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8 Ways Your Driving Record Could Injure Your Future

In today’s over-scheduled world, any information that isn’t at your fingertips is out of sight, out of mind. So when you set down the mail, it’s easy to forget about that ticket you need to pay from when the motion-sensor camera caught you driving through a red light. However, where you forget, the DMV remembers. Your Oklahoma driving record has the ability to affect many areas of life, some of which may surprise you. Here are eight ways your driving record could injure your future:

Driving Record

  1. Auto insurance: Insurers determine car insurance quotes based on many factors, one of which is your driving record. It’s no surprise that these companies prefer to insure Edmond, OK residents who drive safely and file few claims. For this reason, multiple tickets and accidents on your record can result in higher premiums. How high? A speeding ticket can raise your auto insurance quote by up to 20 percent. A more serious offense, such as reckless driving or a DUI, can cause your rate to skyrocket by up to 300 percent.
  2. Life insurance: Similarly, life insurance premiums are determined by your risk of dying. An unsafe driver has a higher risk of being involved in a serious accident, which can knock you down to a less preferred tier of life insurance, complete with a premium that can be several hundred dollars more per year.
  3. Credit score: If you neglect to pay a ticket, like in our example above, your credit score can take a hit. Once the bill’s deadline comes and goes, fees are slapped onto the amount you already owe. You may start getting calls from collection agencies saying that you owe a huge amount, at which point you remember that bill that you set aside for later…ten weeks ago. By then, it’s too late. Your deflated credit can affect your ability to apply for a loan, credit card or even to rent an apartment.
  4. License suspension: Serious driving infractions and unpaid tickets often result in the suspension of your license. In such cases, the Oklahoma DMV can refuse to register your car, which can lead to more tickets if you continue to drive an unregistered car or with a suspended license. It’s a cyclical mess that can be difficult to get out of.
  5. Hard time: Hard time in jail, that is. Unpaid tickets can result in a misdemeanor charge and a warrant for your arrest. Not to mention, a DUI can land you in the slammer that same day.
  6. Professional career: Losing your license can also result in the loss of your job, particularly if your job requires driving or comes with the perk of a company car. And then when you interview for a new job, some employers will turn you away if they see a DUI or other serious violations after conducting a background check.
  7. Loss of rights: A DUI or other serious violation can be classified as a felony if the incident(s) resulted in severe damage or death. Convicted felons are stripped of a number of rights, such as the right to vote, hold public office, serve on a jury, receive federal aid for higher education, travel overseas etc.
  8. Adoption: Adoption agencies have different policies, but many of them will look at your driving record. A DUI or other serious violation may result in an extensive interview during the home study or may result in outright refusal of your application. The more recent the violation, the more likely it is to affect your eligibility to adopt.

To get the lowest car insurance quotes possible for Oklahoma residents, always drive with caution and respect other drivers who share the road with you. If you do happen to receive a minor ticket, pay it immediately before you have the chance to forget about it. In fact, it’s so important to drive safely that many insurers offer auto insurance discounts to safe drivers. Ask your agent if you qualify for savings today!

The Top 4 Home Insurance Companies in Oklahoma

Oklahoma home insurance rates increased roughly 50% during a 5 year period ending in 2015 as homeowners embraced continuous wind and hail storms, especially within the western one-half of the state.  

These increases have Oklahoma homeowners scrambling to find quality home insurance with stable companies without the high cost that many insurers are still trying to charge.

In our opinion, the following 4 companies offer the greatest home insurance value in Oklahoma and, in our opinion, these companies will have the best chance of saving Oklahoma consumers money as you seek quotes for your homeowners insurance needs. All  4 of these companies offer outstanding coverage, excellent claims service and they usually have a lower cost than competitors.  

      1.   Safeco Insurance ( a Liberty Mutual Company)

      2.  Travelers Insurance

      3.  State Farm Insurance

      4. Allstate Insurance

May 5, 2018 Consumer Update:  3 of the last 4 years have been very profitable for the companies offering home insurance quotes in Oklahoma.  As a result, we are starting to see some companies offer better rates in many situations.  Also, Progressive Insurance has come into Oklahoma offering an excellent home insurance policy and oftentimes the rate is outstanding.  I have confidence that Progressive will be consistent and provide and excellent home insurance value for Oklahoma customers.  As a result, here is my new, updated rankings….

  1. Progressive Insurance
  2. Safeco Insurance ( a Liberty Mutual Company)
  3. Travelers Insurance
  4. Allstate Insurance
  5. State Farm Insurance

I have moved Allstate above State Farm because Allstate has a better home insurance cost right now.  However, long-term, State Farm will provide good value relative to other premium cost carriers, in my opinion.

Statewide Insurance Agency represents Progressive, Safeco Insurance and Travelers Insurance but not State Farm or Allstate.  

 

CLICK HERE TO REQUEST A HOME INSURANCE QUOTE FROM STATEWIDE NOW

 


Summer Energy Savings

Beat the Heat — and Your Air Conditioning Bill — This Summer

Did you know that, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Americans spend about $11 billion each year on air conditioning? That might not be such a surprise if you’re the one who writes the check for your household energy bill every month.

Believe it or not, you can spend less on cooling costs while still keeping cool in Edmond, Oklahoma.

Here are 5 things to do before you reach to adjust the thermostat:

  • Make sure your house isn’t part of the problem. If your home isn’t insulated and sealed well, warm air could be leaking in, sabotaging your efforts to cool things down. Make sure all cracks and openings are sealed, along with your ducts. The DOE says air loss through ducts can account for 30 percent of the energy a cooling system uses.
  • Keep that breeze flowing. Natural ventilation is a great way to decrease the temperature in your home without using any energy. Open windows in the mornings or evenings when the air is cool and get a cross-breeze going throughout the house.
  • Check that the heat isn’t on. You might be heating your house in the summer without realizing it. How? By using the oven, stove or other appliances that generate heat. Cook outside whenever you can, and use the dishwasher and clothes dryer at cooler times of the day if possible.
  • Create your own personal cool zone. Cooling the whole house might not be necessary if you’re only using a few rooms. Set up fans (ceiling fans will allow you to set your thermostat a few degrees higher), drink plenty of cool liquids and eat cold foods, which can help lower your body temperature. You might even consider wearing a damp shirt to stay comfortable or putting an ice pack on your forehead, the back of your neck or your wrists.
  • Don’t forget the basics. When it’s sunny outside, keep your curtains closed. Minimize your use of lights, as they generate heat. And, when the outside air is warmer than the air in your house, close the windows to keep the cool air in. 

We can’t promise these tips will keep you just as cool as when you kick back and turn on the AC full-blast. But saving money every month? That’s pretty cool, too.

ALL SOURCES OF INFORMATION:

  • Safeco Insurance:

 

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?

 

 

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.

Home Insurance Satisfaction

U.S. Homeowners Give Record High Satisfaction Scores To Their Insurers

J.D. Power Study Surveyed Policyholders Who Filed a Claim
March 13, 2017

NEW YORK, March 13, 2017—About one of every 15 U.S. homeowners insurance policyholders files a claim each year and these claimants are now giving insurers their highest ever satisfaction ratings, according to the Insurance Information Institute [1] (I.I.I.).

 

The J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Property Claims Satisfaction Study [2] gives U.S. home insurers a record score of 859 (on a 1,000-point scale). The industry’s cumulative score stood at 846 in 2016. Five factors are considered when assessing policyholder satisfaction: settlement; first notice of loss; estimation process; service interaction; and repair process.

 

“Insurers are the nation’s economic first responders and, as such, are continually working to improve how they help Americans recover their lives and businesses in the wake of tragedy and catastrophe,” said Sean Kevelighan [3], president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.). “This year’s J.D. Power and Associates survey results are a clear reflection that the industry’s hard work and dedication are delivering the intended results.”

 

These all-time high claims satisfaction scores are even more remarkable given that incurred losses and loss-adjustment expenses for U.S. property/casualty (P/C) insurers grew by 7.6 percent [4] year-over-year when comparing the first nine months of 2016 to the first nine months of 2015, according to an analysis developed by Dr. Steven Weisbart, the I.I.I.’s chief economist.

 

Incurred losses reflect the dollar amount of a home insurer’s claim payout whereas a loss adjustment expense is the sum an insurer pays for investigating and settling claims, including the cost of defending a lawsuit in court.

 

Moreover, Dr. Weisbart noted, catastrophe-related claims through the first nine months of 2016 were already at their highest level since 2012—the year of Superstorm Sandy—and the fourth quarter of 2016 pushed those numbers even higher after insured claim payouts from October 2016’s Hurricane Matthew.

 

The federal government agreed that 2016 was a volatile, and costly one, estimating 15 separate weather and climate events last year caused more than $1 billion in economic losses, not all of them insured, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [5] (NOAA).

 

“Property and casualty insurers have redoubled their efforts to improve the settlement process and fine-tune their customer interactions, efforts that have been clearly recognized and appreciated by homeowners who experienced significant losses this past year,” J.D. Power said.

 

The study also noted opportunities for improvement, most notably in water-related and other complex claims that take a long time to settle and that cause significant lifestyle disruption. J.D. Power noted, “Insurers that manage to get the settlement process and customer interaction equation right in these types of disruptive and often catastrophic scenarios are those that raise the bar for the industry.”

 

The study is based on more than 6,600 responses from homeowner’s insurance customers, and was fielded between January and November 2016.

 

The I.I.I. has a full library of educational videos on its You Tube Channel [6]. Information about I.I.I. mobile apps can be found here [7].

 

THE I.I.I. IS A NONPROFIT, COMMUNICATIONS ORGANIZATION SUPPORTED BY THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY.

 

Insurance Information Institute, 110 William Street, New York, NY 10038; (212) 346-5500; www.iii.org [1]

REMAX Preferred Properties Cookout and Fundraiser

eatdrinkandthinkpink-okstatewide
Make sure to check out and support the 2nd Annual REMAX Preferred Properties THINK PINK Cookout and Fundraiser on Facebook!! #NationalBreastCancerAwarenessMonth #EatDrinkandThinkPink
 
Their website will have the most up-to-date list of live auction items, silent auction items, and raffle items. THINK PINK will have 8 live auction items, over 30 silent auction items, 4 raffle drawings, wine pull, and a balloon raffle with $100.00 hidden in one of the balloons. http://www.realestateoklahoma.com/remaxok/index.asp?p=text&id=4208

Emergency Preparedness Kit

teddy-bear-emergency-prepardness-kit-emergencypreparedness-okstatewide405

What You Need in an Emergency Kit

You never know when a natural disaster is going to hit the OKC Metro — or even just a big storm that knocks out the power for a few days.

That’s why having an emergency kit for you and your family is so important. It’s not hard to put one together, yet there are still many households that would be completely unprepared if they had to evacuate their home for a few days. Or, for that matter, remain in their home without access to running water or electricity.


Below is a list of basic items for your emergency kit, as recommended by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Of course, you can add or remove items as needed to meet the specific needs of you and your family.

  • One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days.
  • A three-day supply of nonperishable food for people and pets. (Note: Red Cross recommends keeping a two-week supply of food and water on hand at home.)
  • A battery-powered or hand-crank radio, flashlights and extra batteries.
  • A first-aid kit.
  • Prescription medications and glasses.
  • Dust masks to filter contaminated air, along with plastic sheeting and duct tape to create a makeshift shelter if necessary.
  • A whistle to signal for help.
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
  • A tool to turn off utilities.
  • A can opener.
  • Local maps.

Additional items that are likely to be useful:

  • Important documents, such as copies of insurance policies, identification and birth certificates, bank account records, etc. Be sure to keep these in a watertight container.
  • Extra cash or traveler’s checks.
  • Warm blankets or sleeping bags for each person in your family.
  • Matches.
  • Paper plates, plastic cups and utensils and paper towels.
  • Paper and pencils.
  • Books and activities to keep kids busy.
  • Emergency reference material, such as a first-aid book.
  • A complete change of clothing for everyone in the family, including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. If you live in a cold climate, you might pack additional clothing and bedding.

Keep in mind, when you need your emergency kit, you really need it. It’s a small investment of time and effort that can have a huge benefit in case of a disaster. And you don’t have to spend your whole day putting it together — spread out the work over a few days and you’ll be prepared in no time. #EmergencyPrepardness

Here are some links that Statewide Insurance Agency found useful:

Federal Emergency Management Agency
https://www.ready.gov/kit
https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/

American National Red Cross
http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/be-red-cross-ready/get-a-kit
https://www.redcrossstore.org/category/id/1
http://www.redcross.org/participantmaterials

#MostImportantCoverage

Protect your personal assets from others by purchasing Liability Insurance!  #mostimportantcoverage

#EatDrinkandThinkPink

eatdrinkandthinkpink

Thank you for allowing Statewide Insurance Agency to take part of your 2nd Annual RE/MAX Preferred Properties THINK PINK Cookout and Fundraiser! #EatDrinkandThinkPink