Ways to Reduce Home and Auto Insurance Premiums

As an insurance agent, I understand that my clients are always looking for ways to save money on their insurance premiums. Fortunately, there are several ways to reduce home and auto insurance costs without sacrificing coverage.

  1. Bundle Your Policies

Save up to 15%: Bundling your home and auto insurance policies with the same insurance company can lead to significant discounts. This is because insurance companies offer multi-policy discounts to loyal customers.

  1. Increase Your Deductible

Save up to 10%: Raising your deductible can lower your insurance premiums. However, make sure you have enough savings to cover the higher deductible in case of a claim.

  1. Improve Your Credit Score

Save up to 10%: Many insurance companies use credit scores to determine premiums. A good credit score can lead to lower insurance premiums, so make sure to monitor and improve your credit score.

  1. Install Safety Features

Save up to 5%: Installing safety features like security systems, smoke detectors, and deadbolt locks can qualify you for discounts on your home insurance.

Save up to 10%: Installing safety features like anti-theft devices, lane departure warning systems, and blind-spot monitoring can qualify you for discounts on your auto insurance.

  1. Have Your Agent Compare Rates

Save up to 20%: Comparing rates from different insurance companies can help you find the best deal. Make sure to compare policies with similar coverage and limits to ensure you’re getting the best rate.

Additional Tips

Drop unnecessary coverage: Reassess your coverage limits and drop unnecessary coverage to lower your premiums.

Take advantage of low-mileage discounts: If you drive less than a certain number of miles per year, you may qualify for low-mileage discounts.

Ask about other discounts: Some insurance companies offer discounts for things like being a non-smoker, having a college degree, or being a member of a certain organization.

By implementing these five tips, you can reduce your home and auto insurance premiums and save money without sacrificing coverage. Remember to always review your policies and adjust your coverage as needed to ensure you’re getting the best rate possible.

I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions or need further assistance.

Understanding Auto Insurance Trends in 2024

The auto insurance landscape in 2023 and 2024 has seen significant changes, influenced by various factors including rising repair costs, severe weather, and changes in driving behavior. Let’s dive into the key trends and statistics shaping the auto insurance industry this year.

  1. Surge in Auto Insurance Premiums

Auto insurance premiums have been on the rise, with an average increase of 12.6% across the U.S. This marks the steepest hike since 2018 and follows an 11.2% increase in 2023. Drivers in states like Michigan, California, Texas, Florida, and Nevada are experiencing the highest premiums, while Maine, New Hampshire, and Idaho have the lowest rates. This increase is attributed to various factors, including the rising cost of car repairs and replacements, and an uptick in severe weather incidents leading to more insurance claims.

  1. Average Cost of Auto Insurance

The average annual cost of auto insurance is expected to hit around $1,984 in 2024. This figure varies significantly from state to state, with Michigan notably having the highest rates at approximately $2,200 per year. In contrast, states like Ohio offer some of the most affordable rates, around $1,000 annually.

  1. Factors Influencing Premium Rates

Several factors influence auto insurance rates. These include the driver’s age, gender, marital status, credit score, driving history, and the car’s make and model. For example, young drivers and those with traffic violations tend to face higher premiums.

  1. Impact of Dangerous Driving Behaviors

Dangerous driving behaviors continue to pose significant risks and impact insurance rates. Teen drivers, for example, are three times more likely to receive speeding tickets. Drunk driving is responsible for up to 30% of all road fatalities annually, and about 16% of drivers are uninsured. These factors collectively contribute to the risk assessment by insurance companies, subsequently affecting premium rates.

  1. State-Specific Trends

Different states are experiencing varying levels of premium increases. For instance, Nevada is projected to see a 28% or greater surge, while states like California, Washington, Arizona, Connecticut, Louisiana, and Georgia face increases ranging from 16% to 18%.

  1. Electric Vehicle Insurance

While electric vehicle insurance is becoming more affordable, it remains 23% higher than coverage for traditional gasoline-powered cars. Tesla models tend to have the highest insurance premiums, whereas models like the Honda CR-V and Ford F-150 are more economical choices.

The auto insurance market in 2024 is characterized by rising premiums, influenced by factors such as repair costs, dangerous driving behaviors, and severe weather events. As drivers navigate these changes, understanding these trends becomes crucial for making informed insurance decisions. It’s important for drivers to regularly shop around for insurance to potentially save costs and adjust their coverage according to their needs and risk profiles.

Questions You Should Ask Yourself About Your Personal Insurance

Everyone needs some level of personal insurance. Most purchase auto insurance, homeowners or renters insurance, life insurance, and maybe personal umbrella coverage. There are some many choices that at times you may wonder which is best for you and your family.  We put together a list of questions you might think about as you consider your personal insurance. We always recommend you review your personal insurance annually to make sure it is still meeting your needs.

Do Agents Offer Something Different?

We would answer that as a yes because agents have access to different kinds of insurance companies, they offer you a choice and work to provide the best possible combination of coverage price and service. Agents are a small business whose goal is to look out after their clients.

If I Rent, Do I Still Need Insurance?

Renters should purchase renters insurance to protect their personal property like; furniture, guns, electronics, and clothes. Your apartment owner may also require liability coverage, which can be included in renters insurance. Renters’ insurance is very affordable and can be an effective way to make sure you are covered in the event of a loss.

Does The Type Of Vehicle Affect My Auto Premiums?

Yes. The make and model of the car you drive play a factor in your car insurance rates. The cost of your vehicle also makes a big difference; the more it costs to repair or replace your vehicle, the more you will pay to insure it.

Are There Auto Insurance Discounts?

Many insurance carriers offer lower rates to good students, military personnel and people with excellent credit. Ask your agent what discounts are available.

Will a Parking Ticket Affect My Auto Insurance Premiums?

Not usually. You can generally have one ticket on your history without it adversely affecting your premium.

When Should I Consider Life Insurance?

You might consider life insurance when you get married or start having children. Some employers offer a small amount of life insurance, but these plans generally are not enough. Life insurance can provide peace of mind to loved ones in the event of an untimely death of a breadwinner. Life insurance proceeds can be used to fund college, pay for outstanding bills, to supplement lost income for a period of time.

Life insurance premiums are at all-time lows, so it can be a very cost-effective financial planning tool.

Is A Personal umbrella Policy important?

Most of us engage in daily activities that put us in danger. Your danger of being sued increases if you own a car or an automobile. Many Americans only purchase vehicle liability insurance for $300,000 and homeowners’ liability insurance for no more than $300,000. A personal umbrella policy can give you an extra $1 million in liability protection.

I Am Remolding My Home. Do I Need To Adjust My Insurance?

If your insurance is written on a replacement cost basis, there may be no need to make adjustments, but we always recommend you contact your agent to review this question. The answer depends on the kind of work you are doing. For example, if you are replacing your carpet with a similar product, you may not need to make any changes in your policy. But if you are adding a 500-foot addition on to your home, then this would definitely require adjustments in the value of your home.

For example, say your insurance valuation is based on a kitchen with laminate countertops and generic cabinets. But then you spend $60,000 on granite countertops, custom cabinets, and top-of-the-line appliances. Would your existing coverage be sufficient to rebuild your remodeled kitchen after a loss? Most likely, you would have an issue.

Before entering any renovation project, contact your agent; they can help you identify which areas may require insurance updates.

I Have A Home-Based Business. Should I Get Additional Insurance?

Homeowners or renters insurance policies do not cover any business risks. If you run a business out of your home, we recommend you purchase a business insurance policy. If you have customers in your home for business purposes, your home insurance does not provide any coverage.  Depending on the type of business, coverage may be added to your existing homeowner’s policy through a rider or endorsement.

I Just Bought A Personal Watercraft. Is That Covered?

Unlike small boats, personal watercraft are not generally covered by your homeowners. This would include; bodily injury to you, an uninsured watercraft operator causing that. The legal costs if you’re sued due to an accident.  And any damage to the personal watercraft you own.

 

How Agents Should Serve Their Customers

In today’s fast-paced business world, providing excellent customer service is more important than ever. With so many options available to consumers, businesses must strive to provide exceptional service to keep their customers happy and loyal. Here are four keys to customer service that can help businesses stand out in a competitive marketplace:

Listen to your customers:

The first key to great customer service is listening to your customers. When customers feel like they are being heard and understood, they are more likely to become loyal customers. Make sure you are actively listening to your customers, whether they are complaining or praising your business. Respond to their concerns and provide solutions to their problems. This will show your customers that you value their feedback and are committed to providing excellent service.

Be responsive:

Customers expect businesses to be responsive to their needs. When customers reach out to your business, whether it’s through email, social media, or phone, respond as quickly as possible. Even if you don’t have an immediate solution to their problem, let them know that you are working on it and will get back to them as soon as possible. Being responsive shows that you care about your customers and are committed to providing excellent service.

Personalize your interactions:

Customers appreciate personalized interactions with businesses. When you personalize your interactions, you show your customers that you care about them as individuals, not just as customers. Use your customers’ names when you communicate with them, and remember their preferences and past interactions with your business. This will help you provide a more personalized experience that will make your customers feel valued and appreciated.

Go above and beyond:

To truly stand out in the marketplace, businesses must go above and beyond to provide excellent customer service. This means anticipating your customers’ needs and providing solutions before they even ask. It also means providing unexpected perks and rewards to show your customers that you value their business. Going above and beyond can help you build strong relationships with your customers and turn them into loyal advocates for your business.

In conclusion, providing excellent customer service is essential for businesses that want to stand out in a competitive marketplace. By listening to your customers, being responsive, personalizing your interactions, and going above and beyond, you can create a customer service experience that will make your customers feel valued and appreciated.

Does Bundling My Home And Auto insurance Really Save Money?

Buying your house and auto insurance from the same company is a simple and effective approach to saving money on insurance. This option is called “bundling,” and it allows you to save money by purchasing many policies from the same insurer.

The following are some of the reasons to bundle your house and auto insurance:

  • Savings have increased. Depending on the personal insurance company and where you live, a multi-policy discount might offer savings.
  • Insurance protection. Having other policies with the same insurance company can reduce the possibility of your personal insurer canceling you if you’ve made vehicle insurance claims or received fines.
  • Having only one agent to handle all your personal insurance needs can reduce un-insured claims.
  • Policy administration can be simplified. When many policies are issued by the same organization, managing them should be easier.

Bundling isn’t always the best option. While most companies give discounts for purchasing multiple items, there are numerous other aspects to consider. Switching your vehicle and house insurance or choosing a new carrier for cost reductions alone may not be the best rationale.

Before you make the switch, make sure you’ll actually save money. Any differences from your present coverage should also be noted. You may have us shop around for the best coverage and pricing once you know what your savings and options are.

Personal service combined with depth of knowledge in the insurance marketplace, and access to a wide range of carriers is the combination of factors that sets Oakwood Insurance apart from its competitors. We not only work in the north metro, but it’s also our home. We strive to support the vibrancy and growth of this community. We want it to thrive, and we want you to thrive. We will review your insurance coverage and help you understand what you have and ensure that it’s the best fit for your goals.

What’s In Your Policy?

Homeowners don’t always review their policies until they have a claim. Only to discover that their coverage isn’t what they expected. That is why it is critical to understand what you are paying for. We believe it is important to understand what you are purchasing. So let’s start with this overview.

Here are a few of the coverage you need to consider. So what’s in your policy?

Are you covered for flood loss? 

Most basic homeowner’s insurance policies exclude flood coverage. A separate flood insurance policy is required, which can be acquired through the National Flood Insurance Program. Your agent can assist you.

Do you know your deductibles? 

You will be responsible for a deductible if your house and goods are harmed in a covered loss. Your agent can tell you the amount if you don’t know.

Do you have ACV or replacement cost coverage?

Actual Cash Value (ACV), which reflects depreciation, and Replacement Cost (RC), which is what it costs to replace the item today, are the two ways claims are settled. Ask your agent if you’re not sure what you have.

Have you considered a personal umbrella policy? 

Umbrella insurance is a type of personal liability insurance that covers claims in excess of regular homeowners, auto, or watercraft policy coverage. Get a quote today.

Our agents will give you great service and the products you require, whether you need to safeguard your car and home, want insurance for the contents of your apartment, or need a general umbrella policy for peace of mind. We take satisfaction in providing personal insurance coverage that safeguards your most valuable possessions. We want to make sure that your insurance coverage covers your most important people and resources.

Oakwood is involved with numerous local, state and national insurance associations and communities. The agency encourages employees to devote time to these endeavors. Oakwood’s approach is one of total risk management, encompassing the areas of property & liability insurance, automotive insurance, worker’s compensation, professional liability, individual or group accident & health insurance, life insurance, contract surety bonds, and personal insurance. Oakwood provides an in-depth range of insurance products and services to assist in securing our clients’ future. We are an agency committed to excellence, founded on the principle of integrity.

The best way to solve a problem is to first understand it. To understand a problem involves asking questions, reviewing agreements, and visiting the facility or business. We believe that a professional agent must do more that merely issue insurance on the client’s behalf. Besides determining and placing proper coverage with reputable insurance companies, we seek to educate our clients on coverage and to reduce, or transfer risk to the insuring company, and working closely with management team to protect and preserve assets.

How Insurance Protects Your Financial Future

Insurance is designed to provide the financial resources you need in the event of an un-expected loos.  This could be form an auto accident, home fire, disability or even a loss of the primary bread winner.

There are many personal insurance solutions and products that can provide the protection you need to help you manage your future financial wellbeing. Your current premiums are intended to help cover you in the future. What if your home was lost in a natural disaster? Will you be able to afford substantial repairs or a full rebuild? The cost of dealing with this catastrophe will be more than you can handle, as well as more than you have charged in insurance premiums.

What Kind of Insurance Do You Need To Protect Your Future?

Life Insurance – Life insurance provides real security for those you care about. Life benefits can provide financial security and resources for your family or loved ones after you are gone. Life insurance can provide funds to; pay off debt, un-paid medical expenses, funeral expenses, future living expenses, college, and more.

Home Insurance – Homeowners insurance is a form of insurance that covers losses and damages to an individual’s residence, along with furnishings and other assets in the home. Homeowners insurance also provides liability coverage against accidents in the home or on the property.

Health insurance – Health insurance is important to have, no matter what your situation is. If you don’t have affordable health insurance through your work, you might be able to qualify for a tax credit to make it affordable on the health insurance exchange.

Auto Insurance – Car or truck insurance is needed if you drive a vehicle. Almost every state mandates some kind of insurance. However, if your vehicle is inexpensive or you are confident in your ability to replace it, you can only need liability coverage.

 

The Best Ways To Insure Your Recreational Toys

As summer approaches, many people are moving outdoors. This includes using ATVs, boats, RVs, golf carts, and more. All these vehicles need insurance to protect you against damage and liability. It is important to have the right insurance for your recreational vehicles. Most of these are not automatically covered under your home or auto policies.

If you don’t want to insure physical damage on your recreational vehicles, that is an option, but you still need liability insurance. If you have loans on these vehicles, you may be required to insure them.

RV Insurance

RV insurance rates differ from company to company, so it pays to have us shop for your insurance. Some markets offer better rates for trucks, RVs, and campers, while others can offer better rates for motorcycles. To properly insure your RV, you may need liability, collision, comprehensive, uninsured motorist, medical payment, and towing coverage.

Boat/Watercraft Insurance

It would help if you considered watercraft/boat insurance for liability and damage to the hull and personal property. Boat insurance can include physical damage coverage, medical payments, liability, and trailer coverage.

ATV and Golf Cart Insurance

A standard auto insurance policy doesn’t cover ATVs. Even if you are not required to carry physical damage insurance on your ATV, it is still important to protect yourself from liability claims if you injure a third party.

 

Five Things People Should Know About Insurance

For many people, insurance can be difficult to understand.  Most people know that insurance is needed, but often they do not fully understand what they are buying or if they are properly covered.  That is why it is important to have an insurance agent on your side.  A good agent will help you determine what your insurance needs are, educate you about your options, and help you understand the specifics of the insurance you are buying.

Here are five things that you need to know as you consider your insurance options.

  • You cannot add coverage for a claim that has already occurred. For example, if there is flooding in your area, you cannot buy flood insurance during an event.
  • Coverage gaps can be costly. Having a gap or lapse in coverage can be costly. Always pay your premiums on time, or ask for a grace period from your insurer.  You will end up paying more if you have lapses in your policy.
  • Insurance is not intended to cover everything. Insurance is designed to provide financial recovery after an accident or unforeseen loss. Every policy has exclusions which are important to understand. Remember, insurance is not intended to cover regular maintenance.
  • An agent can be a valuable resource. A licensed agent can help you find the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service that fits your individual needs. A good agent will be willing to answer any questions you may have and be there for you when a claim occurs.
  • Do not skimp on liability insurance. The cost of litigation these days underscores the need for everyone to have an adequate amount of liability insurance.  The greater your assets are, the greater your need is to have your assets covered.  To protect yourself and your family financially, buy enough liability insurance on your auto and home insurance policies to cover above your net worth.  We can help you determine how much coverage your individual needs require.

In 1989, Oakwood’s founder, Bruce L. Sogn, set out to establish a business that would give him the opportunity to serve the community and to fulfill a need in the marketplace. Today as an independent insurance agency, Oakwood does just that.

After researching the insurance industry, he found that by becoming an independent insurance agent, he could offer a comprehensive range of insurance products and services to his clients. By maintaining focus on competitive products, Oakwood has kept its commitment to service, professionalism, and the highest integrity.

Five Things People Should Know About Insurance

For many people, insurance can be difficult to understand.  Most people know that insurance is needed, but often they do not fully understand what they are buying or if they are properly covered.  That is why it is important to have an insurance agent on your side.  A good agent will help you determine what your insurance needs are, educate you about your options, and help you understand the specifics of the insurance you are buying.

Here are five things that you need to know as you consider your insurance options.

  1. You cannot add coverage for a claim that has already occurred. For example, if there is flooding in your area, you cannot buy flood insurance during an event.
  1. Coverage gaps can be costly. Having a gap or lapse in coverage can be costly. Always pay your premiums on time, or ask for a grace period from your insurer.  You will end up paying more if you have lapses in your policy.
  1. Insurance is not intended to cover everything. Insurance is designed to provide financial recovery after an accident or unforeseen loss. Every policy has exclusions which are important to understand. Remember, insurance is not intended to cover regular maintenance.
  1. An agent can be a valuable resource. A licensed agent can help you find the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service that fits your individual needs. A good agent will be willing to answer any questions you may have and be there for you when a claim occurs.
  1. Do not skimp on liability insurance. The cost of litigation these days underscores the need for everyone to have an adequate amount of liability insurance.  The greater your assets are, the greater your need is to have your assets covered.  To protect yourself and your family financially, buy enough liability insurance on your auto and home insurance policies to cover above your net worth.  We can help you determine how much coverage your individual needs require.