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.

Benefits of Bundling Home and Auto Insurance

Managing and paying for multiple insurance policies can seem overwhelming, but that’s where bundling can come into play and provide big benefits. Insurance bundling is the process of joining multiple insurance policies under one member policy. It can often lead to a bundling discount – sometimes referred to as a companion discount – convenience and peace of mind for having all of your policies in one place! Read on to learn more about these benefits: 

You may be eligible for a bundling discount

When you purchase auto and home insurance from the same carrier, you may be eligible to receive a bundling discount. You could save on the bundled product premiums in comparison to paying more for two separate policy premiums with two carriers. OKFB Insurance offers a companion discount, but discounts offered will vary depending on the carrier. To see if you’re eligible for our bundling discount, contact an OKFB Insurance agent.

Bundling can provide enhanced convenience

A bundled policy can mean less paperwork to do initially and to keep up with – saving you time and energy. Additionally, all payments, claims and policy changes can be streamlined through one, dedicated agent. This means if something goes wrong, you’ll know exactly who to call to get help quickly. 

Your agent can help you look at the big picture

By working with you on a bundled policy, your insurance agent will get to know you and your insurance needs better while also developing a personal relationship. Your agent will help you identify gaps in coverage, savings and recommend additional policies. They will also be able to help you choose limits that will help cover all of your assets.

Learn more about the home and auto insurance policies we offer. When you’re ready to take advantage of these benefits, contact your agent to see what you may qualify for.

Protection for your Backyard Swimming Pool

As we enter the dog days of summer, having a pool at home provides refreshing relief from the sun and heat. Your backyard pool may be a savior during these long summer days and a fun time for the kids, but it also presents some risks. It’s important to be aware of how your pool impacts your insurance, so if you’re thinking about adding a pool or buying a home with one, we have some tips for you on pool safety and insurance coverage.

An “Attractive Nuisance”

Your backyard oasis may add value to your property, but it is considered by insurance companies as an attractive nuisance. An “attractive nuisance” is anything that might attract a child and be dangerous to an unsupervised child — and you can be held liable if something were to happen. Things like trampolines, playgrounds and man-made ponds are all considered attractive nuisances. As the homeowner, you are responsible for the risks posed by your pool and preventing potential harm that could come from it. Having an insurance policy that includes coverage for your pool can help you prevent poolside accidents by requiring you to meet certain safety measures. 

Safety Precautions

In order to include coverage for your pool in your insurance policy, many companies require you to take safety precautions that reduce the chance of an accident in or around your pool. Here are some safety precautions that may be required for you to obtain policy coverage for your pool:

  1. Install a fence around the entire perimeter of the pool, with a self-latching gate lock that children can’t reach. 
  2. Get a safety cover to serve as a secondary barrier. Lockable pool covers are a great way to help ensure children are not using the pool without supervision.
  3. Provide accessible safety equipment. Flotation devices near the pool for children who are not yet able to swim can help prevent accidents. 

If you don’t fulfill these safety measures, you could face denied insurance coverage or claims, cancelled policies and possibly large liability lawsuits for which you could be solely responsible. 

Insurance Options

Pool insurance by itself doesn’t exist. You’ll need to talk to an OKFB Insurance agent to find out how you can get coverage for your pool by adding your pool to your home insurance policy. It may also be beneficial to add an umbrella policy, which can provide an additional layer of liability coverage. We offer personal umbrella insurance that’s designed to protect you and your family from lawsuits not fully covered under a standard liability policy.