New Year Annual Insurance Review

As you kick off the new year, one resolution should be to ensure you have the proper insurance protection for the year ahead. Policyholders often treat insurance as something to simply check off and forget about. However, your policies are more valuable than that.

Your policies are protecting you through miles on the road, unpredictable tornado seasons and all of life’s ups and downs. They require updates regularly to adapt to the changes in your life. What better time for this than at the beginning of the year? An annual insurance review will help ensure your policies are up-to-date and provide the protection you need. It can also uncover discounts that you may be eligible for. 

Check out this list of common changes that could require an adjustment to any one of your insurance policies. Talk to your agent to schedule your annual insurance review today: 

  1. You may need to update your Auto policy if you’re driving significantly more or less than you were in previous years, if your vehicle is aging or if you have passed it down to a child.
  2. Consider updating your Home policy if you added high dollar personal property to your home inventory, if you installed a pool, if you completed home improvements or added on to your home size.  
  3. You may need to update your Life policy if you added or lost members of your family recently, if you experienced changes in your health, if you changed jobs or your family’s cost of living increased or decreased. 
  4. Consider updating your Farm & Ranch policy if you expanded operations or added new equipment, if you’re using certain machinery or vehicles more often than usual or if you’ve increased your livestock inventory.

If something has changed in your life over the past year that isn’t reflected in your current policies, talk to your OKFB agent today to schedule an annual insurance review. Life changes fast, this annual review will help make sure your insurance keeps up. 

Friday the 13th – 13 Hidden Risks

Many people are afraid of or superstitious of black cats, broken mirrors and walking under ladders around Friday the 13th, which will take place this December. However, what’s even more cause for caution is all the hidden risks that can be present in daily life. Check out these top 13 risks to be aware of: 

Eating while driving

Next to texting and driving, eating while driving is one of the most common forms of distracted driving. Reaction time drops by nearly 50% while eating. Next time you pick up food, make sure to wait until arrival before eating. 

Car maintenance

Without proper vehicle maintenance, driving a car can pose some risks. Change the oil in the vehicle as recommended, get tires checked regularly and make sure to have roadside assistance as part of your insurance policy. 

Lightning

While not extremely common, lightning can strike your car or home and cause damage that may require repairs. Make sure your insurance plan covers damage caused by lightning and help prevent damage by installing a lightning rod or other protection.

Cyber security

As the internet increasingly becomes part of the daily routine, cyber security is a necessity. Take steps to protect your information online from hackers or data breaches, including using complex passwords and being aware of email phishing scams. 

Texting 

Texting while doing other things is a huge distraction. Whether walking across the street or driving down the road, avoid texting and pay better attention to surroundings. 

Home security

Make sure to lock all doors and windows when leaving and consider installing an alarm system. If you’re an OKFB member, you may be eligible for a discount for installing a home security system. 

Fire 

It’s nice to have the fireplace crackling or a candle burning to provide warmth and comfort, but make sure to take the proper safety precautions. Always extinguish candles and fires before leaving a room, and make sure to keep them out of reach of children.  

Food storage

Improper food storage can result in spoiled foods, and if these foods are consumed they can result in illness. Hold cold foods at 40°F or below, and keep hot foods at 140°F or above. Regularly monitor your refrigerator and freezer to ensure they are at the right temperature. 

Carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless flammable gas that can be deadly. CO can accumulate wherever fuel is burned, whether by a kitchen stove or a car in the garage. Help avoid CO poisoning by installing carbon monoxide detectors in your home. 

Appliances

Appliances, especially those in the kitchen can pose some safety risks. Stay nearby appliances when cooking and always check that appliances are off before leaving the kitchen.  

Screens

Staring at a screen all day, whether via a phone or a computer, can pose some health risks. Excessive use can result in a decrease in vision abilities, and it can also lead to back pain, joint pain and headaches. If possible, try reducing daily screen time.

Going to work 

From farming to construction, some jobs require working with dangerous equipment or substances. Make sure to be aware of and follow workplace safety guidelines to help prevent accident and injury.

Showering 

Slippery floors in the shower can lead to injury or even death. Showers can be especially risky for the elderly and children, who often require help to enter and exit the shower safely. Install a support bar, clean up wet floors and be extra vigilant in the bathroom.

Safeguard Against Fire Risks

October is National Fire Prevention Month, and with 350,000 residential fires occurring each year nationwide, it’s important to know how to protect the structure that’s most important to you. Your home serves as a place of refuge for you and your family, and protecting it from a fire can be simple when you take the necessary preventative steps. Check out this list of tips to help keep your family and home safe from fire damage: 

Do’s and Don’ts of smoke alarms

A smoke alarm is your first line of defense, and we want to reward you for having one. With our fire alarm discount, you may be eligible for a policy discount based on the type of alarm you have installed. Contact an OKFB agent to learn more and see if you qualify.  

It’s important to not only have the proper amount of smoke alarms installed, but also to make sure you test them regularly. The National Fire Protection Association recommends installing smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Don’t install smoke alarms near windows, doors or ducts where drafts may have an effect on them operating properly. Never paint, decorate or put stickers on the alarms, as this could interfere with them working. 

Test your smoke alarms at least once a month by using the test button. Make sure you follow care instructions that come with the alarm, including cleaning best practices and how often you should replace the battery. The general recommendation is to replace the battery once a year and replace the smoke alarm every 10 years. 

Keep a fire extinguisher nearby 

Install a fire extinguisher on every level of the home and learn how to use it. If the time comes when you need to extinguish a fire around the house, you’ll be able to act quickly. 

Check appliances and cords

Take the time to regularly check your appliances’ cords to ensure they are not old, worn or damaged. Frayed or damaged cords around the house can spark, easily leading to a fire. Try to avoid running cords through high-traffic areas in your home where they may more quickly get worn out or damaged. Also, make sure you’re not overloading outlets or extension cords. Have an electrician install more outlets if you feel you don’t have enough. 

Make safety plans for the family 

One of the simplest ways to help prevent a house fire is by making sure everyone in the home understands the safety precautions. Talk to your children about fire safety and set rules for the household to keep best practices in place. Keep lighters and matches out of reach of children, teach them the importance of blowing out candles when leaving a room and how to identify the sound of smoke alarms. Lastly, create a fire escape plan so everyone is prepared and knows where to go if a fire occurs.

OKFB understands the importance of your home and the role it plays for your family. Protect your dwelling with Home Insurance. Talk to an agent today!

Home Insurance checklist for moving

Moving into a new home can be an exciting but busy time. As you pack up your life and prepare to sell your home in the midst of your normal schedule, thoughts about Home Insurance may not cross your mind. But, it’s important to know how to handle your policy during this time of transition. Check out our short checklist for navigating Home Insurance during a move:

1. Contact your agent

The first step is to contact your current insurance agent. They will be best equipped to help you understand how your insurance may be impacted by the new property. Your agent can also determine whether you’ll be able to transfer and adjust your existing policy or if you’ll need to start a new policy for the new home and cancel your current policy for the old home. 

2. Provide your agent with a timeline 

After consulting with your agent, it’s important to keep him/her in the loop about your anticipated timeline for the move. You’ll want to share not only the dates for moving out and moving in, but also the dates for when new home ownership begins and old home ownership ends. If these dates overlap and you own two homes at once for a period of time, you’ll need to make sure both are properly insured. Your insurance agent can discuss the logistics that will ensure there are no gaps in coverage during your move.

3. Transfer or cancel/start your policy 

Depending on where you move, you may have several options for getting started with coverage for your new home. You may be able to transfer your policy and make updates, start a new policy with the same company/agent, or you may have to look to a new company if you fall outside of the coverage area for your current insurer. At any rate, communication between you and your agent is critical. Your agent can set up an easy transfer or have a start or stop date scheduled for your policy. 

Taking these steps can lead to peace of mind that you are properly covered during the entire moving process. Contact your OKFB agent to learn more.