Posts by: Krush Digital

Are You Covered for a Winter Storm?

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Winter Storm and Insurance


Many Oklahomans are cleaning up after the ice storms that swept through the state this week. But the clean-up is just part of the recovery effort. Navigating through the insurance claim process can be confusing and stressful. Now is the time to find out if your insurance policy and deductible best suits your needs. 

Here are some commonly asked questions and the answers about home insurance coverage about this week’s storm and fallen trees. Please note the answer depends on your policy. 

  1. Will my insurance company pay to repair a roof damaged by the weight of ice or snow?

    A collapse of a structure, such as your roof, due to the weight of ice or snow is often covered under a standard home insurance policy. However, some nonstandard policies, such as the HO2 form do not have coverage for the weight of ice and snow, and therefore, that risk would not be covered. The best thing to do is review your policy. Check to see what the policy states about covered perils. If it does not list the weight of ice and snow, then you do not have the coverage. Contact your insurance agent about purchasing a policy that would protect you from the weight of ice and snow.


  2. A tree fell and landed in my yard. Will my insurance pay to remove it?

    Typically, fallen trees are not covered unless it has fallen on your house or driveway. It will cover damage to your fence, roof, troughs, windowsporches and outbuildings. However, debris removal from your yard, in the absence of physical property damage, will generally be at your own expense.


  3. My neighbor’s tree fell into my house yard and damaged my garage. Will my neighbor’s insurance pay for the damage and removal?

    Only if your neighbor was negligent in this situation would their policy pay for your damage. If the damage is from an act of nature, then the neighbor is not liable, and you would need to file the loss with your insurance company or agent.


  4. An ice storm caused my tree to fall on my car. Will my homeowner’s policy pay for the damage to my car and to remove the tree?

    No. The homeowner’s policy pays for damage to the home and for liability when an insured is negligent. In this case, you would need to file the claim with your auto insurance carrier to have the vehicle repaired. If you only had liability, then you would be out of pocket for repairs or replacing the vehicle. If a neighbor was cutting down a tree and it hit your car, or they did not remove a dead tree after 
    being told to do so in writing by neighbors or the city, then your car would be covered under their policy because of their negligence.


  5. I am unable to live in my home due to damage or power outage. Will I receive additional living expenses?

    If the source of the power outage is on your property, such as incoming power lines that become disconnected from your home, homeowners insurance generally covers additional living expenses. This includes reasonable lodging and food expenses. Keep the receipts to share with your adjuster. If you are without power due to a widespread power outage occurring away from your property, homeowners insurance generally does not cover additional living expenses.


  6. The power outage from the storm has caused food in my refrigerator to go bad. Does my policy pay for food spoilage in this situation?

    As long as the power outage was caused on your premises, the homeowner’s insurance generally pays for food spoilage. If the outage occurred away from the policyholder’s property, there could be a coverage issue. Again, talk with your agent to verify how this scenario would affect you. Finally, take pictures and keep a detailed list of the food items you had to throw away and share it with your adjuster. This will assist the adjuster in assessing the loss. 

When it comes to effectively submitting home insurance claims, insurance experts say the most important thing is to immediately document the damage to your property. Take photographs of the damage and make a list of everything you want to show the adjuster. 

Then contact your insurance provider to get clarification and details regarding your policy. Understanding your coverage and deductible amount will allow you to make an informed decision on whether you want to file a claim. If your damages do not exceed your deductible, realize the repairs will be an out-of-pocket expense. Talk with your agent about other endorsements you can add to your policy to better protect your

If you have questions about other insurance issues, contact the Oklahoma Insurance Department at 1-800-522-0071 or visit our website at 

Kick Start Retirement Planning Today

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Retirement can be a new beginning for us, but planning for your golden years can be
daunting. This week is National Retirement Planning Week© (NRPW). The goal of
NRPW is to promote the importance of comprehensive retirement planning.

While retirement planning was once thought of as an issue for older people, the truth is
that you must start preparing for a secure future as soon as you enter the work force.

Check out this retirement checklist to help you plan for a comfortable and secure

Review Your Finances

If your workplace offers a 401(k), 403(b), ESOP, profit sharing plan, IRA or Roth IRA,
you should take advantage of their plan. Many employers will match contributions up to
a certain amount. The sooner you start saving, the more money you’ll have for retirement.
Consider at least contributing the amount needed to obtain the employer match.

Review your finances to see how financially prepared you are for retirement. Track down
and value your assets including cash, investments and anything else you can exchange for
cash such as your house, savings bonds and even fine jewelry. Find the retirement
accounts you have put money into throughout your career. You might want to think about
consolidating some accounts so your money is easier to manage. If you decide to
consolidate retirement accounts, seek advice on how to implement a rollover to avoid
immediate taxation of your funds.

Assess Your Life Situation

Life insurance, like retirement, is something to consider at the beginning of your working
years. Life insurance policies can provide benefits throughout life including whole life
policies that build cash value. Whole life policies also allow you to take a loan, or borrow
from them, but doing so does reduce the amount your beneficiaries will receive if you
haven’t repaid the loan. Please note: you will pay interest on the amount you borrow. Do
your research carefully to determine if such a policy is right for you at your current life

Also, review your specific needs for health insurance and long-term care insurance. Your
need for various coverages will change throughout your life. Insurance can help provide
financial security in your retirement years if a catastrophe happens.


An annuity is a contract or policy between you, the policyholder, and an insurance
company. An annuity pays a periodic (monthly, quarterly, semiannual or annual) income
benefit for the life of a person (known as the annuitant). Annuities can also be purchased
for a specified time period. Annuities can play an integral role in a financially secure
retirement. There are four main types of annuities:

  • Variable annuities with guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefits: Long-term,
    tax-deferred insurance products that contain investment and insurance
    components with optional guaranteed withdrawal benefits.
  • Fixed and fixed-indexed annuities: Long-term, tax-deferred insurance vehicles
    which offer a guaranteed minimum interest rate.
  • Single premium immediate annuities products: Provide a guaranteed income
    for life or a specified period in exchange for a one-time lump sum payment.
  • Deferred income annuities: Provide for guaranteed income but don’t begin until
    a specified age, such as 80 or 85.

Please note that annuities are not for everyone. Research your options thoroughly before
purchasing one. Also, consider the costs associated with the annuity, such as the broker

Grow Your Nest Egg

Having a clear financial plan is important. A rule of thumb: 80 percent of your current
annual income is a good amount to save up for retirement. Consider if you’ll receive a
pension and Social Security and subtract that amount from your annual income. Use that
number to calculate a financial plan running out to age 100 for how much you’ll need
every year based on the year you retire.

Learn about investing and consider paying a certified financial planner for help. You
might be keeping your money in accounts that have low rates of return and could earn
more simply by moving the money. A professional can help you invest your money for
the best rate of return.

It is possible to retire on your own terms if comprehensive retirement plans are properly
developed and managed. Visit for retirement resources
such as a retirement calculator, basics on investing and information on how to find the
right financial advisor.

For insurance information, contact the Oklahoma Insurance Department at 1-800-522-0071

Insure Summer Travel with the Right Coverage

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The first day of summer is June 21, and many Oklahomans are ready for a vacation. Onethird of Americans are planning to take a trip this year, according to AAA. Before you hit
the road or board a plane, consider these insurance suggestions.

Road Trip with a Rental Car

Compared to last year, 10 percent more families are expected to take a road trip. But
those renting a car for their summer trip often don’t start thinking about rental car
insurance until they get to the counter which can lead to costly mistakes.

In order to make the best decision regarding your coverage, make these two calls:

1. To Your Insurance Professional

Ask if your personal auto policy would also
apply to your rental car, provided you’re using the rental for recreation and rather
than for business. Also keep in mind, if you’ve dropped comprehensive or
collision coverage on your personal car to reduce costs, you will not be covered if
your rental is stolen or damaged in an accident.

2. To Your Credit Card Company

Most credit card companies provide some
level of insurance for rental cars. Call the credit card company that you’ll be using
to rent the car and ask them to send coverage information in writing. In most
cases, credit card benefits are secondary to either your personal auto insurance
policy or by the insurance coverage offered by the rental car company.

By law, car rental companies must provide a state-specific amount of liability insurance.
Generally, these amounts are low and do not provide much protection.

Before renting a car, make sure you understand all of your insurance options in the event
the car is stolen, damaged or you get involved in an accident. It will take a little bit of
time and may cost a little extra money, but it will be better than finding out too late that
you are legally responsible for a car you don’t own.

Protecting Your Vacation

After months of planning, the trip of your dreams is almost here. To decide if you need
travel insurance, ask yourself these questions:

  • If I canceled my travel plans, would I lose the financial value of the trip?
  • Could weather delays result in missing out on all or part of my vacation package?
  • Would I lose the money I paid in advance for the vacation if the tour operator
    goes bankrupt?
  • Am I taking a vacation that includes activities that may cause me to be injured?
  • Do I have special vacation needs? Am I traveling with small children or older
  • Am I traveling to a location where I may need special assistance?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, travel insurance may be the way to go.
Most travel insurance policies include three basic types of coverage:
1. Trip Cancellation, Interruption or Delay: Provides coverage should you need to
cancel a trip due to sickness, a death in the family, bad weather, delayed shipment of
luggage or another disaster listed in the policy. In addition, if you become seriously
ill or are injured during the trip, some travel insurance policies will provide
reimbursement for the unused portion of the vacation. Check your policy carefully
because there may be exclusions for pre-existing conditions.
2. Medical Insurance and Medical Evacuation: Provides coverage if you become
sick or injured while traveling—for example, being airlifted off a mountain due to a
hiking accident, or in the event you get seriously ill or are injured and need to be
flown home.
3. 24-hour Assistance: This service is provided by most travel insurance companies
and can help travelers find doctors, arrange accommodations, contact families or
provide other forms of assistance in case of an emergency. Other travel-related
coverages may include: Accidental Death, should you or a member of your group die
during the course of a trip; and Luggage Insurance or Personal Effects Coverage,
which provides protection if your luggage and/or personal belongings are lost, stolen
or damaged during the trip.
There are many different travel insurance companies and types of policies to choose
from. Before making a selection, compare companies, policy coverage, benefits and
prices. Check your health and homeowners insurance policies to see what coverage you
already have. You may discover that your medical insurance does not cover you abroad,
and that it may provide no coverage at all for medical evacuation.
No matter what you have planned this summer, be safe and have a great time. For more
insurance information, contact the Oklahoma Insurance Department at 1-800-522-0071 or

‘Tis the Season for Crooks

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Christmas is less than two weeks away, and the stores and malls will be filled with lastminute shoppers. About 44 percent of people will do their holiday shopping in December
or later, according to one annual survey. While all the spending is good for retailers, it
can also be irresistible to thieves. But there are ways to discourage crooks from targeting
you whether you shop at a local store or online.
With 40 percent of households expected to do their holiday shopping on a computer,
consider these tips to fight cyber criminals:

  • Only shop on secure websites
    There are two ways to tell if a website is secure. First, check the web page URL.
    On a secure connection, the web address should start with “https.” The “s” at the
    end stands for secure. Second, check for the “Lock” icon. Depending on which
    web browser you use, the “Lock” could be in lower right or lower left corner.
  • Designate one credit card for online shopping only.
    By only using one card for your online purchases, you can easily monitor that
    particular card if there is any suspicious activity.

If you are a victim of identity theft, it can be expensive to reestablish your credit and
identity. Identity theft insurance can cost between $25 and $60 per year. It does not cover
direct monetary losses incurred as result of identity theft. Instead, identity theft insurance
provides coverage for the cost of reclaiming your financial identity, such as the costs of
making phone calls, making copies, mailing documents, taking time off from work
without pay and hiring an attorney.
Your current homeowner’s policy may include identity theft insurance. If not, you may
be able to add identity theft insurance to your current policy or purchase a stand-alone
If you prefer to shop at local stores for your holiday gifts, use these common sense tips to
protect yourself:

  • Don’t tempt a crook.Don’t flash cash or credit cards when making a purchase. Take time to put your
    money away properly after you checkout.
  • Limit the number of packages and bags you carry.
    Struggling to carry several shopping bags makes it easy for a crook to steal your
    wallet or take one of your packages.
  • Protect your identity

    Take only the credit cards you plan to use, and guard them carefully. Crooks can
    memorize credit card numbers over someone’s shoulder. Also, make sure the
    cashier hands you back your card. Mistakes can be made in the hustle and bustle
    of shopping. And finally, safeguard your receipts. Thieves often look for
    discarded papers to steal credit card information.

If you are the victim of a crime, report it to the police immediately and ask for a police
report. This will help you decide if you want to file an insurance claim. Theft of personal
possessions is generally covered by homeowners and renters insurance policies. There is
also limited coverage for stolen credit cards – usually up to $500.

For any other insurance information contact the Oklahoma Insurance Department at 1-
800-522-0071 or visit our website at

Insure Your Fourth of July Fun

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Independence Day celebrations just wouldn’t be the same without fireworks. While some
people will watch fireworks displays, others will choose to shoot off their own fireworks.
But before you celebrate with a bang this year, make sure you’re prepared. It’s important
to know what your insurance will and won’t cover if there’s an accident.

Fireworks damage at your home

The National Fire Protection Association says people report more fires on the Fourth of
July than on any other day of the year. While most people know fireworks can be unsafe,
many assume homeowners insurance will cover any damage they cause. Although it is
true that homeowners insurance usually covers most fires, there are exceptions. Check
with your agent or review your policy to see if your insurance excludes fireworks-related

Injuries caused by fireworks

Any fireworks injuries to yourself or your family will likely be covered under your health
insurance. Your homeowners’ policy steps in when your fireworks injure someone else.
Specifically, the liability portion of it usually will pay that person’s medical bills as well
as legal expenses up to the limits of the policy.

Safety tips

If you’re going to celebrate this July Fourth with firecrackers or other explosives,
consider taking the following precautions before the festivities begin:

  • Always have adult supervision when handling fireworks
  • Never use them while intoxicated
  • Don’t throw or aim them at other people
  • Have a hose, bucket of water or fire extinguisher nearby
  • Always wear safety glasses when lighting fireworks
  • Keep all spectators at a reasonable and safe distance
  • Keep dogs and other pets away
  • Follow and read the directions carefully
  • Allow used fireworks to stand for at least 20 minutes
  • Later, cover them in water, then drain and put them in plastic bag before throwing them away
  • Do the same with any “duds” that don’t go off after a few minutes
  • Also, don’t try to relight these duds
  • Never shoot fireworks from a metal or glass container
  • Only use them outdoors on a flat, fireproof, hard surface that’s free from flammable material

Also, an important reminder, setting off fireworks is illegal without a permit in most
major towns and cities in Oklahoma.

The best way to make sure you are properly insured for this holiday is to talk to your
insurance company or agent about your specific policy. The Oklahoma Insurance
Department can also answer insurance-related questions. Call 1-800-522-0071 or visit
our website at

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!

Are You Ready for Storm Season?

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Whether you’ve lived in Oklahoma all your life or you are new to the area, storm season
must be taken seriously. Preparing before the sirens sound is the best way to protect your
family and your property. The following tips will help you get ready for tornado season.

Review Your Insurance Coverage

Make a habit to review your homeowners insurance every year. Policy limits that haven’t
been updated in more than five years may not cover the entire cost associated with
rebuilding a home or replacing your damaged possessions.
If you are a renter, know that your landlord’s insurance policy covers the structure of the
building but not your belongings. Renters insurance is an affordable way to protect your
Finally, make sure you know what is and is not covered by your insurance. A standard
homeowners and renters insurance policy doesn’t protect your home or belongings from
damage associated with floods, earthquakes or sewer and drain backup. Ask your agent if
you need this additional coverage.

Create a Home Inventory

To make the insurance claims process easier, create a home inventory of your belongings.
Include details about your possessions like brand name, price, purchase date, model,
serial number and receipts, then take photos. You can store this information in a
smartphone app, on a thumb drive or on a piece of paper. Learn more about your home
inventory options, including a template, here.
If you don’t have time to create a full list of the items in your home, consider videotaping
and/or taking photographs in every room. The more detail you include, the easier it will
be for your insurer to evaluate your loss. When making your list, open drawers and
closets, and don’t forget to document what’s in your basement, garage and storage
Once you’ve created your inventory, send the information to your insurance agent and
keep a copy in a safety deposit box or another safe place outside your home.

Prepare for the Worst

To help lessen the damage caused by a storm, clear your yard of debris that could become
projectiles in high winds and trim dead or overhanging branches from trees surrounding
your home. Ensure the roof sheathing is properly secured. Fasten end gables to the roof.
Latch doors and garage doors properly. Secure shutters and outdoor furniture.
For personal safety, know where you will take shelter. If it’s a storm shelter, make sure
it’s cleaned out and ready to go before the sirens are blaring. Also, prepare an emergency
kit of essentials in case you have to shelter in place for a while. Your kit can include
bottled water, a first-aid kit, flashlights, a battery-operated radio, at least three days of
nonperishable food items, blankets, clothing, prescription drugs, eyeglasses and personal
hygiene supplies.

After the Storm

The days following a natural disaster can be confusing and stressful, but report your
insurance claim as quickly as possible. Your policy might require that you make this
notification within a certain time frame.
Document damage by taking photos or video before you begin cleaning up. After you’ve
documented the damage, make any temporary repairs, such as covering a hole in your
roof, to prevent further damage. Don’t make permanent repairs until your insurer has
inspected the property.
If your home is damaged to the extent that you cannot live there, your insurance company
may pay for you to stay somewhere else. Ask your insurance agent if you have coverage
for additional living expenses.
During the claims process, it is important for you to keep detailed notes and provide your
insurance company with accurate information in a timely manner.
Navigating the insurance process can be challenging, but knowing you are properly
prepared will give you the peace of mind to get through Oklahoma’s storm season. If you
need help preparing for what’s to come or have any questions, contact the Oklahoma
Insurance Department at 1-800-522-0071 or visit our website at

Insure Yourself Against Super Bowl Party Mishaps

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Whether watching for the game or for the commercials, many Oklahomans will enjoy the
Super Bowl at a party. If you’re hosting an event this year, there are several insurance
implications to consider before the celebration begins.

First, it’s a good idea to review the liability section of your homeowners’ or renters’
insurance policy. It’s important to understand your coverage in case you are sued or
deemed liable for an accident involving one of your guests. If you need help
understanding your policy, call your insurance agent or insurance company.

Here’s a look at some other top insurance issues when hosting a Super Bowl party:

Accident Prevention

The weather can cause some hazards for your guests.
Make sure sidewalks and stairs are clear of ice and any other trip and fall hazards.
Inside your house, move any breakable items away from where you’ll host
cheering fans. Be aware that if your friend’s enthusiastic celebration of a
touchdown knocks your 60-inch, flat screen TV off its stand, accidental breakage
is typically excluded from your homeowners’ or rental policy.

Food and Fire Safety

Super Bowl food usually involves grilling or frying.
Make sure you’re not leaving the grill or kitchen unattended. Also, ensure your
fire extinguisher is within reach and your home’s smoke detectors are in working
order. To help avoid the possibility of food poisoning, don’t keep food out at
room temperature for more than two hours.


The noise of a Super Bowl party can get out of control, and some pets
don’t handle it well. To keep your guests free of animal bites, and to make sure
Fido is calm, designate a quiet area for him to feel safe and secure. Keeping your
pet away from guests will also ensure that no one feeds him food that could cause
major health problems.

Finally, a big concern this Sunday is driving under the influence of alcohol. According to
Mothers Against Drunk Driving, nearly half of all U.S. traffic fatalities in 2015 were
caused by drunk driving on Super Bowl Sunday. You can be held responsible if someone
you served ends up in a drunk-driving crash. For your Super Bowl party, keep these tips
in mind:

    • Offer non-alcoholic drinks to reduce the chance of impaired driving
    • Serve a lot of food
    • Consider hiring a professional bartender
    • Limit how much your guests drink
    • Stop serving alcohol toward the end of the evening and begin to serve coffee and
    • Select a non-drinking designated driver before the partying starts
    • Encourage your guests to not drink and drive. Offer them a bed or couch to sleep on or pay for a ride-sharing service to take them home

The Super Bowl is an annual, American tradition that can be fun when you take the right
steps to protect you, your property and your guests.

Sharing for the Summer? Know Your Insurance Risks

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Nearly 75 percent of Americans will take a vacation this summer. Many of us will use a
ride-sharing or hosting service like Uber, Lyft, Airbnb or Homeaway. They are easy to
use and often cheaper than their traditional counterparts. But this booming industry poses
risks for both the user and provider. Whether you’re taking a ride-sharing trip across
town or renting out your home to some vacationers, make sure you understand the
insurance risks.

Hosting Services

Home-sharing or peer-to-peer rentals are sites where people rent out rooms or entire
homes for extra income. Guests pay for the stay like a hotel. The difference is that the
property is privately owned.

  • Review your personal policies. If you are staying in a house or condo through
    services like Airbnb or Homeaway, confirm your own homeowners, renters or
    personal liability policies. They can offer protection for potential damages to the
    rental property. If not, make adjustments as needed.
  • Purchase the right coverage. If you are considering renting out rooms for a profit,
    know that many homeowners’ policies won’t cover property damage caused by or
    injuries to a paying guest. Talk to the home-sharing service and your agent to decide
    if additional liability coverage or special landlord insurance is needed.
  • Ask for proof. Consider only renting to guests who show proof of homeowners,
    renters or personal liability insurance. If a guest damages rented property, hosts can
    report a claim on the guest’s policy.

Ride Sharing

Companies like Uber and Lyft connect drivers in their personal cars with people who
need rides. Passengers and drivers can screen each other, schedule rides and collect
payment through an app.

  • Research before riding. Before hopping into a hired car, know the extent of
    protection in case of an accident. Most ride-sharing companies have liability policies
    to cover any passenger injuries. If you are hurt in a wreck during your ride, file a
    claim with both the driver’s insurance and the ride-sharing company’s insurance.
    They will sort out who is responsible for your injuries.
  • Ask your insurer. Before signing up as a ride-share driver, talk to your insurance
    company. Personal auto insurance typically excludes liability coverage for business
    use when a personal car is being used to transport people for a fee.
  • Review the company’s policies. Some ride-sharing companies provide primary
    insurance. Uber and Lyft also offer contingent collision and comprehensive coverage
    that takes effect when the driver accepts a ride request or has a passenger in the

Goods & Services for Hire

Lenders and borrowers advertise and rent personal items like power tools, golf clubs or
even designer dresses online. Another example is someone who seeks help with tasks like
packing boxes or housecleaning.

  • Require a security deposit. When lending goods such as high-fashion clothing or a
    bicycle, get a security deposit to cover any losses. Capture photos and other
    information in a home inventory.
  • Make sure it works. You can be held liable for renting out items that are known to
    not work properly. A homeowner’s policy may not cover the transaction because
    payment was exchanged for rented goods.
  • Know who’s paying. Hiring a stranger to help with home cleaning, moving or other
    tasks through sites such as TaskRabbit? Find out whose insurance covers what. The
    service may offer a guarantee, but often it is secondary to any insurance you already
    have in place.

The sharing economy offers new and exciting opportunities. Just make sure you are wellversed on the insurance implications to keep you and your property safe. For more
insurance information, contact the Oklahoma Insurance Department at 1-800-522-0071 or
visit our website at

Insurance Tips after Weekend Storms

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Many Oklahomans are cleaning up after the storms that swept through the state over the
weekend. But the clean-up is just part of the recovery effort. Navigating through the
insurance claim process can be confusing and stressful. Here are a few tips to help make
it a little bit easier.
1. Know what your insurance covers. This will help you understand when to file a
claim in the first place.

  • Fallen Trees and Limbs Much of the damage caused from this weekend’s
    storms was from fallen trees and limbs. If a tree hits a home or other insured
    structure, like a detached garage, standard homeowners insurance provides
    coverage for the damage the tree does to the structure and the contents in it. It
    does not matter whether you own the tree. If a tree or branches cause damage to
    your car, comprehensive coverage of an auto policy would cover the cost of
  • FloodingFlood damage is generally not covered by a standard homeowners or
    renter’s insurance policy. But flood damage on your car is covered under
    comprehensive coverage of your auto insurance policy.
  • Lightning Damage caused by lightning, such as fire, is covered by standard
    homeowners and business insurance policies. Some home and business insurance
    policies provide coverage for power surges that are the direct result of lightning
    striking a home or business. There is also coverage for lightning damage under
    the comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy.

2. Start the claims process as quickly as possible. Most insurance companies have a
time requirement for filing a claim, so contact your insurance company as soon as
possible. When reporting your losses, have your insurance information, current contact
information and home inventory handy. If you do not have a home inventory, begin
making a list of items, going room by room and include as much detail as possible.

Also, if your car sustained damage while in your garage or carport, it is covered by your
auto insurance, not homeowners. You will need to file a claim with both companies, your
auto carrier will cover the damage to your auto and the homeowners will cover the
damage to your carport or garage.

3. Understand the claims process. After you file your claim, your insurance company
will send a claims adjuster to your home to assess the damage at no cost to you. The
adjuster will walk through your home or property to see the damage. Once the adjuster
has completed an assessment, he or she will provide a written report of the loss to your
insurance company to determine your claims settlement.

When it comes to paying your claim, you may receive more than one check. The first
check will likely be an emergency advance. Any further payments for the contents of
your home and other personal property will be made to you. However, if there is a
mortgage on your home, the payment for structural damage may be payable to you and
your mortgage lender. Lenders may put that money into an escrow account and pay for
repairs as the work is completed.
4. Know your rights.The Oklahoma Insurance Consumer Bill of Rights is a summary of
your legal rights under state insurance laws. Also, if you feel your insurance company is
not responding quickly enough or completing a reasonable investigation into your claim,
contact the Oklahoma Insurance Department at 1-800-522-0071 or visit our website at

Prepare Now for Oklahoma Weather

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Spring is finally here. While the beautiful blooms and warmer temperatures are welcome
arrivals, the severe weather is not. Even though we can’t stop the storms from coming,
we can make sure we are prepared to protect our loved ones and our property when they
do. Here are some tips to get you ready for spring in Oklahoma.

Protecting Yourself and Your Family

A watch means that weather conditions are favorable for tornadoes and a warning means
one has been spotted in your area.

If a tornado watch has been issued, move cars inside a garage or carport to avoid damage
from hail. Keep your car keys and house keys with you. If you have enough warning
time, move lawn furniture and yard equipment such as lawnmowers inside. Otherwise
they could become damaged or act as projectiles causing serious injury or damage.

Before the watches and warnings even get issued, have a plan in place. Practice getting in
your storm shelter, safe room or taking cover in the central part of your home. Know who
is in charge of gathering your pets and getting them to safety. And have a storm survival
kit that includes bottled water, a first aid kit, flashlights, a battery-operated radio, at least
three days of non-perishable food items, blankets, clothing, prescription drugs, eyeglasses
and personal hygiene supplies.

Create a Home Inventory

It may seem hard at first to record information about everything you have in your house,
but don’t let that put you off. The information you put in your home inventory can make
an insurance claim settlement faster and easier.

There are many ways to create a home inventory. A free iPhone and Android app can
help you build a database of the records, or a printable home inventory checklist is also

Once you’ve created your inventory, send the information to your insurance agent. If
using a paper record, keep your home inventory in a safety deposit box or another safe
place outside your home.

Collect and Know Your Insurance Information

Before a storm hits, review your insurance policies. Make sure you know what is and is
not covered. Ask your insurance agent or insurance company if you have questions.

Here are some special weather circumstances you should consider:

  • Lightning- Damage caused by lightning, such as fire, is covered by standard
    homeowners and business insurance policies. Some home and business insurance
    policies provide coverage for power surges that are the direct result of lightning
    striking a home or business. There is also coverage for lightning damage under
    the comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy.
  • Flooding- Flood damage is generally not covered by a standard homeowners or
    renter’s insurance policy. This type of coverage is available through the federal
    government’s National Flood Insurance Program. Make sure to purchase flood
    insurance for the structure of your house as well as for the contents. Flood
    damage on your car is covered under comprehensive coverage of your auto
    insurance policy. However, comprehensive coverage is optional for Oklahoma
  • Fallen Trees and Limbs- If a tree hits a home or other insured structure, like a
    detached garage, standard homeowners insurance provides coverage for the
    damage the tree does to the structure and the contents in it. It does not matter
    whether you own the tree. If it lands on your home, you can file a claim with your
    insurance company. The cost to remove the tree or branches will also be covered.
    If a tree or branches cause damage to your car, the comprehensive coverage of
    your auto policy would cover the cost of repair. But comprehensive coverage is
    not required by law.

Finally, store electronic copies of your insurance policies with your home inventory and
keep paper files in a safety deposit box. Make sure to have a copy of your policy
declarations page listing all of your coverages, as well as your insurance cards.

Collect the 24-hour contact information for your insurance agent and insurer. Make a list
that includes your policy numbers, insurer and insurance agent’s phone numbers, website
addresses and mailing addresses. Also, check to see if the company or agent has an
emergency information hotline. It is a good idea to store this information – and your
home inventory – in a waterproof, fireproof box or safe. If you have a storm shelter or
safe room, keep this information in there.

For more ways to get ready for all types of Oklahoma weather, check out the Prepare Yourself section of our website. You can also contact the Oklahoma Insurance
Department at 1-800-522-0071 or find general insurance information at