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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.

Proven Ways To Build Strong Insurance Relationships

The partnership between an insurance agent, an insurer, and a client is one of the most important in the industry. Carriers and the underwriters create policies and take on risks for insureds, whereas brokers assist their clients in finding the best insurance policies and carriers for their needs.

The independent agent and broker are the industry’s backbone. They are the primary channel of distribution for commercial property and casualty insurance.

How To Build And Maintain Strong Relationships

Don’t base your relationship on technology

Technology is good and effective tool for both the agent and their clients. But don’t make technology so important that any personal communication is lost.

Follow Through

Agents should build strong relationships with their clients by following through on their commitments and being communicative in the event that something changes, in addition to offering services and advice that help insureds avoid losses. If you say you’re going to do something, you must do it. If you can’t do it, you say, ‘I’m not going to be able to meet the commitment,’ and then you set a new expectation.

Focus on more than just pricing

When it comes to building a strong relationship with insurance agents, one thing that stands out above all else is the need to add value that goes beyond offering competitive insurance prices. When comparing options today, insureds should look for an agent who will not only provide the coverages they require but will also serve as a risk management partner.

Be Consistent

Consistency is essential in all aspects of communication and service. It establishes a pattern that customers can expect, which helps to highlight your value proposition and enhance the customer experience. Simply personalize interactions by framing conversations and messaging in less “scripted” ways. According to one survey, most marketers fail to personalize communication beyond digital channels. Get more customer-specific the next time you pick up the phone. It should contribute to the relationship’s strengthening.

The customer, regardless of the insurance company, ultimately looks to you, the agent, for advice, service, and responsiveness. Regardless of the shifting strategies and focuses in today’s insurance markets, remember to prioritize your customer relationships first, and you’ll find yourself building a book of business that will last for a long time.

 

The Importance of an Annual Insurance Review

It is critical that every homeowner or business undertakes an annual insurance review. Regular reviews are equally essential to ensuring that your policy continues to be a good fit for your coverage needs and budget.

In a single year, a lot can happen that can have a significant impact on your insurance costs, coverage options, and limitations, among other things. Among these are the following:

  • Marrying or divorcing
  • Children graduating from high school/empty nest/child off to college
  • Beginning a new job
  • Recruitment of new employees
  • Purchase new commercial equipment
  • Establishing a new enterprise
  • Accepting elderly parents into your home
  • The acquisition or receipt of an ostentatious gift
  • Your immediate family member has died
  • Mortgage repayment

Is this to say that I must immediately contact my insurance agent whenever I purchase new furniture or a family member moves in for six months? Not always. While more significant changes (such as marriage, divorce, or the purchase of a new car) should be reported immediately, items such as upgrading your home entertainment system or upgrading your sound system can be reported during your annual insurance review.

Give us a call today; we are ready to review your coverage.

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.

Can “Do It Yourself” Projects Jeopardize Your insurance?

A personal Insurance Update

Many people are remodeling their homes these days.  However, before you jump into a project, you might consider the following home insurance issues.  Most homeowner’s policies are based on a value of your home that fluctuates based on the “like kind and quality” that existed when the policy was first placed.

Many home improvement projects increase your home’s value, and should be added to your current replacement value.

  • If your DIY project requires a permit and you fail to get one, your homeowner’s insurance may be in jeopardy. For example, if you install a wood stove but fail to get a permit and have a licensed contractor complete the work, your insurer would automatically deny any resulting claims most of the time.
  • Your homeowner’s insurance covers third party injuries. It does not cover injury to you or members of your household.
  • Here are a few examples of DIY projects that will have an impact on your insurance: Outdoor living spaces, pools, upgraded kitchens or baths, room additions, and storage sheds.

For your protection and well-being, Oakwood Insurance Agency offers nearly every sort of personal insurance policy you may require. Please find a short but not exhaustive selection of our most frequent personal property, health, and life policies below. An Oakwood Insurance agent will explain our full range of insurance products and services during a personal consultation and create a tailored insurance plan with the right policies for your lifestyle, personal circumstances, and comfort level.

Is Your Home Insured Correctly?

How much would it cost you to rebuild your home if it was destroyed by a fire? It’s possible that reality is not what you expect. In the case of a covered loss, your homeowner’s policy may not cover the whole cost of rebuilding your house if it isn’t insured to its total replacement cost.

According to recent studies by major insurers, approximately 70% of houses in the United States, or two out of every three, are underinsured by at least 18%. This means that in the event of a total loss, such as a fire, the homeowner may be held liable for a large amount of the reconstruction costs. Working with an insurance professional to negotiate your home value issues will help you avoid misunderstandings and secure fair compensation in the case of a loss.

The market value (appraisal value) tax value of your home is entirely different from how much it would cost to rebuild your home in case it was completely damaged.

Replacement Cost Considerations

There are a number of factors that go into determining your home’s replacement value, including:

  • Type of construction quality
  • Materials used in the construction
  • Size of your home
  • Location
  • Your lot configuration
  • Are there any unique materials, like imported stone, marble, etc.?
  • The overall quality of construction, is your home average construction or high-end?
  • The average cost per square foot for new construction in your area.

The level of homeowner’s insurance you purchase is determined by your specific requirements. Insuring your home or other property for its full replacement value will help you prevent large out-of-pocket payments that could deplete your funds and cause you to change your estate plan. In addition, the contents of the home, other structures on the land, additional living expenditures, liability, and other factors should all be considered. Consult your agent about the right amount of coverage for your home and how to best arrange your policy.

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.

How To Improve Your Homeowner’s Insurance Without Jeopardizing Coverage

Homeowner’s insurance costs an average of $1,083 a year in the United States, though the cost varies significantly by state. Insurance companies provide policy discounts in the form of credits or lower premiums for home improvements that may reduce the need to file a claim as well as the amount paid out for claims that do occur. In essence, it is less expensive for insurers to lower premium prices than it is to compensate for damages and losses. Here are a few steps you can take to lower your insurance costs without jeopardizing your coverage

Roofing Upgrades

A new roof is a major — and expensive — investment. A faulty roof, on the other hand, might be very costly. If your roof leaks, you could end up with rotting wood and water damage inside your home. Hail and high-impact storms can breakthrough if it’s weak.

Increase the safety of your house

A smoke detector, lights, burglar alarm, or dead-bolt locks can normally be purchased at a discount of at least 5%. If you install a sophisticated sprinkler or fire detection system and a fire and burglar alarm that rings directly to the police, fire, or other monitoring stations, some companies will reduce your premium by as much as 10 or 15%. These systems are not inexpensive, and not all of them qualify for a discount. Find out what kind of system your insurance recommends, how much the device will cost, and how much you’ll save on premiums before you buy one.

Take advantage of every possible discount.

For everything from paying your annual payment in full up advance to keeping your insurance for more than three years, insurers provide a variety of discounts to homeowners.

Lower your risk

Even if it’s entertaining and fun, possessing something your insurer considers a “attractive nuisance” such as trampolines, certain dog breeds, swimming pools, or playground equipment will raise your homeowner’s insurance cost. Getting rid of these things could save you a lot of money on your insurance.

Talk to your insurance agent.

Before you start looking for methods to save money on your insurance, be sure you know what your existing policy covers.

Consider when to file a claim and not file a claim

Even while it may be tempting to file a claim with your insurance company whenever something minor happens, you may be better off in the long run if you pay for these smaller expenses yourself. This is because certain insurance companies may give you a discount if you don’t file a claim for a certain period of time, usually a few years.

Remain to use the same insurer.

If you’ve had your insurance with the same carrier for a long time, you may be eligible for a special discount as a long-term policyholder. If you stay with an insurer for three to five years, your premiums will be reduced by 5%, and if you continue with them for six years or more, your premiums will be reduced by 10%. However, make sure to compare this price to that of other insurance regularly.

Increase the amount of your deductible.

The larger your deductible, the lower your insurance costs are likely to be. According to the Insurance Information Institute, increasing your deductible by $500 to $1,000 might save you up to 25% on your premiums.

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.

 

2022 Insurance Planning

It may be imperative to evaluate your personal insurance program now that 2022 is approaching. Before buying insurance, most consumers don’t take the time to consider their exposures, options, or present financial situation. It’s critical to take stock of your own finances in order to plan for the future. Here are some ideas to get you thinking about your personal insurance. Of course, we always advise that you contact our office for additional information.

  • Make Sure That You Are Dealing With A Licensed Insurance Agent – Insurance companies and agents are both required to be licensed by the state, and their information may be found online at the state’s insurance department. Most state insurance departments have resources online to aid you in choosing the correct insurance and ensuring that the person or organization you’re dealing with is an expert in that field.
  • Examine Your Automobile Limits – If your policy limits are less than $100,000, you won’t be able to cover your medical expenditures in the event of a major accident. Anyone with any assets or income to protect should get minimum liability coverage of $500,000 to $1 million or more.
  • Look for Discounts – Many insurance firms offer a 10% or higher discount to customers who have other insurance contracts with them (such as auto or RV insurance). Consider getting an insurance quote from the same company that provides your homes insurance for other forms of insurance. You might be able to save money by bundling.
  • Recognize The Risks And Coverage You Require – Every property is unique and comes with its own set of risks. The type of insurance required will also be determined by whether the property is utilized as a primary residence, a long-term or short-term rental, or a condominium. In general, homeowner’s insurance is intended to protect against dangers beyond the owner’s control, such as rain, wind, fire, vandalism, pipe bursts, falling objects, theft caused by broken glass, and so on.
  • Keep a Home Inventory — Keeping an accurate inventory of your personal belongings will help you recover faster in the event of a loss.
  • Bundle Your Insurance – Save money by combining your vehicle, house, and umbrella policies with one insurer.
  • Choose the Right Deductible – A greater deductible lowers your premium, but you’ll be responsible for more out-of-pocket expenses in the event of an accident. If you have a clean driving record and no accidents, you might choose to take a chance and pay a higher premium. The benefit for taking this risk might be as much as a 40% discount.
  • Consider Identity Theft — One of the fastest-growing crimes in the United States is identity theft.
  • Read Your Policy – I’m not referring to the 1-2 page Declarations Page that serves solely to demonstrate coverage, but rather the 20-30 page insurance Binder or Policy that provides the specifics of the coverage and exclusions. Nobody enjoys reading insurance policies, so don’t be surprised if you don’t comprehend them.
  • Purchase from a financially stable business — Your insurance coverage is only as good as the firm that backs it up. The insurance firm should be rated “A+” or better.
  • Be willing to make changes as your lifestyle and requirements evolve.

How to Manage A Water Damage Loss

One of the most severe risks to your home is having water where it isn’t supposed to be. Many factors can cause water damage, such as defective plumbing, leaking appliances, or just bad weather. A wise homeowner knows how to monitor for water leaks and other problems, as well as what to do if one occurs.

Problems with Water:

If you have a leak or a pipe problem in your house, it may not always be obvious. That’s why it’s a good idea to evaluate places prone to water damage on a frequent basis. Here are some places where you should conduct regular surveys:

Water can get in via openings like windows and doors if there’s an issue with the seal or the aperture itself.

  • Hoses and places for washing machines and dishwashers
  • All piping and plumbing systems
  • Ice makers
  • Frozen pipes
  • Ice dams in gutters
  • Flooring and carpeting underfoot
  • Attics, crawl spaces, basements, and any other regions that aren’t frequently used
  • Toilets, bathrooms, and shower/bathroom areas
  • Siding and roofing
  • Thermostat for hot water

At least a few times a year or more, take your time and look for leaks or water stains all over your house. In addition, after a severe storm or another weather event, you should always do a comprehensive inspection of your home.

Water Damage Prevention: Checking your home for water damage on a regular basis is a good place to start, but there are other things you can do to prevent serious damage from occurring in the first place. These are some of them:

To uncover potential problems, have your plumbing, appliances, roof, and other important areas professionally assessed. To keep your homes pipes from freezing in the cold, use insulation and other methods.

Investigate straight away if you find a leak or if your water bill is unusually high one month.

Water Damage and Insurance:

If your pipes break or something else goes wrong unexpectedly, your homeowner’s insurance may cover the damage to your home and belongings. Your insurance coverage may not apply if you haven’t taken the time to maintain your water systems, appliances, and other areas where harm could occur. Furthermore, flood damage is usually not covered by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. If you reside in a flood-prone location, speak with your insurance agent about getting a separate flood coverage.

Make sure you know and understand what types of damage and property are covered by your insurance, what your responsibilities as a homeowner are, and that you submit any potential claims as soon as possible.

Don’t disregard water damage no matter what you do. What appears to be a minor issue may be concealing a more serious one. Even if it isn’t, leaving water damage unattended might result in a dangerous condition that will be much more difficult and costly to restore later.

Call or email our team immediately if you have any questions about home insurance.

Stop Porch Pirates This Holiday Season

The holiday season is filled with fun, parties, food, gifts, overeating, and, unfortunately, some risk. One of the fasted growing risks for many people is stolen packages by porch pirates. According to proopertycasualtiy360, over 26 million packages are stolen during the holiday season. Need more bad news?

Your homeowners or renter’s insurance generally may not cover this loss as it tends to be under your deductible. There could be covered if you have personal property off-premises insurance. Also, for theft coverage to apply generally, you need proof of loss by a broker indoor, etc.

Call our office for a review of your homeowner’s insurance, as each policy is unique to your circumstances.

Things To Do

  • Delivery confirmation is a good way to prove the package was delivered.
  • Thieves will follow delivery trucks, waiting for the perfect target.
  • These thieves commonly strike during working hours as many homes are empty at that time.
  • You can insure your packages.
  • Consider having a person there when the delivery is scheduled.
  • Install a security camera.

What To Do If A Package Is Stolen

  • Track your package. Check the delivery confirmation and tracking number.
  • Make sure a neighbor did not pick it up for you.
  • Contact the seller. Different retailers have different policies and processes for handling stolen items, but usually, you are entitled to a refund or a replacement item.
  • File a claim with the shipping company.
  • Check your Credit Cards for Purchase Protection.

Call our office for a review of your homeowner’s insurance, as each policy is unique to your circumstances. We are happy to help you through your claim and help you determine the best course of action.

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.

Things That Can Void Your Homeowners Insurance

You buy homeowners insurance to protect your important investment, provide personal liability coverage, and insure your personal property. Homeowners insurance is designed to provide protection for unknown or unforeseen events such as; fire, theft, wind damage, accidents, and more.

Most homeowner’s insurance policies may also cover

  • The dwelling
  • Personal property
  • Loss of use
  • Property away for your home
  • Personal liability
  • Fine art and other collections
  • Coverage for swimming pools

 

Your homeowner’s policy has terms and conditions that outline your and your insurer’s responsibilities. Remember your home insurance protects you and your belongings, so avoid these typical blunders that could result in your policy being canceled or a claim being denied.

  1. Running a Business Out of Your Home. Do you have a home office, work from home full-time, or run a business from your house? If this is the case, certain parts of your home-based office or business may be excluded from your normal homeowner’s insurance coverage. You will need a business insurance policy to cover your business operations. Many insurers, on the other hand, provide an endorsement (additional coverage) for home-based businesses. This will broaden your insurance coverage to include commercial activities. However, not all insurers provide this coverage, and not all business kinds are insured.
  2. Renting out rooms for income. Your policy may also have limitations when it comes to home-sharing services like Airbnb, so check with your insurer before accepting temporary visitors to be sure you’re covered if something goes wrong with your house while it’s being rented.
  3. Criminal or illegal activity. Your insurance policy may be voided if you engage in illegal activities in your home, such as cultivating or manufacturing narcotic substances.
  4. Updating your home without notifying your insurance company. Do you intend to undertake a significant home renovation project? Make sure to notify your insurance company ahead of time. Home renovations may put your insurance company at risk, and your coverage may not cover them. If you have replacement cost coverage, it is important to have the correct, true replacement value, or you may be underinsured.
  5. Not keeping up with home maintenance. Your insurance policy may be voided if you do not perform necessary repairs and upkeep on your home. For instance, if you don’t repair your roof and your ceilings incur water damage, you could not be protected. Check with your insurance to understand what your responsibilities are in terms of house maintenance. Poor care of your home and possessions might lead to undervaluation of your property or even denial of claims. If you fail to make necessary repairs, your insurer may cancel your coverage.
  6. A Vacant home. If you plan on being away from home for an extended period of time, let your agent or insurer know. There are limitations in your policy if your home is vacant or unoccupied.
  7. Change of ownership. If you sell your home to a family member without notifying your insurer, your insurance may be void. If you have added another name to the title of the property, like a spouse, life partner, child, or transferred the title into a family trust, you need to correct the policyholder named on the policy.
  8. Contract workers. Your home insurance does not cover any insurance for liability from contracted workers such as; landscapers, contractors, and home maid services.

If you have home insurance, it will protect you in the event of an accident, theft, or fire. However, failing to notify your insurer about renovations, extended trips, or a home business could result in claim denial. Never use the property for illicit purposes such as unauthorized rentals or criminal activities. Also, it would help if you never made your own modifications without first obtaining permission. It’s possible that if you start a fire, it won’t be covered. Keep your insurer informed of any modifications to your property so that you always have adequate coverage.

Review your insurance and speak with your agent or insurer if you have any questions regarding your coverage

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. Understanding a problem involves asking questions, reviewing agreements, and visiting the facility or business. We believe that a professional agent must do more than 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 work closely with the management team to protect and preserve assets.