We are pretty blessed here in Oklahoma. The cost of living is low, we have the best sunsets of any place in the world, and the people aren’t too shabby either. BUT with all that wonderful, we do have a few thorns in our sides as well-hail, wind, more hail, tornadoes, ice, and right now, ample amounts of rain. Cut and dry, insurance rates are high. In fact, we just took the lead of all 50 states on our property rates, even beating out Florida and its hurricanes. So I guess the real questions is, why are the rates going up?
I always hear, “insurance is rigged.” I could see where some might believe that, but there is not a single company in the state of Oklahoma who has not taken a rate increase in regards to property in the past 5 years. A lot of premiums have doubled in the past 5 years alone. So what is the reason behind these rate increases? Dare I say tornadoes? Everything might be bigger in Texas, but when it comes to natural disasters, we do it big and we do it well. The May 2013 tornadoes caused insurance carriers to pay out $1 billion in claims, making that easily the most costly disaster of 2013. Two years later, this spring is wrapping up to be a costly one too, especially when we add in flooding. Companies are increasing their rates to compensate for the increased risk of all these disasters.
People are hesitant to file claims in order to keep their rates low, but with Oklahoma weather, that sad truth is that probably not even that will save most. If you have significant damage, file a claim. That is the point of having insurance. At ECI Insurance, it’s important that we try and find solutions for our customers’ areas of concern, one of those concerns may be trying to save some money. Here’s a few of our recommendations. We know the most common way to save money on your premium is to raise your deductible, but look at little things in order to get discounts. The most common claim we have in Oklahoma is going to be new roofs. If you’re looking at replacing your roof, look at installing a hail resistant shingle. Some companies will offer up to a 5% credit for that alone. Upgrade your security from that deadbolt and get an alarm. That can help as well. Even just keeping a fire extinguisher handy may help when it comes to your premium. Paying in full can usually knock a little more off.
The goal of insurance providers is not to steal your money. They are trying to keep afloat in a tough market with unpredictable weather, not to mention those people are paying those same high premiums. If you have questions regarding your insurance, call us to answer to commonly asked questions about Oklahoma City homeowners insurance or give us a call at (405) 373-2977. We’d love to help.