Archive for Organizations

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

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?

checking-homeowners-insurance-policy-okstatewide

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.

Oklahoma College Checklist

A Few Tips for the Oklahoma College-Bound  

A Few Tips for the Oklahoma College-Bound

Colleges in Oklahoma are expensive enough without the added cost of unexpected accidents or theft, not covered by your insurance policy. If you have a student heading away to school in Oklahoma, below are a few tips to help you get the most out of your coverage!

HOMEOWNERS (Oklahoma)

  • Personal Property: Most homeowners policies will cover personal property for up to 10% of your total policy while your child is residing at school (a $100,000 policy equals $10,000 in coverage). Not all types of damage are covered, so read your policy carefully. Some items such as jewelry or expensive electronics, require special coverage. Renters insurance is strongly recommended.
  • Liability Coverage: General damage to a dorm room or apartment is not usually covered. 
  • Documentation: Creating an inventory of the items your child is taking to school is a good idea. Use photographs and keep receipts.

Renters Quote

AUTO (Oklahoma)

  • Car Stays Home: Keep your child listed on your auto policy if they will still drive your car while at home on school breaks.
  • Car at School: Make sure to notify us if your child will be taking a car away to school. In most cases, if the car is registered to you and listed on your policy, it will be covered. 
  • Driving a Friend’s Car: Students are generally covered if they are listed on their parent’s policy and are not regularly using the vehicle. The coverage would be secondary.  The insurance for the friend’s vehicle would be the primary coverage.
  • Discounts: A full-time student meeting certain academic requirements can qualify for a good student discount. Distant student discounts may also be available. Drivers under 21 who have completed driver’s education may also get a discount.

 Auto Quote

Call before you or your child leaves for school!
Statewide Insurance Agency (405) 285-2929 


We can walk you through the steps to ensure you have the right coverage. We’re here to help !

 

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:

The Independent Insurance Agent

You are constantly bombarded with ads for big, well-known insurance companies. Chances are that you’re familiar with Progressive’s Flo and Geico’s gecko. So it makes sense that you might gravitate toward one of these companies. 

Flo from Progressive Insurance

Gecko from GEICO

However, working with an Independent Insurance Agent has many benefits that you should be aware of before deciding where to take your business.

Here are the top 5 benefits in choosing an 
Independent Insurance Agent in Oklahoma!

Network of providers

Instead of calling one insurance company and getting a quote one at a time for their products, independent agents work with a network of trusted insurance providers. They input your information and receive quotes from many insurance providers, saving you numerous phone calls.

Easy and simple

Rather than seeking out several quotes for yourself, an independent agent will assess your needs and then do the work for you. With just one phone call, you’ll have a person working in your best interests to find you the best policy for the right price.

Find better deals

Aside from just renewing your policy for another year, ask your independent agent to check to see if there are any better deals that suit your needs. Agents have saved customers lots of money by doing this.

Great customer service

With big companies, you have to navigate an automated answering system when you call. But with independent agents, you get a real person. Plus, these agencies serve a smaller area than large companies, so they can spend more time with each customer in order to address your questions and concerns.

In the neighborhood

Independent agencies are local, which means that they’re familiar with neighborhood needs. They know if your town is located in a flood plain and the likelihood of theft in your area. This makes independent agents valuable resources when it comes to coverage needs and discounts.

Statewide Insurance Agency

“We welcome you to find the value in your Edmond Locally Owned business and would love the opportunity to become your Independent Insurance Agency today. Please contact us if you have any questions with your current/future insurance needs.”

IAA

OAA

Edmond Locally Owned - Edmond, OK

OAA 2015 Member of the Year Award

Oklahoma Agents Alliance [OAA] 2015 Member of the Year

Oklahoma Agents Alliance awarded Statewide Insurance Agency
the 2015 Member of the Year!

We are so grateful to our clients and staff for making it such a memorable year.

Thank you!!

“Boii-oiii-oiiii-nnnng”

 (That’s the Sound Spring Makes)

Displaying Considering the winter we’ve just been through (and some would say it’s not quite over), nearly everyone is breathing a sigh of relief now that Spring is here! Warmer months DO bring less severe road and driving conditions. However, there are stillvehicle maintenance, insurance, and driving tips that can save time, money, and even lives.

 
For starters, don’t jump the gun at the first sign of warm weather. Water on roadways can freeze at night long after the last snowfall—especially at high altitudes and in far northern climes. If you drive on winter tires, a good piece of advice, according to reliable sources, is to wait till temperatures stay above 45-degrees (F) before shedding snow tires for good.
 
But you shouldn’t wait on ALL things. For example, check your tires and windshield wiper blades before spring rains start to fall to be sure that they’re up to their respective tasks. For tires, the penny test should tell you whether you’ve got enough tread depth to clear away water. And to ensure good visibility in a wide range of conditions, be sure to check windshield wiper blades and replace them if they’re worn, or leave streaks.
 
And as weather turns from temperate to downright hot, perform routine checks and maintenance on the stuff that keeps the “hot side hot and the cool side cool,” such as radiators and cooling systems; batteries and electrical systems; and air conditioning.  

Watch and Learn:
A “Hole” lot of useful information on potholes and insurance: 

ALL SOURCES OF INFORMATION:

  • Activities that take drivers’ attention off the road, including talking or texting on mobile devices, eating, conversing with passengers and other distractions, are a major safety threat.

  • In 2014, 3,179 people died in distraction-affected crashes, based on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) criteria.

  • The number of state legislatures passing measures that address the problem of driver distractions continues to rise. Fourteen states and the District of Columbia ban the use of hand-held cellphones while driving; 46 states and the District of Columbia have banned the practice of texting while driving.

  • A 2012 Consumer Reports survey found that 71 percent of respondents cut back on texting, talking on a handheld phone or using a smartphone while driving in the previous year. Over 50 percent of them said they were influenced to change their behavior because of state laws, up from 44 percent in a survey conducted in 2011.

 

DRIVER HAND-HELD CELLPHONE USE BY AGE, 2005-2014 (1)

(1) Percent of drivers using hand-held cellphones.

 Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION:

2016 TOP SAFETY PICK+

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety’s 2016 TOP SAFETY PICK+ award goes to… the redesigned Toyota Prius.