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The Top 4 Home Insurance Companies in Oklahoma

Please scroll to the bottom of this page for my 10/25/18 update.

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.

Update: 10-25-18

The Oklahoma homeowners insurance market continues to change in Oklahoma so I’m going to revise my ranking of companies….

  1. Progressive Insurance:  They still offer an excellent value and are a good long term choice for many consumers.
  2. Travelers Insurance:  Conservative underwriting practices has resulted in fewer rate increases relative to their competition….stable and committed to Oklahoma.
  3. Allstate Insurance:  They have aggressive growth strategies in Oklahoma and so their pricing is good in some areas for some consumers…I’m not sure about their rate stability.
  4. State Farm Insurance:  They offer excellent service and good long term value for some consumers.  Their pricing varies quite a bit but they are worthy of consideration.
  5. Safeco Insurance ( a Liberty Mutual Company):  They offer excellent claim service and they are very friendly to do business with.  Some of their pricing on new policies is a challenge;  however, Safeco’s car insurance is sometimes tough to beat.  As a result, auto and home bundles can still be very competitive with Safeco Insurance.

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

 


Saving Money on Auto Insurance – Auto insurance is a necessity, but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. This video includes 5 simple steps to saving money on Auto Insurance. We’ve also included more tips for cutting insurance costs below.

Shop Around – The easiest way to save on high risk auto insurance is shopping around. Obtain as many auto insurance coverage quotes as possible. Since there are a myriad of alternatives accessible in the insurance marketplace today, you have the luxury of comparing different rates and opting for the most affordable option.

Take Control Of Your Rates – Being in control of your rates can also help lower the cost of car insurance. Tickets as well as accidents which are no longer paid for should be taken off the coverage at the right time. Each time changes are made to your status, obtain a few quotes and compare the different rates. Perhaps, you will be able to find a plan that allows you to save.

Buy A Cheap Car – The more expensive a car is, the more you will pay in insurance premiums.

Cover Less Miles In A Year – Try to keep your mileage to the minimum. Drivers who cover less than 10,000 miles in a year are more likely to qualify for reduced insurance rates. The more time you spend on the road, the more likely you are to be involved in an accident.

Park Your Car In A Safe Area – Burglary and accidental damages are just some of the factors that can increase your insurance premiums. Cars parked inside a garage or on a driveway are less likely to be broken into or damaged which results in a 4% to 6% decline in insurance costs.

Exercise Caution While Driving – Careless driving will result in additional points in your license. As a result, you will be expected to pay more in insurance premiums. Whereas points attributed to speeding tends to remain on a driver’s license for at least 4 years, insurance companies will confirm if there have been convictions in the past 5 years prior to deleting them from your record.

Install Security Systems In Your Car – Installing security systems, for example, car alarms and anti-lock brakes in your car can also help in lowering your risks.

Avoid Making Changes to Your Car – Do not make changes to your car before informing your insurance provider. Modifications refer to anything that will alter the original specifications, for example, fitting allow rims.

Call Statewide Insurance Agency today for more information on saving money on your Oklahoma car insurance quotes, or visit us online to receive a no-obligation quote.

 

Water Damage Prevention Tips

Leaking Faucet

Even a small leak can become a major problem, 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 this summer.

  • Check appliance hoses.
  • 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. 
  • Have the correct insurance coverage.
    • We currently represent and offer free Home, Auto & Renters insurance quotes from over 10 different companies!
    • By doing so, we are able to find the company that is best for you.

Oklahoma Home Buyers Insurance Checklist

14 things every house-shopper should do before signing on the dotted line…

Shopping for your dream house? There are many considerations when looking at real estate, such as property taxes, school district, available recreational opportunities in the neighborhood, to name a few.

But an important and often overlooked consideration is the insurance implications of your purchase.

You will be paying insurance on your home for as long as you own it, which is why you need to do your homework before you decide to make an offer. Why? Thinking through all the costs associated with buying a home will make the process run more smoothly, and it may also save you money.

 

So here are some important tips to help make all phases of your home search easier and more worry-free.

Before House Hunting:

1. Check Your Credit Rating

A good credit history helps you in many ways. Good credit makes it easier to get a mortgage at a competitive rate, and it may also qualify you for a good credit discount on your insurance.  Get a copy of one or all of your credit reports. Make sure they are accurate and report any mistakes immediately. If your credit is not as good as it could be, take steps now to improve it [1]. 

2. Protect Yourself with a Renters Insurance Policy

If you are currently renting a house or apartment, protect yourself financially with a renters insurance policy [2].  In the event of a disaster, renters insurance [3] can help protect the down payment you’re building to buy your new home, as well as provide useful a insurance history to your prospective homeowners insurer when you go to buy your first home.

 

While House Hunting

As you search for your new home, remember that the physical characteristics of the house—its size, location, construction and overall condition—can affect the cost, choice and availability of home insurance. Following are some factors to consider when shopping for a home:

3. Quality and Location of the Fire Department

Houses that are located near highly-rated, permanently staffed fire departments usually cost less to insure. This also holds true for homes that have a hydrant nearby.

4. Proximity to the Coastline

Houses located on or near the coast will generally cost more to insure than those further inland. There will also likely be a separate hurricane or windstorm deductible [4].

In some coastal communities, private homeowners insurance coverage may not be readily available. Instead, you may need to purchase insurance through a state-run insurance program, which can provide less coverage, and in some cases be more costly, than private insurance.

5. Age of the Home

A stately, older home can be quite beautiful—but they can also cost more to insure. Ornate features like plaster walls, ceiling molding and wooden floors may be costly to replace and can raise the cost of insurance. And, plumbing and electrical systems can become unsafe with age and lack of maintenance. If you are considering buying an older home find out how much it will cost to update these features and factor it into the cost of ownership.

6. Condition of the Roof

Always check the condition of the roof. A new roof matters to insurers and keeps you and your family safer. Depending on the type of roof and whether or not you use fire and/or hail resistant materials, you may even qualify for a discount. 

7. Is the Home Well-Built and Up to Code?

Find out whether the house has been updated to comply with current building codes. Homes built by careful craftsmen and those built to meet modern engineering-based building codes are likely to better withstand natural disasters.

8. Risk of Flooding

Damage from flooding is NOT covered by standard home insurance policies. If you are buying a home in an area at risk from flooding, you will need to purchase separate insurance. Insurance for flooding is available from the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program [5] (NFIP), and from a few specialty insurers.

9. History of Earthquakes

While earthquakes are most frequently associated with California, they occur in the majority of states and, like flooding, are not covered under standard home insurance policies. Earthquake insurance is available from private insurers as an endorsement to a homeowners policy, and in California from the California Earthquake Authority [6].  Check rates with your insurance professional—the cost of earthquake insurance differs widely by location, insurer and the type of structure being covered.

10. Swimming Pool or Other Special Feature

If the house has a swimming pool [7], hot tub or other special feature, you will likely need more liability insurance. You may also want to consider purchasing an umbrella liability policy [8] to provide added protection in the event someone gets injured on your property and decides to sue you.

 

Before You Place a Bid on the Home

11. Check the Loss History Report

Ask the current homeowner to obtain a copy of the loss history report on the home. Homeowners can obtain either a Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange [9] (C.L.U.E.) report, which is available from LexisNexis, or an A-PLUSTM [10] property report from ISO®. These reports provide a record of the type of loss on the home, the date of the loss and the amount and status of each claim—going back five years.  If the report indicates there has been damage to the house, have it checked by a professional.

A home claim history can provide extremely valuable information and should prompt questions from the buyer.  For instance, if there was a claim for water damage on the home, it is important to find out the source of the damage (such as a burst pipe) and whether it has been properly repaired. On the other hand, if there was a claim for wind or hail, which resulted in a new roof, this makes the home stronger and is very attractive from an insurance perspective.   

12. Get the House Inspected

You’ll need to have the house properly inspected in order to get your mortgage approved. Accompany the inspector and make sure he/she does a thorough inspection of the home. The inspector should:

  • Check the general condition of the home
  • Look for water damage, termites and other types of infestation
  • Review the electrical system, plumbing, septic tank and water heater
  • Show you where potential problems might develop
  • Double-check that past problems have been repaired
  • Suggest important upgrades or replacements

If the inspector raises questions, your insurance company will as well. And, be sure to find out if there is an underground oil storage tank, as many insurers will not provide policies for homes that have one.

13. Estimate How Much It Will Cost to Maintain the House

Routine maintenance is your responsibility as a homeowner. Losses caused by failing to properly care for your home are not covered by standard homeowners insurance policies. So make sure you factor these costs into the overall price of owning the home.

14. Call Your Insurance Professional

Don’t wait until the last minute to think about insurance. Ask your insurance professional if the house will qualify for insurance, and get an estimate of the premium. The sooner you act, the smoother the process will be. Don’t be shy about asking for estimates on more than one house. Insurance is an important consideration when purchasing a home. If you are uncomfortable with the cost of insuring a particular house, keep looking for one that better fits your financial situation.

For more about insuring your new home: Homeowners Insurance Coverage [11]

ALL SOURCES OF INFORMATION:

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!

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]