated. New building codes require a full tear-off, including new sheeting and rafter repair. A replacement-cost policy will cover the supplemental work, even though the rafter damage isn’t a direct result of the storm.

As the name implies, an actual-cash-value, or ACV, policy pays out the fair market value of the damaged portion of the home at that time of the loss, minus depreciation. For example, a 15-year-old roof destroyed in a hailstorm may only be valued at $2,000 to $3,000. After the typical $1,000 deductible, the homeowner may only receive a single lump-sum payment of $1,000 to $2,000 to apply to the cost of repair or replacement of the roof.

Another consideration is the insurance coverage on the contents of the home. This comes into play after a major loss such as a fire or tornado. Replacement-cost policies pay for a comparable item, without regard to the age or condition of the original.

Some policies may be hybrids, with replacement cost on portions of the house, but ACV on other parts, such as the roof or windows. Contents are often rated at ACV. This is done for many reasons and there is nothing wrong or unprofessional about it. However, the policy owner needs to understand each part of the coverage — what is included and what is excluded.

The difference between replacement cost and actual-cash-value policies is significant, and homeowners need to make an informed choice. The primary reason to choose ACV is cost. The premiums for an ACV policy are significantly less than a full replacement policy. For many homeowners, ACV may be all they think they can afford. However, after a major loss, that cheap policy may not even pay back the premiums paid over many years.

Oklahoma City Homeowners shouldn’t wait for a disaster to take a second look at their insurance. A licensed agent can go over the existing coverage and explain not only what potential payouts might be, but also ways to economically upgrade. Feel free to call us at 405-285-2929 today, and we will answer any questions you have about homeowner’s insurance.

By the way, Statewide Insurance Agency offers Actual Cash Value home insurance policies as well as Replacement homeowners insurance policies!

“We shop up to 10 companies to find you the best coverage and price on your Oklahoma home insurance”

Statewide Insurance Agency http://okstatewide.com

Renters Insurance – Cheap Oklahoma Quotes

The Importance of Renters Insurance

If you live in a rental home or apartment, chances are you don’t have the proper insurance. Despite the fact that rented homes are more likely to be burglarized than owner-occupied properties, nearly 60 percent of renters don’t have a renters policy.

Why does it matter?

“If you rent a house or apartment and think that your landlord is financially responsible when there is a fire, theft or other catastrophe—think again,” warns the Insurance Information Institute*. “Your landlord may have insurance to protect the building you are living in. But your landlord’s policy won’t replace your personal possessions or pay for your living expenses while the building is being repaired. The only way to protect yourself financially against disasters is to buy a renters insurance policy.”

Renters insurance covers your possessions, liability and additional living expenses. Let’s take a look at these three types of protection:

Possessions

Standard renters insurance protects your personal belongings against damage from fire, smoke, lightning, vandalism, theft, explosion, windstorm, water and other disasters listed in the policy. Floods and earthquakes are not covered.

To decide how much insurance to buy, you need to know the value of all your personal possessions—including furniture, clothing, electronics, appliances, kitchen utensils and even towels and bedding. The easiest way to figure this out is to create a home inventory, a detailed list of all of your personal possessions and their estimated value.

There are two types of renters insurance policies for your possessions:

Actual Cash Value pays to replace your possessions minus an amount for depreciation (the reduction in the value of items due to age and use) up to the limit of your policy.

  • Replacement Cost pays the full cost of replacing your possessions (with no deduction for depreciation), up to the limit of your policy. The price of Replacement Cost coverage is about 10 percent more than Actual Cash Value coverage, but can be well worth the additional cost.

Note that a standard renters policy offers only limited coverage for items such as jewelry, silver, furs, etc. If you own property that exceeds these limits, it is recommended that you supplement your policy with a floater. A floater is a separate policy that provides additional insurance for your valuables and covers them for perils not included in your policy such as accidental loss.

Liability

Standard renters insurance policies also provide liability protection in the event you or members of your familiar cause injury to others or damage their property.  It also pays for damage your pets cause.

If you are sued, the liability portion of a renters policy may pay for both the cost of defending you in court and for court awards, up to the limit of the policy. Liability limits generally start at about $100,000. Your policy may also provide No-Fault Medical coverage. If visitors are injured in your home, regardless of fault, you can submit their medical bills directly to your insurance company. You can generally get $1,000 to $5,000 worth of this coverage. It does not however, pay medical bills for your own family or your pets.

Additional Living Expenses

Many people are pleasantly surprised to learn that Additional Living Expense (ALE) coverage is typically included in a renters insurance policy. If the home or apartment you are renting is damaged or destroyed and you need to live elsewhere while it is being repaired or rebuilt, renters insurance will cover your additional living expenses—namely the difference between your regular living expenses and the additional costs incurred by having to live away from your home, such as hotel bills, temporary rentals, restaurant meals, etc.

Need help deciding what coverage is best for you? Contact Statewide Insurance Agency today. http://okstatewide.com

*Insurance Information Institute, September 30, 2009