Archive for homeowner insurance claims

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

New Office of Statewide Insurance Agency

Sign2

Does My Homeowners Liability Extend To My Farm?

Potential coverage for this situation varies from policy to policy so read your policy carefully. Many home insurance agents in Oklahoma give the wrong answer on this question.

Most quality home insurance policies in Oklahoma will extend the Liability Coverage from your Oklahoma home insurance to vacant property that is not being farmed. What is vacant? Is usually means absolutely no structure, no improvements. Some companies allow a fence. Therefore, if there is any farming or if there are any structures, you usually need a separate policy for this property.

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.

 

 

Prior Homeowner Insurance Claims

More and more Oklahomans are having difficulty finding affordable home insurance coverage when they have had one or more losses in the last several years.  We have contracts with several companies that are glad to provide your coverage even if you have had several prior home insurance losses.  Home insurance quotes don’t have to be unreasonable to get the coverage you need!

Von Nix, CPCU