Archive for Home Insurance Quote

Insuring A Vacation Home

A vacation home can be a wonderful luxury and sometimes even a good investment, but there are some important factors to consider before making the leap into second-home ownership—such as insurance costs. Just like your primary home, you’ll need to insure your vacation home against burglary, fire, weather damage, liability and other risks. Because insurance can add significantly to the price of buying and owning a vacation home, you may want to consider the likely insurance costs before deciding on a specific property.

Key Factors Impacting Vacation Home Insurance Costs

For a number of reasons, insurance for a vacation home can be more expensive than the coverage on your primary residence. Notably, your second home may often be unoccupied, putting it at greater risk for theft, vandalism and undetected damage, like burst water pipes. When you shop for a vacation home, it’s important to recognize that the following factors will impact your insurance costs:

Location—The location of any home is always a factor in pricing insurance policies, but it can be especially significant for vacation homes. The very location that makes a vacation home desirable may also make it more expensive to insure. For instance, a ski house or hunting lodge in a remote or mountainous area could be at greater risk for damage due to wildfire. A beach house may be more exposed to wind damage or storm surge from a hurricane. These location-based risks will impact the price of coverage, and in some cases may even incur higher deductibles.

In addition, if the home is located in a flood zone, you’ll be required to purchase a separate flood insurance policy. Flood damage is not covered by standard homeowners insurance policies, but coverage is available from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and from some private insurance companies. The cost of NFIP flood insurance for second homes has been increasing and there are also special surcharges that you will be required to pay. You can check the cost of flood insurance for a specific location by going to www.floodsmart.gov. You can also lower your insurance costs by choosing a location with less risk—for instance, further from the beach, down the mountain or in a gated community where there is security.

Type of Property—As is the case with any house, a vacation home’s age and types of building materials used will impact the cost of insurance. In addition, these costs will vary depending on whether your second home is a single-occupancy house, a condominium or a townhouse. A condominium, for instance, may have lower insurance costs because the homeowners association maintains and insures the exterior of the property and may provide security. Generally, the cost of insuring the structure of the unit will be included in the monthly maintenance fees. Your personal condo insurance will cover your belongings and specific areas of the unit listed in the policy.

Amenities—If your vacation home has a pool, hot tub or other special amenity that adds risk, you may pay a higher insurance premium. You may also want to purchase more liability protection as these items are considered “attractive nuisances” that lead to a higher probability of liability claims being filed.

Ways to Save on Second Home Insurance Costs

While the price of insurance will increase the total cost of ownership of a second home, there are steps that you can take to help make insurance more affordable:
Bundle Your Policies—If you insure your second home with the same insurer that provides coverage for your primary residence, you may be able to save 5 to 10 percent.
Install an Alarm System—A centrally monitored alarm system that detects both fire and break-ins can help lower the cost of insurance on your second home.
Shop Around—Get at least three quotes for coverage on your second home. It pays to shop around, both when you first purchase a policy and before you renew your policy each year.

Will You Rent Your Property?

If you plan to rent your vacation home to others, your homeowners insurance costs will likely increase, and you may need to purchase additional coverage. Your insurance needs will depend on how often you rent out the property and for how long. For a one-time short-term rental, you may be able to add a simple extension (an “endorsement”) to your existing homeowners policy. On the other hand, if you plan to regularly rent out your second home, you may need separate business coverage or a landlord policy. While some rental services, such as Airbnb and VRBO, offer coverage for homeowners, it’s important to read the fine print to determine limits and exclusions.

Because renting your second home entails additional, more complex risks, it’s a good idea to consult with your insurance professional. For more information, read the I.I.I.’s article, “What Type of Insurance Do I Need If I’m Renting out My Home?”

TIP

You’ll probably be furnishing your new vacation home as well as keeping clothing and equipment there to use when you visit. To help keep track of your possessions and file an insurance claim if necessary, create a home inventory with all of the items you’ll be keeping in the house. The I.I.I. provides a free Web- and app-based inventory tool, Know Your Stuff®, which makes it easy to store information and photos of your possessions, all in one place. The tool also allows you to set up various homes, each with their own inventory, and move items from one to the other.

By Insurance Information Institute

 
Insurance Information Institute
 

Which Disasters Are Covered by Homeowners Insurance?

Standard homeowners policies generally cover a wide range of potential disasters, from tornadoes and windstorms, to fire and lightning strikes, to winter storm damage caused by weight of ice and snow. Most homeowners policies cover all the disasters listed below. Some policies provide coverage only for the first 10 listed. It is important to check check your insurance policy for the specific perils covered.

WHAT TYPE OF DISASTERS ARE COVERED?

 
  Dwelling & personal property Dwelling Personal property  Dwelling & personal property
Perils Basic
HO-1*+
Broad
HO-2*
Special
HO-3*
Special
HO-3
Renters
HO-4
Condo/
Co-op HO-6
Modified
Coverage HO-8
1. Fire or lightning x x x x x x x
2. Windstorm or hail x x x x x x x
3. Explosion x x x x x x x
4. Riot or civil commotion x x x x x x x
5. Damage caused by aircraft x x x x x x x
6. Damage caused by vehicles x x x x x x x
7. Smoke x x x x x x x
8. Vandalism or malicious mischief x x x x x x x
9. Theft x x x x x x x
10. Volcanic eruption x x x x x x x
11. Falling object   x x x x x  
12. Weight of ice, snow or sleet   x x x x x  
13.  Accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam from within a plumbing, heating, air conditioning, or automatic fire-protective sprinkler system, or from a household appliance.   x x x x x  
14. Sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning, or bulging of a steam or hot water heating system, an air conditioning or automatic fire-protective system.   x x x x x  
15. Freezing of a plumbing, heating, air conditioning or automatic, fire-protective sprinkler system, or of a household appliance.   x x x x x  
16. Sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current (does not include loss  to a tube, transistor or similar electronic component)   x x x x x  
17. All perils except flood, earthquake, war, nuclear accident, landslide, mudslide, sinkhole and others specified in your policy. Check your policy for a complete list of perils excluded.     x        

* HO-1, HO-2 and HO-3 refer to standard Homeowners Policies.       
       
+HO-1 has been discontinued in most states.

Disasters That Are Not Covered

1. Floods

Flood damage is excluded under standard homeowners and renters insurance policies. Flood coverage, however, is available in the form of a separate policy both from the National Flood Insurance Program – NFIP ( 888-379-9531) and from a few private insurers.

You can get replacement cost coverage for the structure of your home, but only actual cash value coverage is available for your possessions. There may also be limits on coverage for furniture and other possessions stored in your basement.

Flood insurance is available for renters as well as homeowners. You will need flood insurance if you live in a designated flood zone. But also consider buying it if your house could be flooded by melting snow, an overflowing creek or water running down a steep hill. Don’t wait until the evening news announces a flood season warning to buy a policy. There is a 30-day waiting period before federal flood coverage takes effect.

2. Earthquakes

Earthquake coverage can be a separate policy or an endorsement to your homeowners or renters policy. It available from most insurance companies. In California, it is also available from the California Earthquake Authority. In earthquake prone states like California, the policy comes with a high deductible.

3. Maintenance damage

It is your responsibility to take reasonable precautions to protect your home from damage. Your insurance policy will not cover damage due to lack of maintenance, mold, termite infestation and infestation from other pests.

4. SEWER BACK-UP

Sewer backups or the inability of sump pumps to handle runoff water from major downpours are not covered under a typical homeowners insurance policy, nor are they covered by flood insurance. Those types of coverage must be purchased either as a separate product or as an endorsement to a homeowners policy.”
 
Sewer backup coverage is available from most insurers for a nominal cost—usually an additional annual premium of $40-$50.
 
Many homeowners may not realize that they are responsible for the maintenance and repair of their house or sewer lateral—the pipeline between the city sanitary sewer main, usually located in the street—and the building. The sewer lateral is owned and maintained by the property owner including any part that extends into the street or public right of way.

 
 

Renewal Review: Norman, OK Home Insurance Quotes

When you have a home insurance policy, it’s easy to get complacent. You have your coverage and you’re used to paying your premiums. But being complacent isn’t good when it comes to your home insurance coverage. Failure to review yearly could mean leaving a lot of money on the table for you and your family.

It’s best to take a yearly inventory of your insurance needs. Have your coverages changed? A lot can happen in a year — you can add members to your family, get married, acquire jewelry, move or change jobs. All of that can lead to needing different coverage. If you don’t take time to look at what type of coverage you need every year, you can find yourself in a tough spot when an loss happens and you aren’t properly covered.

Even if your coverage needs haven’t changed, prices might. It’s good to call your Independent Insurance Agent and ask him/her to make sure you are getting the best deal on your Norman home insurance and/or your Norman car insurance  — perhaps you’re paying too much for certain coverage.

It’s best to talk with your agent about your coverage needs and price once a year. Just because you see a lower price elsewhere doesn’t mean you have to jump on it — discuss it with your agent and figure out what’s best for your needs.

Statewide Insurance Agency serves the entire state of Oklahoma; however, we enjoy an extra special relationship with our home insurance and car insurance customers in the Norman, OK area!  Remember….we search multiple companies to find the right one for you!

If you own your home in Oklahoma/OKC Metro, or if you’re in the process of buying your home then you’re aware of the importance of a homeowner’s insurance policy. But are you making sure that your homeowner’s insurance policy is saving you as much money as possible?

checking-homeowners-insurance-policy-okstatewide

Here are a few tips and tricks for saving money
on your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy. 

Do Your Research

A smart consumer will request several quotes and shop around for the best deal on their homeowner’s insurance policy. Talking with independent agents is always a good method for getting a good understanding of what constitutes the best deal taking coverage and cost into consideration. But you should also look for any discounts you can: many memberships come with insurance discounts, even wholesale club memberships like Costco and Sam’s Club.

Update Your Home

If you own or are purchasing an older home especially, talk with an agent about what modern upgrades will affect your premiums. You can make some changes that make your home safer and also save you money every month!

Brush Up on the Lingo

Sometimes, consumers choose a slightly cheaper option without knowing the real cost of the compromise in coverage. For example, consider the way your policy handles a payout. Actual Cash Value will save you a little money on your premium, but should something happen, you may find this payout inadequate. 

This is because Actual Cash Value payouts are based entirely on the current worth of the home and contents insured. In contrast, Replacement Cost will payout based on the current cost to rebuild or purchase the home and contents. This can mean a stark contrast in what your payout looks like and greatly affect your ability to recover from a disaster. 

Consider A Higher Deductible

As with any type of insurance, you can expect to lower your premium by raising your deductible. You have to consider whether this option is the best fit for you, because raising your deductible will put more financial responsibility on you than sticking with a lower deductible. Speak with an agent about how much you feel comfortable with raising your deductible up to and see how it affects your annual premium.

Add an Umbrella Policy

Although adding an additional policy made seem counter-intuitive when it comes to saving money, an umbrella policy can add extra protections that save you significant money in the future. Should you face any liability litigation, that exceeds your homeowner’s policy, you are personally and financially responsible for those costs. If you don’t have the funds available, you could be looking at wage garnishments or worse. An Umbrella policy is quite inexpensive to add and the protections it provides are more than worth it.

Its official! #ExpericeDowntownEdmond

member-experiencedowntownedmond-okstatewide405

Downtown Edmond Business Association

Assessing a Home Insurance Claim After a Storm

When a big storm hits Oklahoma, you hunker down inside, relying on your home to protect you and your family. Once that storm passes, though, it’s time to repay the favor — identify the damage and protect your home from further issues.

broken-window-okstatewide

The National Storm Damage Center has a number of resources and tips for homeowners.

Here are 4 major things this agency, and we here at Statewide, recommend you check after a storm:

  1. Your roof: If you see holes, split seams or missing shingles on your roof or if you notice leaking inside or out, it’s a good idea to have a qualified inspector come assess the situation.
  1. Your exterior: Siding, brick and stucco are all vulnerable to storm damage. You’ll want to look for cracking, chipping or dings and dents in siding, and for holes in stucco. Look closely and at different times of the day. Some homeowners don’t notice damage until it’s too late to file a claim, and different lighting can reveal damage you didn’t see before.
  1. Driveways and walkways: Cracking and splitting can create safety hazards, as well as reduce the lifespan of the concrete.
  1. Trees: According to the National Storm Damage Center, fallen trees and limbs cause more than $1 billion in damage annually. Check roofs, vehicles, fences and machinery for fallen limbs that may have caused damage or could pose a risk. Clean up what you safely can and rely on a reputable tree removal service to handle the rest. Depending on the circumstances, your homeowners insurance policy may help with tree removal and damage repair costs – if you experience a covered loss, that is.


A few more helpful tips:

  • Keep trees well maintained and trimmed. Also notify neighbors if you see any overhanging branches on any of theirs.
  • Know your insurance. Take a look at your policy so you know what’s covered, what your limits and deductibles are, etc. This will prevent any surprises during the claims process.
  • Take pictures. Photographs can help you show the cause and extent of any storm damage that occurs.
  • Talk to your agent. Make sure to take some time to talk to your agent for any questions or concerns.

Of course, if you’ve suffered through a major storm, don’t hesitate to call us for help with your policy or with finding a professional property inspector.

Happy Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day Weekend @okstatewide

Just a friendly reminder that our office will be closed Monday, September 5th! Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend.