Summer is officially over. A quick reminder to keep your home gutters clear from debris during the Fall!
Summer is officially over. A quick reminder to keep your home gutters clear from debris during the Fall!
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.
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.
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 .
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 . In the event of a disaster, renters insurance  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.
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 .
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  (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 . 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 , hot tub or other special feature, you will likely need more liability insurance. You may also want to consider purchasing an umbrella liability policy  to provide added protection in the event someone gets injured on your property and decides to sue you.
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  (C.L.U.E.) report, which is available from LexisNexis, or an A-PLUSTM  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:
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 
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The coverage is quite straightforward: if a tree hits a home or other insured structure, such as a detached garage, standard homeowners insurance policies provide coverage for the damage the tree does to the structure and the contents in it. This includes trees felled by wind, lightning or hail.
After a hurricane or windstorm, trees, shrubs and branches can become projectiles capable of traveling significant distances and can cause considerable damage to property. In most cases, an insurance company is not going to spend time trying to figure out where a tree or other item originally came from.
In some situations where the felled tree was located on a neighbor’s property, the policyholder’s insurance company may try to collect from the neighbor’s insurance company in a process called subrogation. This sometimes occurs if the tree was in poor health or not properly maintained. If the insurer is successful, you may be reimbursed for the deductible.
Standard home insurance policies also provide coverage for damage to trees and shrubs due to fire, lightning, explosion, theft, aircraft, vehicles not owned by the resident, vandalism and malicious mischief. Coverage for these disasters is generally limited to up to 5 percent of the amount of insurance on the structure of the house. Generally, most insurers will limit the coverage to about $500 for any one tree, shrub or plant. Trees and plants grown for business purposes require a separate business insurance policy.
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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.
“Okstatewide.com – when you tired of fighting homeowners insurance in Oklahoma”
Travelers, Safeco and Progressive Insurance are 3 of our favorite homeowners insurance and automobile insurance providers to quote and sell in Oklahoma because…..
1. they offer excellent coverages
2. their claim service is what you expect it to be and
3. they offer rate stability….they don’t price gouge you on your renewal.
Most Independent Insurance Agents represent 10 or more companies homeowner insurance companies in Oklahoma and they are usually willing to quote any of them. That is where Statewide Insurance Agency is different….we only quote products of companies with proven track records of price, coverage and service stability.
Furthermore, you do not have to ask us to review your home insurance policy when it renews…..we do it automatically as one of the agencies most important processes.
Please consider Statewide Insurance Agency the next time you need a quote on your home or car insurance in Oklahoma.
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.
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.
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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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
These benefits, along with countless others, are great reasons to keep the trees on your Oklahoma property in good shape. Especially before the freezing temperatures start sweeping across Oklahoma. Unhealthy trees can actually pose great danger to your home and property, as well as to your family and other people, not to mention…a possibility of having to use your Oklahoma home insurance.
When a tree does fall, you may or may not have coverage through your Oklahoma homeowners policy for any damage it may cause. If you’d like to discuss your coverage, please give us a call today. It may be a good time to think about adding extra liability coverage to your insurance portfolio with an umbrella policy. We are here to help! (405) 285-2929
We offer homeowners the freedom to choose from multiple levels of insurance protection:
Safeco Optimum: Our highest level of coverage with increased protection for extensive assets and treasured belongings
Safeco New Quality-Plus:
A high quality policy with the perfect balance between coverage and value
A homeowners coverage lets you sell a solid policy at the most affordable price
We’ve enhanced our homeowners quote & Issue system on the Safeco Now® platform to allow you to customize Safeco’s homeowners policy based on the way you sell. You can adjust your preferences in one of two ways:
For even more convenience and savings, customers can combine a Safeco auto and homeowners policy into a Safeco Package.
Safeco offers additional product features that further enhance the protection of your customers and their belongings.
Identity recovery coverage:
Personal offense coverage:
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.
Additional items that are likely to be useful:
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