Archive for oklahoma homeowners insurance

Statewide Is Different

This is the first video in a series of videos that we will be releasing over the next 12 months! Video

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

How to save money on home insurance

Here is link to a good article from the Insurance Information Institute on how to save money on home insurance. http://www.iii.org/article/how-to-save-money-on-your-homeowners-insurance

How do I pick an insurance company?

There are many insurance companies, so choosing between them can be a challenge. Here are the main points to keep in mind when selecting an insurance company:
Licensing
Not every company is licensed to operate in each state. As a general rule, you should buy from a company licensed in your state, because then can you rely on your state insurance department to help if there’s a problem. To find out which companies are licensed in your state, contact the state insurance department.
Price
Many companies sell insurance policies and prices vary greatly from one to another, so it really pays to shop around. Get at least three price quotes from companies, agents and from the Internet. Your state insurance department may publish a guide that shows what insurers charge for different policies in various parts of your state.
Financial Solidity
You buy insurance to protect you financially and provide peace of mind. Select a company that is likely to be financially sound for many years, by using ratings from independent rating agencies.
Service
Your insurance company and its representatives should answer your questions and handle your claims fairly, efficiently and quickly. You can get a feel for whether this is the case by talking to other customers who have used a particular company or agent. You may also want to check a national claims database to see what complaint information it has on a company. Also, your state insurance department will be able to tell you if the insurance company you are considering doing business with had many consumer complaints about its service relative to the number of policies it sold.
Comfort
You should feel comfortable with your insurance purchase, whether you buy it from a local agent, directly from the company over the phone, or over the Internet. Make sure that the agent or company will be easy to reach if you have a question or need to file a claim.

By Insurance Information Institute http://iii.org

Homeowners Insurance: "Am I Covered?"

Oklahoma homeowners often ask the question, “what does this home insurance cover?”  Coverage’s can vary a lot from one policy to another.  However, there are some things that are consistently limited or not covered at all in home policies.  Therefore, sometimes I’ll answer the question by telling my customers about these limitations.  Here are some of my top examples of things that are not covered or that have limited coverage under homeowners insurance policies in Oklahoma City, Edmond and the entire state of Oklahoma….. Rising Flood Water: Surface water and rising flood water damage is the # 1 uninsured loss in Oklahoma and the United States.  Most flood victims will tell you that they thought their home was in an area that was high enough that it would not flood. Many Oklahoma home policies do cover damage that results from a sudden rupture of water from your plumbing system or air conditioning system. Shifting Soil: Much of the soil type in Oklahoma is clay.  It expands with moisture and contracts as it dries out.  Hot and dry Oklahoma summers can result in shifts in your foundation that crack slabs and crack walls.  This type of damage is not covered by any home policy, as far as I know. Jewelry: Oklahoma home insurance policies limit coverage for theft of jewelry.  Furthermore, mysterious disappearance or a stone falling out of a setting is not usually covered unless special endorsements are purchased.  Most of your jewelry needs can be met by purchasing extra jewelry coverage.  Jewelry is usually covered up to your Personal Property policy limit in a fire loss or a tornado loss. Tools and Other Property Used In Your Business: Coverage is very limited under most policies.  You are expected to have a separate business insurance policy for these items. Sewer Back Up: This coverage is oftentimes available by endorsement.  Some companies interpret this exclusion to mean back up of a city’s main sewer line and distinguish this from an “overflow” due to a problem within your plumbing system.  I do represent one company, Safeco, that provides significant coverage for sewer back up without an extra charge. Motorized Land Vehicles: Be very careful here.  You’ll usually need a separate policy for motorcycles, dirt bikes, ATV’s, boats, trailers, etc.  However, you may be able to get coverage for a motorized wheel chair and a riding lawn mower.  You might get some coverage for a tractor if it is used “exclusively” to maintain the premises. Business Liability: Liability which arises from your business activities is almost always excluded.  Certain professions such as teachers and sales people might be able to purchase it with endorsement if you are an “employee” of someone else and not “self-employed”. Mechanical Breakdown of Appliances: This is not usually covered but is now being offered by endorsement by a growing list of companies. Damage Caused By Insects and Animals: Not Covered:  This would include damage caused by termites, dogs, squirrels, etc. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of Oklahoma home insurance coverages, limitations and exclusions.  It is my intent to help you educate yourself so you’ll be able to shop more effectively by asking the right questions.   Von Nix, CPCU Statewide Insurance Agency https://okstatewide.com