Archive for Homeowners losses

Homeowners claims related to wind or hail are the most frequent; the costliest are related to fire and lightning.

About one in 15 insured homes has a claim each year.
About one in 35 insured homes has a property damage claim related to wind or hail each year.
About one in 50 insured homes has a property damage claim caused by water damage or freezing each year.
About one in 235 insured homes has a property damage claim due to theft each year.
About one in 290 insured homes has a property damage claim related to fire and lightning.
About one in 1,015 homeowners policies has a liability claim related to the cost of lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that the policyholder or family members cause to others.

By Insurance Information Institute

Off-Premises Coverage Includes Theft and Damage from Perils Listed In Your Oklahoma Homeowners Insurance or Renters Policy

While self-storage units may be a useful way to de-clutter your home, having the right insurance coverage is the best way to financially protect your belongings—no matter where they are.

If you are planning to rent a storage unit for your belongings, take the following steps:

• Ask your insurance professional about off-premises coverage. Some standard Oklahoma homeowners insurance and renters insurance policies include coverage for personal possessions kept off-premises including a storage facility. Off-premises coverage includes theft and damage from fires, tornadoes and other perils listed in the policy. However, it does not cover for damage caused by flooding, earthquakes, mold and mildew, vermin or poor maintenance. And check the coverage limits, as these vary by company.

• Find out what type of financial protection is provided by the storage facility. Most facilities provide reimbursement based on the square footage of the unit. Check both the coverage limits and whether it is provided on an actual cash value or replacement cost basis. Most storage facilities will also offer a variety of supplemental insurance packages; ask your insurance professional if it would make sense to buy this additional coverage.

• Consider special insurance or storage for expensive items. If you intend to store valuable property, such as art, antiques, jewelry or furs, there may be dollar restrictions under your standard Oklahoma homeowners or renters insurance policy for theft. Ask your insurance professional about adding a floater or endorsement [1] to your policy in order to fully cover these items. There are also specialized storage facilities available for these types of items, as they often need to be kept at specific temperature and humidity levels. Small items such as jewelry will cost less to insure if they are kept in a bank safe-deposit box. Keep in mind contents in a safe-deposit box are not insured by the bank.

• Create an inventory of items to be kept off-premises in storage. Add the items you’re moving to the storage unit to your home inventory so that you can keep track of your belongings and make sure you have the right amount of insurance to protect them. To make creating your inventory as easy as possible, the I.I.I. has a free home inventory tool, Know Your Stuff® [2], which includes secure online storage so you can access your inventory anywhere, anytime.

The I.I.I. offers the following tips for choosing a safe storage company:

• Look for a secure facility. Fencing that secures the entire property and access control are the minimum security measures a storage business should offer. But, ideally, the storage building should have onsite security features such as 24-hour video surveillance cameras and coded security pads. Also, find out about the facility’s procedures in cases such as a fire or flood.

• Look for a unit with climate control. Very high or low temperatures, as well as dampness can quickly cause damage to appliances and furniture. And make sure that rising ground water from snow or rain is unable to penetrate the storage.

• Consider a storage company that offers insurance. If your renters or homeowners insurance does not provide off-premises coverage, you may want to opt for one of the company’s coverage options. Keep in mind that any facility should also have its own insurance to cover damages to the property or injuries that occur on the premises.

• Check that the facility is clean and well-maintained. If a storage facility is not routinely and thoroughly cleaned, there is a good possibility no one is monitoring for bugs and rodent infestations. Verify that the facility has a permanent, reliable pest extermination contract in place before you trust them with your belongings.

http://www.iii.org

Homeowners Insurance: "Am I Covered?"

Oklahoma homeowners often ask the question, “what does this home insurance cover?”  Coverage’s can vary a lot from one policy to another.  However, there are some things that are consistently limited or not covered at all in home policies.  Therefore, sometimes I’ll answer the question by telling my customers about these limitations.  Here are some of my top examples of things that are not covered or that have limited coverage under homeowners insurance policies in Oklahoma City, Edmond and the entire state of Oklahoma….. Rising Flood Water: Surface water and rising flood water damage is the # 1 uninsured loss in Oklahoma and the United States.  Most flood victims will tell you that they thought their home was in an area that was high enough that it would not flood. Many Oklahoma home policies do cover damage that results from a sudden rupture of water from your plumbing system or air conditioning system. Shifting Soil: Much of the soil type in Oklahoma is clay.  It expands with moisture and contracts as it dries out.  Hot and dry Oklahoma summers can result in shifts in your foundation that crack slabs and crack walls.  This type of damage is not covered by any home policy, as far as I know. Jewelry: Oklahoma home insurance policies limit coverage for theft of jewelry.  Furthermore, mysterious disappearance or a stone falling out of a setting is not usually covered unless special endorsements are purchased.  Most of your jewelry needs can be met by purchasing extra jewelry coverage.  Jewelry is usually covered up to your Personal Property policy limit in a fire loss or a tornado loss. Tools and Other Property Used In Your Business: Coverage is very limited under most policies.  You are expected to have a separate business insurance policy for these items. Sewer Back Up: This coverage is oftentimes available by endorsement.  Some companies interpret this exclusion to mean back up of a city’s main sewer line and distinguish this from an “overflow” due to a problem within your plumbing system.  I do represent one company, Safeco, that provides significant coverage for sewer back up without an extra charge. Motorized Land Vehicles: Be very careful here.  You’ll usually need a separate policy for motorcycles, dirt bikes, ATV’s, boats, trailers, etc.  However, you may be able to get coverage for a motorized wheel chair and a riding lawn mower.  You might get some coverage for a tractor if it is used “exclusively” to maintain the premises. Business Liability: Liability which arises from your business activities is almost always excluded.  Certain professions such as teachers and sales people might be able to purchase it with endorsement if you are an “employee” of someone else and not “self-employed”. Mechanical Breakdown of Appliances: This is not usually covered but is now being offered by endorsement by a growing list of companies. Damage Caused By Insects and Animals: Not Covered:  This would include damage caused by termites, dogs, squirrels, etc. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of Oklahoma home insurance coverages, limitations and exclusions.  It is my intent to help you educate yourself so you’ll be able to shop more effectively by asking the right questions.   Von Nix, CPCU Statewide Insurance Agency http://okstatewide.com            

Oklahoma Home Insurance Claims Decrease in 2014

Oklahoma hail insurance claims down 76 percent in 2014, State Farm reports Oklahoma fell from No. 2 to No. 14 in number of hail claims from 2013 to 2014. by Don Mecoy, NewOK.com Modified: April 9, 2015 at 9:34 pm • Published: April 10, 2015 Oklahoma experienced a big decline in the number of hail-related insurance claims in 2014, according to figures released Thursday by the state’s largest provider of home and auto insurance. State Farm home and auto insurance policyholders in Oklahoma filed less than one-fourth the number of hail-related claims last year than they did in 2013, when Oklahoma ranked No. 2 overall in hail claims. Combined home and auto hail claims in Oklahoma fell last year to 8,089, which ranked 14th among states, State Farm reported. In 2013, Oklahoma State Farm customers filed 33,790 hail claims. “This past year was much better in the way of hail losses, obviously,” State Farm spokesman Jim Camoriano said. State Farm is Oklahoma’s largest provider of homeowners’ and auto insurance, with a market share of nearly 28 percent and 21 percent, respectively, according to the state Insurance Department’s 2014 annual report. Texas filed the most hail claims last year, with 51,193, followed by Illinois (43,821 claims); Colorado (42,365); Missouri (23,019); and Nebraska (21,326). Hail damage to homes and cars insured by State Farm totaled $2.4 billion in 2014. While hail storms most frequently strike the Great Plains and Midwest, every state is susceptible, State Farm said. According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Severe Storm database, the states that typically have the highest hail risk include Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming. Peak months for high hail activity are historically March, April, May and June, the NOAA said.

Do You Have Enough Coverage to Rebuild Your Home?

Imagine how devastating it would be to lose your home in a tornado or fire. Now imagine not being able to rebuild it completely because you didn’t have the correct amount of insurance. Selecting the proper amount of coverage is the single most important decision you can make with your Oklahoma Homeowners Insurance policy. Without it, you may not have enough coverage to rebuild after a total loss. This is called “insurance to value.” Below are some explanations and tips to help you make the right choices for your needs — and remember, if you need help, Statewide is just a phone call away! What is insurance to value? Insurance to value is the relationship between the amount of coverage selected (typically listed as “Coverage A” or “Dwelling Coverage” on your policy declarations page) and the amount required to rebuild your home. Insuring your home for anything less than 100% insurance to value could mean you wouldn’t have enough coverage to replace your home in the event of a total loss Why is the cost to rebuild different from the market value? A home’s market value reflects current economic conditions, taxes, school districts, the value of the land and location, and other factors unrelated to construction cost. The cost to rebuild your home is based only on the cost of materials and labor in your area. It is important that you insure your home based on its reconstruction cost, NOT its current market value Why is reconstruction more expensive than new construction? New-home builders typically build many homes at once, and solicit bids from various sub-contractors to receive the best pricing. Their business model is based on economies of scale. For example, they may purchase 20 bathtubs at once, securing a lower unit cost. These economies of scale don’t exist when building a single home. How can I make sure I have the correct amount of insurance? Work with your agent at time of purchase to be sure that you receive an accurate quote home insurance quote. Ask us about additional coverage options that may be available. Review your insurance to value calculation on a regular basis with your agent. Tell your agent about any changes or improvements that you make to your home. What if I don’t want to rebuild? Talk to your agent, many times market value home insurance policies cost less and make sense if you aren’t interested in going through the rebuilding process. Statewide Insurance Agency – Edmond, OK

Home Inventory

Why a Home Inventory Is Important For Every Oklahoma Homeowner Let’s try a little exercise: Can you list everything you own from memory? Didn’t think so. The fact is most homeowners own more things than they realize. It’s easy to remember the cars, the computer, the TV. But what about that holiday china in the garage? Or every pair of shoes? All of it is regarded as personal property for Oklahoma home insurance purposes. And if your Oklahoma City home is destroyed by fire or some other disaster, having a list of your possessions makes filing a claim easier — and helps you put your life back together. Why should I complete a home inventory? What’s the best way? Comparing the value of your belongings to the “contents” limit listed in your policy helps you make sure you have enough insurance to replace them if they are lost, stolen or destroyed as a result of a covered loss. The easiest way to take an inventory is to use a video camera, recording and describing items as you walk through your house. Or, you can use a regular camera and create a home inventory checklist. Here are a few tips for completing and storing your inventory: Add brand names and descriptions where you can, especially on large-ticket items. Serial numbers are helpful to note. Keep any receipts you have with the list to make the claims process easier. Store your video or photo inventory offsite so you won’t lose it if your house is damaged. Update your personal property records when you purchase new furnishings and valuables. Though the task may seem daunting, it’s important to try. An incomplete inventory is better than nothing at all. How much personal property coverage do you need on your home insurance? We can assist you in analyzing your insurance needs and help you decide how to most effectively protect your personal property. You should consider getting a quote for full-value coverage, which will pay for the replacement value of your personal belongings. A standard policy typically covers personal property only up to its actual cash value, determined by taking the replacement cost and deducting depreciation, which can be substantial. (For example, a 5-year-old TV is usually worth much less than what it would cost to purchase a new one.) Finally, remember your homeowners insurance policy covers valuable items such as jewelry, furs, art and antiques, only up to set dollar amounts. If the cost of replacing them exceeds these limits, you may want to purchase scheduled personal property coverage. The Insurance Information Institute has a FREE online tool that can help you create your inventory. Just visit www.knowyourstuff.org for more details. We hope you’ll never need the home inventory, but preparing for the worst can prevent a lot of hassle later! Statewide Insurance Agency in Edmond, Oklahoma specializes in home insurance and auto insurance. Because we represent multiple companies we are better at matching customers to companies.

Does My Homeowners Liability Extend To My Farm?

Potential coverage for this situation varies from policy to policy so read your policy carefully. Many home insurance agents in Oklahoma give the wrong answer on this question.

Most quality home insurance policies in Oklahoma will extend the Liability Coverage from your Oklahoma home insurance to vacant property that is not being farmed. What is vacant? Is usually means absolutely no structure, no improvements. Some companies allow a fence. Therefore, if there is any farming or if there are any structures, you usually need a separate policy for this property.

Ice Dams – Home Insurance Companies

Oklahoma homeowners have seen very warm weather and very cold weather so far this year.  However, homeowners in the Northeast are experiencing one of the most severe winters in recent history.   Here is an article about ice dams that have been a problem for Oklahoma homeowners in the past and certainly for homeowners in the Northeast now.  Click here to read it.

 

Home Insurance in 73120 (North Oklahoma City)

Well, it is approaching 5 years since the largest hail storm in state history devastated north Oklahoma City on  May 16, 2010.  Since many insurance companies view a 5 year loss period when providing  Oklahoma City home insurance quotes, we are hoping that we will be able to provide some of our customers in these areas with lower quotes on their home insurance since this event will soon be 5 years old.

Moore, OK Home Insurance Quotes

When Water Goes Where It Shouldn’t

Even a small leak can become a major problem for homeowners in Moore, OK,  so knowing what you’re covered for and how to prevent water damage are equally important.  The below tips should help uncover any potential water problems down the road and keep your property dry.

Check appliance hoses.  Standard hoses are not as durable as they used to be.  Replace rubber hoses with steel-braided hoses. This is a low cost fix that can save thousands in water damage.

Broken tiles in the shower can allow water to leak into the walls or on the floor. Replace cracked tiles and re-grout when needed.

Run dishwasher and washing machine only when you are home.  If a leak occurs, you can turn the appliance off right away.

When on vacation, turn off the main water supply to your house.

Keep storm drains near your house clear of leaves.

Install a gutter guard.  This can prevent a rooftop disaster caused by drain clogs, and also prevents flooding by water that isn’t carried away from the house.

Install a water pressure gauge.  An inexpensive gauge can prevent damage caused by water pressure that’s too high.  Pressure should be between 60 and 80 PSI.

Moore homeowners can save money on their home insurance quotes by avoiding water damage losses thereby having a clean claim record.