Archive for homeowners insurance edmond

Looking For Homeowners Insurance in Oklahoma?

Statewide Insurance Agency offers Oklahoman’s that are looking for home insurance options so that the proper balance between cost and coverage is achieved.

The discussion that follows explains the difference between Replacement policies and Market Value/Actual Cash Value policies. We understand that no one size fits all Oklahoma consumers when you are getting quotes for your homeowners insurance.

It is quite common for insurance companies to offer quotes on homes in Oklahoma City for more than the market value. This often poses the question from Oklahoma homeowners, “Why is my house being insured for more than it is worth?” Before determining how much to insure a house for, it must be decided how the insurance company will value the house if there is a claim. One method offered is to value the property at Replacement Cost, which as the name implies, is intended to pay to replace the property, without regard to the original or current purchase price and without regard to depreciation.

In most situations, the Replacement Cost option is going to result in a higher claim payment then if the property was insured at its current value (sometimes called Actual Cash Value coverage – ACV). An insurance company is only obligated to pay up to the limit of insurance; therefore, the house may need to be insured for more than it is worth. In order to obtain Replacement Cost Coverage, the house will need to be insured for the amount it would cost to replace it.

Most property depreciates in value over time. A television set would not be sold today for the same amount it was purchased for ten years ago; it would be sold for less, most likely much less than the original purchase price. A policy containing a replacement cost provision would pay today’s cost of a new television set of like kind and quality which would be more than if the policy only paid for the value of the ten-year old television set (see ACV coverage above).

On a larger scale, the cost to rebuild or replace an entire home could be significantly more than the home was purchased for or could be currently sold for. Even for a home built this year, the cost to rebuild it very easily could differ from the original cost. There are several factors to consider when making an attempt to measure the cost of replacing a home, such as:

No economies of scale
Cost of preparing the home to be rebuilt
Access to the home site may be limited or obstructed
Increase in labor costs due to high demand, as in the event of a catastrophic event
Increase in material costs, possibly due to shortages or discontinued
There are several methods used to estimate the replacement cost of a home. Some of the factors insurance companies use are:

Building materials
Type of foundation
Attached or detached garages
Square footage
Location of the home
Fireplace
Upgrades
Number of rooms and baths

Replacement Cost Coverage is an option many homeowners should consider when looking for homeowners insurance. Obtaining this coverage will require the house be insured at the estimated Replacement Cost value, which typically is a higher amount than the market value. With the limit of insurance being higher, the premium will also be higher. Certainly no one wants to pay more for insurance, but the difference in a claim payment could be several thousands of dollars.

https://okstatewide.com

“Mindful” Insurance Decisions

In in Psychology Today, a 2009 article described mindfulness as the practice of staying in the present moment. Instead of being distracted by thinking about the future, dwelling on the past or allowing lots of white noise in your head over everything but “the now,” being mindful allows you to fully invest in the current moment and pay attention only to what’s in front of you.

Mindfulness and Insurance – There are a million things you could insure and a million things that could go wrong. But taking a step back and putting things into perspective about what truly matters to you can take the stress out of the process of deciding what to insure and what not to insure. When Oklahoman’s purchase home insurance, it’s essential you allow yourself time to be quiet and mindful. It is normal to feel anxious when thinking about all the perils facing your home and vehicle, when working on final expense and legacy planning, when imagining your future potential disabilities and anticipating all the liabilities and other negative aspects of life that make insurance necessary. To be properly insured and prepared, however, you must allow yourself to be fully invested in the process of home and auto insurance planning rather than distracted and intimidated by what-ifs.

Mindful Insurance Planning – Instead of being bullied by the unknown, be sure to stay focused on the facts while you are planning your insurance portfolio like the risks that anyone in your position may actually face and the value of the property you want to protect. It’s really that simple and knowing this will allow you to fashion a much more secure financial future.

Being frightened of a possible accident that hasn’t yet happened, or being overwhelmed by the amount of data you must consider as you buy homeowners insurance hurts rather than helps you purchase insurance. Deliberating the amounts you need to protect your family won’t make it any easier to select the types of policies that offer you the kind of protections you’re looking for. Instead, it makes you feel doubtful and powerless during what should be a very empowering process.

When you give yourself the mental space to be mindful, you can approach the task of buying insurance as practically and detached as possible. This will help you to deliberate and reason the practical risks you face each day and assign a dollar value to them. From there you can make relevant adjustments as you consider your budget versus potential premiums.

Your insurance agent can help in keeping your emotions in check and your approach to insurance planning practical. If you are ready to start looking for insurance policies that will protect you and your family, give us a call.

We are Statewide Insurance Agency and we specialize in Oklahoma homeowners insurance and Oklahoma auto insurance. https://okstatewide.com

Off-Premises Coverage Includes Theft and Damage from Perils Listed In Your Oklahoma Homeowners Insurance or Renters Policy

While self-storage units may be a useful way to de-clutter your home, having the right insurance coverage is the best way to financially protect your belongings—no matter where they are.

If you are planning to rent a storage unit for your belongings, take the following steps:

• Ask your insurance professional about off-premises coverage. Some standard Oklahoma homeowners insurance and renters insurance policies include coverage for personal possessions kept off-premises including a storage facility. Off-premises coverage includes theft and damage from fires, tornadoes and other perils listed in the policy. However, it does not cover for damage caused by flooding, earthquakes, mold and mildew, vermin or poor maintenance. And check the coverage limits, as these vary by company.

• Find out what type of financial protection is provided by the storage facility. Most facilities provide reimbursement based on the square footage of the unit. Check both the coverage limits and whether it is provided on an actual cash value or replacement cost basis. Most storage facilities will also offer a variety of supplemental insurance packages; ask your insurance professional if it would make sense to buy this additional coverage.

• Consider special insurance or storage for expensive items. If you intend to store valuable property, such as art, antiques, jewelry or furs, there may be dollar restrictions under your standard Oklahoma homeowners or renters insurance policy for theft. Ask your insurance professional about adding a floater or endorsement [1] to your policy in order to fully cover these items. There are also specialized storage facilities available for these types of items, as they often need to be kept at specific temperature and humidity levels. Small items such as jewelry will cost less to insure if they are kept in a bank safe-deposit box. Keep in mind contents in a safe-deposit box are not insured by the bank.

• Create an inventory of items to be kept off-premises in storage. Add the items you’re moving to the storage unit to your home inventory so that you can keep track of your belongings and make sure you have the right amount of insurance to protect them. To make creating your inventory as easy as possible, the I.I.I. has a free home inventory tool, Know Your Stuff® [2], which includes secure online storage so you can access your inventory anywhere, anytime.

The I.I.I. offers the following tips for choosing a safe storage company:

• Look for a secure facility. Fencing that secures the entire property and access control are the minimum security measures a storage business should offer. But, ideally, the storage building should have onsite security features such as 24-hour video surveillance cameras and coded security pads. Also, find out about the facility’s procedures in cases such as a fire or flood.

• Look for a unit with climate control. Very high or low temperatures, as well as dampness can quickly cause damage to appliances and furniture. And make sure that rising ground water from snow or rain is unable to penetrate the storage.

• Consider a storage company that offers insurance. If your renters or homeowners insurance does not provide off-premises coverage, you may want to opt for one of the company’s coverage options. Keep in mind that any facility should also have its own insurance to cover damages to the property or injuries that occur on the premises.

• Check that the facility is clean and well-maintained. If a storage facility is not routinely and thoroughly cleaned, there is a good possibility no one is monitoring for bugs and rodent infestations. Verify that the facility has a permanent, reliable pest extermination contract in place before you trust them with your belongings.

http://www.iii.org

Oklahoma Home Insurance Claims Decrease in 2014

Oklahoma hail insurance claims down 76 percent in 2014, State Farm reports Oklahoma fell from No. 2 to No. 14 in number of hail claims from 2013 to 2014. by Don Mecoy, NewOK.com Modified: April 9, 2015 at 9:34 pm • Published: April 10, 2015 Oklahoma experienced a big decline in the number of hail-related insurance claims in 2014, according to figures released Thursday by the state’s largest provider of home and auto insurance. State Farm home and auto insurance policyholders in Oklahoma filed less than one-fourth the number of hail-related claims last year than they did in 2013, when Oklahoma ranked No. 2 overall in hail claims. Combined home and auto hail claims in Oklahoma fell last year to 8,089, which ranked 14th among states, State Farm reported. In 2013, Oklahoma State Farm customers filed 33,790 hail claims. “This past year was much better in the way of hail losses, obviously,” State Farm spokesman Jim Camoriano said. State Farm is Oklahoma’s largest provider of homeowners’ and auto insurance, with a market share of nearly 28 percent and 21 percent, respectively, according to the state Insurance Department’s 2014 annual report. Texas filed the most hail claims last year, with 51,193, followed by Illinois (43,821 claims); Colorado (42,365); Missouri (23,019); and Nebraska (21,326). Hail damage to homes and cars insured by State Farm totaled $2.4 billion in 2014. While hail storms most frequently strike the Great Plains and Midwest, every state is susceptible, State Farm said. According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Severe Storm database, the states that typically have the highest hail risk include Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming. Peak months for high hail activity are historically March, April, May and June, the NOAA said.

New Office of Statewide Insurance Agency

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Home Inventory

Why a Home Inventory Is Important For Every Oklahoma Homeowner Let’s try a little exercise: Can you list everything you own from memory? Didn’t think so. The fact is most homeowners own more things than they realize. It’s easy to remember the cars, the computer, the TV. But what about that holiday china in the garage? Or every pair of shoes? All of it is regarded as personal property for Oklahoma home insurance purposes. And if your Oklahoma City home is destroyed by fire or some other disaster, having a list of your possessions makes filing a claim easier — and helps you put your life back together. Why should I complete a home inventory? What’s the best way? Comparing the value of your belongings to the “contents” limit listed in your policy helps you make sure you have enough insurance to replace them if they are lost, stolen or destroyed as a result of a covered loss. The easiest way to take an inventory is to use a video camera, recording and describing items as you walk through your house. Or, you can use a regular camera and create a home inventory checklist. Here are a few tips for completing and storing your inventory: Add brand names and descriptions where you can, especially on large-ticket items. Serial numbers are helpful to note. Keep any receipts you have with the list to make the claims process easier. Store your video or photo inventory offsite so you won’t lose it if your house is damaged. Update your personal property records when you purchase new furnishings and valuables. Though the task may seem daunting, it’s important to try. An incomplete inventory is better than nothing at all. How much personal property coverage do you need on your home insurance? We can assist you in analyzing your insurance needs and help you decide how to most effectively protect your personal property. You should consider getting a quote for full-value coverage, which will pay for the replacement value of your personal belongings. A standard policy typically covers personal property only up to its actual cash value, determined by taking the replacement cost and deducting depreciation, which can be substantial. (For example, a 5-year-old TV is usually worth much less than what it would cost to purchase a new one.) Finally, remember your homeowners insurance policy covers valuable items such as jewelry, furs, art and antiques, only up to set dollar amounts. If the cost of replacing them exceeds these limits, you may want to purchase scheduled personal property coverage. The Insurance Information Institute has a FREE online tool that can help you create your inventory. Just visit www.knowyourstuff.org for more details. We hope you’ll never need the home inventory, but preparing for the worst can prevent a lot of hassle later! Statewide Insurance Agency in Edmond, Oklahoma specializes in home insurance and auto insurance. Because we represent multiple companies we are better at matching customers to companies.

Ice Dams – Home Insurance Companies

Oklahoma homeowners have seen very warm weather and very cold weather so far this year.  However, homeowners in the Northeast are experiencing one of the most severe winters in recent history.   Here is an article about ice dams that have been a problem for Oklahoma homeowners in the past and certainly for homeowners in the Northeast now.  Click here to read it.

 

Does Home Insurance Cover My Trees

Homeowners often ask us if their home insurance policy covers trees.  Here is a good article from the Insurance Information Institute that addresses how most Oklahoma home insurance policies cover tree damage.

Trees and Insurance – Insurance Information Institute (www.iii.org)

If a tree falls and hits your house, are you covered? The short answer is, yes. 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. It does not matter whether or not you own the tree; if it lands on your home, you can file a claim with your insurance company.

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.

If a tree hits an insured structure, such as your house or garage, there is also coverage for the cost of removing the tree, generally up to about $500 to $1,000, depending on the insurer and the type of policy purchased. If the fallen tree did not hit an insured structure, there is generally no coverage for debris removal. However, some insurance companies may pay for the cost of removing the felled tree if it is blocking a driveway or a ramp designed to assist the handicapped.

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.

 

 

Some Oklahoma homeowners don’t have a personal home insurance agent and some homeowners aren’t always comfortable asking their current agent about some of the tougher, more sensitive issues.

In an attempt to “give back” a small amount of the huge support that Oklahoman’s have shown me the last 30 years, I am starting “Ask An Oklahoma Home Insurance Agent”.  This will be a free service offered to all Oklahoma homeowners and I will not try to sell you a new home insurance policy.   I will answer your home insurance questions, to the best of my ability, on issues like…

1.  Home insurance coverages

2.  Claims processes

3.  Rating Factors

4.  Availability of Coverage

5.  Prior home insurance claims issues

6.  Discounts/ways to save money on home insurance

7.  Property inspections

8.  Rebuilding issues and

9.  Underwriting Guidelines

There are 2 ways to ask your question:  Email me at von@okstatewide.com or call me at 405-285-2929.  If you call, tell whoever answers that you have a home insurance question for Von.