Archive for Stillwater Home Insurance

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:

Meet our home insurance professionals….now and at renewal

I am very thankful for this team of professionals that serve our customers everyday with quality homeowners insurance and car insurance at prices that are usually lower than our competition.  Moreover, we monitor every renewal for accuracy and competitiveness.  Our goal is to place your home and car insurance with one of our quality companies that you can build a long term relationship with.  However, we all know that, occasionally, that doesn’t happen….our renewal process allows us to see these issues and start working on them well before the policy renews.

Our Specialty: Home and car insurance in Oklahoma….we don’t try to be experts in all lines of insurance.

Our Experience:  As of this writing, every staff person has an Oklahoma Agents License to service and sale and our staff of 7 has 108 years of combined personal insurance experience.

Our Motivation:  We desire slow, steady growth through long term client relationships.

Our Commitment:  To place your best interest above our own.

Statewide Insurance Agency

“Okstatewide.com – when you tired of fighting homeowners insurance in Oklahoma”

 

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

 


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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:

 

Your home is the center of your daily life, and likely your most valuable asset. When your home is damaged or destroyed, you need your claim settled by an insurance company that understands this simple fact.  Statewide Insurance Agency can help you find the homeowner’s insurance quotes that will best meet your needs and provide the most valuable combination of tailored coverage, quality service and fair pricing.

Insurance Quotes for All Kinds of Homes

Depending on where you live – a house, apartment, or condominium – the right home insurance policy can provide you peace of mind as well as the money you need to repair or replace your home and/or belongings. Contact us for more information today!

Oklahoma– What you need to know about homeowners insurance

Whether you own or rent, insuring the place you call home can help protect you financially if you suffer a loss due to fire, theft, vandalism, or other covered events. It will also cover you in the event someone is injured while on your property and wins a legal judgment against you.

Homeowners policies differ by which losses are covered, which coverages you choose, and what type of residence you own. You choose which policy is best for you, whether it’s a comprehensive policy that cover losses such as fire, hail, smoke, falling objects, vandalism and theft of personal property, or whether it’s a policy that covers only specified losses.

Statewide Insurance Agency is here to help you find the right insurance for your home

Whether you’re a home or condo owner, a renter, or a landlord,  Statewide Insurance Agency will work with you to find a home insurance quote that fits your needs. We specialize in making it easy to choose the home insurance coverage that gives you the best value for the best price.

Your home insurance policy is most often made up of the specific options you choose, so how much you’ll pay for your policy depends on:

  • What you select. Oftentimes homeowners insurance options are priced individually, so how much you’ll pay for your policy depends on what coverages you buy.
  • How much you want to cover. Higher deductibles usually lower your premium price by shifting part of the loss payment to you. For example, if you had a $500 deductible, you would be responsible for paying the first $500 of the covered loss.
  • Where you set your limits. You may choose to set higher limits than the recommended amount if appropriate to your situation and needs.
    • Worried you aren’t completely covered? Consider an umbrella insurance policy that extends your coverage.

The Right Coverage. The Right Price. The Right Value

The amount you pay for your homeowners insurance depends on many factors. Think of your personal housing situation, and the assets you want to protect.

Protection for Your Home

Property or Dwelling Coverage typically pays to repair or rebuild your home if it’s damaged or destroyed by an insured event like a kitchen fire or windstorm.

Protection for You and Other People

Personal Liability Coverage applies if someone is injured or their property is damaged and you are to blame. The coverage generally applies anywhere in the world.

  • When choosing your liability coverage limits, consider things like how much money you make and the assets you own. Your personal liability coverage should be high enough to protect your assets if you are sued.

Medical Coverage

This covers medical expenses for guests if they are injured on your property, and in certain cases covers people who are injured off of your property. It does not cover health care costs for you or other members of your household.

Additional Living Expenses

If you can’t live in your home because of a covered loss, your home insurance policy will pay additional living expenses—commonly for up to 24 months—while damage is assessed and your home is repaired or rebuilt.

Protection for Your Belongings

Your home is filled with furniture, clothes, electronics and other items that mean a lot to you. Personal Property Insurance helps replace these items if they are lost, stolen or destroyed as a result of a covered loss.

Scheduled Personal Property Coverage

If you have special possessions such as jewelry, art, antiques or collectibles you may want to talk to your agent about this additional coverage. It provides broader coverage for specific items.

If You Rent Out Your Home

Landlords may have the option to buy optional liability coverage for the risks posed by tenant-occupied dwellings. Visit our Landlord Protection Insurance page for more information.

Edmond, Guthrie, Oklahoma City, Yukon, Midwest City, Choctaw, Moore and Norman – Protect the Things that Matter to You

Make an inventory of your home and personal belongings. If possible, make a list as well as take photos or video – using two inventory methods can help expedite the claim resolution process. Keep this list somewhere other than your home. Keep in mind that your policy doesn’t cover damages caused by poor or deferred maintenance on your part.

Every home is unique – talk to us today to find out how to get the best price and value on homeowners insurance 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?

 

 

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.

Top 5 Homeowner Insurance Companies in Oklahoma

Oklahoma home insurance rates increased roughly 30% during a 5 year period ending in 2017 despite the fact that our weather was pretty good in 2014 – 2017.

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 5 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  5 of these companies offer outstanding coverage, excellent claims service,  they usually have a lower cost than competitors and they offer good rates on car and home insurance bundles.  

     1.  Progressive Insurance

     2.  Safeco Insurance ( a Liberty Mutual Company)

     3.  Travelers Insurance

     4.  State Farm Insurance

     5. Allstate Insurance   

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

Statewide Insurance Agency

okstatewide.com