Archive for homeowners insurance

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

 


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:

 

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.

Spotlight on: Dog bite liability

Senior woman with dog inside of her house.

Overview

Almost 90 million dogs are owned as pets in the United States according to a 2017-2018 survey by the American Pet Products Association.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year. Among children, the rate of dog-bite–related injuries is highest for those 5 to 9 years old. Over half of dog-bite injuries occur at home with dogs that are familiar to us.

Homeowners and renters insurance policies typically cover dog bite liability legal expenses, up to the liability limits (typically $100,000 to $300,000). If the claim exceeds the limit, the dog owner is responsible for all damages above that amount.

Dog bite liability and homeowners insurance

Some insurance companies will not insure homeowners who own certain breeds of dogs categorized as dangerous, such as pit bulls. Others decide on a case-by-case basis, depending on whether an individual dog, regardless of its breed has been deemed vicious. Some insurers do not ask the breed of a dog owned when writing or renewing homeowners insurance and do not track the breed of dogs involved in dog bite incidents. However, once a dog has bitten someone, it poses an increased risk. In that instance, the insurance company may charge a higher premium, nonrenew the homeowner’s insurance policy or exclude the dog from coverage.

Some insurers are taking steps to limit their exposure to such losses. Some companies require dog owners to sign liability waivers for dog bites, while others charge more for owners of breeds such as pit bulls and Rottweilers and others are not offering insurance to dog owners at all. Some will cover a pet if the owner takes the dog to classes aimed at modifying its behavior or if the dog is restrained with a muzzle, chain or cage.

Homeowners insurance liability claims

  • Homeowners insurers paid out over $686 million in liability claims related to dog bites and other dog-related injuries in 2017, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) and State Farm®.
  • An analysis of homeowners insurance data by the I.I.I. found that the number of dog bite claims nationwide increased to 18,522 in 2017 compared to 18,123 in 2016—a 2.2 percent increase.
  • The average cost per claim for the year increased by 11.5 percent. The average cost paid out for dog bite claims nationwide was $37,051 in 2017, compared with $33,230 in 2016. The average cost per claim nationally has risen more than 90 percent from 2003 to 2017, due to increased medical costs as well as the size of settlements, judgments and jury awards given to plaintiffs, which are trending upwards.
  • California continued to have the largest number of claims in the United States, at 2,228 in 2017, an increase from 1,934 in 2016. The state with the second highest number of claims was Florida at 1,345. Florida had the highest average cost per claim at $44,700. The trend in higher costs per claim is attributable not only to dog bites but also to dogs knocking down children, cyclists, the elderly, etc., which can result in injuries that impact the potential severity of the losses.

State and local legislation

Dog owners are liable for injuries their pets cause if the owner knew the dog had a tendency to bite. In some states, statutes make the owners liable whether or not they knew the dog had a tendency to bite; in others, owners can be held responsible only if they knew or should have known their dogs had a propensity to bite. Some states and municipalities have “breed specific” statutes that identify breeds such as pit bulls as dangerous; in others individual dogs can be designated as vicious. At least two states, Pennsylvania and Michigan, have laws that prohibit insurers from canceling or denying coverage to the owners of particular dog breeds. In Ohio, for example, owners of dogs that have been classified as vicious are required to purchase at least $100,000 of liability insurance.

The American Kennel Club reports that while many municipalities have enacted bans on specific breeds, several states have laws barring municipalities and counties from targeting individual breeds.

  • Dog owners’ liability: There are three kinds of law that impose liability on owners:
    1) A dog-bite statute: where the dog owner is automatically liable for any injury or property damage the dog causes without provocation.
    2) The one-bite rule: where the dog owner is responsible for an injury caused by a dog if the owner knew the dog was likely to cause that type of injury—in this case, the victim must prove the owner knew the dog was dangerous.
    3) Negligence laws: where the dog owner is liable if the injury occurred because the dog owner was unreasonably careless (negligent) in controlling the dog.
  • Criminal penalties: On January 26, 2001, two Presa Canario dogs attacked and killed Diane Whipple in the doorway of her San Francisco, California, apartment. Marjorie Knoller, the owner of the dogs, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for keeping a mischievous dog that killed a person. She was sentenced to four years in prison for involuntary manslaughter and was ordered to pay $6,800 in restitution. Her husband, Robert Noel, was convicted on lesser charges but also received a four-year prison sentence. Knoller became the first Californian convicted of murder for a dog’s actions. This was only the third time such charges have been upheld in the United States, the first coming in Kansas in 1997.

Charts and graphs

Estimated Number And Cost Of Dog Bite Claims Nationwide, 2003-2017 (1)

Year Value of claims ($ millions) Number of claims Average cost per claim
2003 $324.2 16,919 $19,162
2004 318.9 15,630 20,406
2005 321.1 14,295 22,464
2006 322.4 14,661 21,987
2007 356.2 14,531 24,511
2008 387.0 15,823 24,461
2009 412.0 16,586 24,840
2010 412.6 15,770 26,166
2011 490.8 16,695 29,396
2012 489.7 16,459 29,752
2013 483.7 17,359 27,862
2014 530.8 16,550 32,072
2015 571.3 15,352 37,214
2016 602.2 18,123 33,230
2017 686.3 18,522 37,051
Percent change, 2016-2017 14.0% 2.2% 11.5%
Percent change, 2003-2017 111.7% 9.5% 93.4%

(1) Includes other dog-related injuries.

Source: Insurance Information Institute, State Farm®.

View Archived Tables

Top 10 States With Estimated Number And Cost Of Dog Bite Claims, 2017 (1)

Rank State Number of claims Average cost per claim Value of claims ($ millions)
1 California 2,228 $40,563 $90.4
2 Florida 1,345 44,700 60.1
3 Pennsylvania 1,002 26,486 26.5
4 New York 957 43,479 41.6
5 Ohio 932 24,795 23.1
6 Texas 929 35,562 33.0
7 Illinois 901 36,844 33.2
8 Michigan 734 38,798 28.5
9 New Jersey 686 43,652 29.9
10 Minnesota 486 29,873 14.5
Top 10 10,200 $37,346 $380.9
Other states 8,322 $36,690 $305.3
Total United States 18,522 $37,051 $686.3

(1) Includes other dog-related injuries that have impacted claims such as fractures or other blunt force trauma injuries.

Source: Insurance Information Institute, State Farm®.

View Archived Tables

NUMBER OF U.S. HOUSEHOLDS THAT OWN A PET, BY TYPE OF ANIMAL

(millions)

Pet Number
Dog 60.2
Cat 47.1
Freshwater fish 12.5
Bird 7.9
Small animal 6.7
Reptile 4.7
Horse 2.6
Saltwater fish 2.5

Source: American Pet Products Association’s 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey.

View Archived Tables

TOTAL NUMBER OF PETS OWNED IN THE UNITED STATES, BY TYPE OF ANIMAL

(millions)

Pet Number
Freshwater fish 139.3
Cat 94.2
Dog 89.7
Bird 20.3
Saltwater fish 18.8
Small animal 14.0
Reptile 9.4
Horse 7.6

Source: American Pet Products Association’s 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey.

View Archived Tables

© Insurance Information Institute, Inc. – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Renewal Review: Norman, OK Home Insurance Quotes

When you have a home insurance policy, it’s easy to get complacent. You have your coverage and you’re used to paying your premiums. But being complacent isn’t good when it comes to your home insurance coverage. Failure to review yearly could mean leaving a lot of money on the table for you and your family.

It’s best to take a yearly inventory of your insurance needs. Have your coverages changed? A lot can happen in a year — you can add members to your family, get married, acquire jewelry, move or change jobs. All of that can lead to needing different coverage. If you don’t take time to look at what type of coverage you need every year, you can find yourself in a tough spot when an loss happens and you aren’t properly covered.

Even if your coverage needs haven’t changed, prices might. It’s good to call your Independent Insurance Agent and ask him/her to make sure you are getting the best deal on your Norman home insurance and/or your Norman car insurance  — perhaps you’re paying too much for certain coverage.

It’s best to talk with your agent about your coverage needs and price once a year. Just because you see a lower price elsewhere doesn’t mean you have to jump on it — discuss it with your agent and figure out what’s best for your needs.

Statewide Insurance Agency serves the entire state of Oklahoma; however, we enjoy an extra special relationship with our home insurance and car insurance customers in the Norman, OK area!  Remember….we search multiple companies to find the right one for you!

Its official! #ExpericeDowntownEdmond

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