Homeowners insurance in Oklahoma is way through the roof, and car insurance is on the rise, too, especially since COVID, thanks to inflation, the weather and possibly climate change.
Oklahoma is the most expensive state for homeowners insurance, in fact, averaging $5,317 per year, nearly double the national average of $2,777, according to Insurance.com, an online insurance information provider and marketplace.
That’s for $300,000 worth of dwelling coverage, with a $300,000 liability limit, and a $1,000 deductible.
CoreLogic, a financial, property and consumer information provider, pointed directly to climate change and the increase in severe storms as the main causes of rising property losses and insurance costs across the country, not just in Oklahoma.
“As climate changes and weather becomes more volatile, the frequency and severity of severe convective storm activity will likely continue to impact more U.S. states — more so than any other natural catastrophe,” CoreLogic said in its 2023 Severe Convective Store Risk Report.
“Severe convective storms, including straight-line winds, tornadoes, hail and severe thunderstorms, are among the most frequent and damaging natural hazard events in the United States,” the firm said, noting what might seem obvious to people in Tornado Alley: Spring storms are the biggest cause of weather-related property damage nationwide.
Homeowners insurance, in Oklahoma, however, has fluctuated the past several years with the usual market cycle of insurance costs and availability.
Average homeowners insurance rates in Oklahoma over time
Insurance.com provided Oklahoma’s average costs over time for $300,000 worth of dwelling coverage, with a $300,000 liability limit, and a $1,000 deductible:
- $3,895 in 2016.
- $1,827 in 2019.
- $3,860 in 2022.
- $5,317 in 2023.
As for auto insurance, nationally, the average consumer has seen a 19% increase in premiums since September 2022, and a 40% hike over the past five years, mainly because of “increasing loss costs and frequency and severity of claims filed,” said Rylie Mansuetti, public and government affairs manager for AAA Oklahoma.
Auto insurance trends vary by market, and state trends over time weren’t available, she said.
Why homeowners insurance costs so much and is on the rise in Oklahoma
“As building material prices and labor costs continue to rise, home insurance carriers must raise premiums to cover their increased claims expenses,” according to financial services company Bankrate.com.
Also, according to Triple-I (the Insurance Information Institute), the effects of climate change may directly impact home insurance costs. Damage from wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes and floods costs more each year, causing some insurance companies to limit their coverage in high-risk areas.
Bankrate also pointed to the National Centers for Environmental Information, which “recorded 60 natural disasters over the past three years that caused over $1 billion dollars in damage each. After adjusting for inflation, damage from billion-dollar disasters from the past three years averages out to $149.2 billion per year.”
Why car insurance costs are on the rise in Oklahoma: Hail, mainly
Oklahomans know hail. But for newcomers:
“Hail is a solid precipitation consisting of balls or irregular lumps of ice. Formed during storms with strong updrafts, hailstones can range in size from a half-inch to four inches in diameter,” AAA Oklahoma notes. “The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported over 4,000 major hailstorms in the United States in 2022, causing more than $1 billion in property damage.
“Hail damage coverage depends on your car insurance policy. Comprehensive coverage protects your vehicle in various circumstances, including hail and storm damage, vandalism and theft. Comprehensive coverage typically carries a deductible, and policyholders are responsible for that portion of the claim. On the other hand, basic liability or collision coverage does not protect your vehicle from hail damage.”
What’s a homeowner, and car owner, to do?
FROM INSURANCE.COM:Best and cheapest homeowners insurance in Oklahoma
Ways to save on homeowners and car insurance
Here are some ways to save on homeowners insurance, according to Bankrate.com. The same tips apply to car insurance.
- Bundle insurance policies. “most insurers will give you a multi-policy discount to reward your loyalty. Ask your agent or insurance provider about multi-policy discounts to learn more.”
- Shop around. “By shopping around, you can compare quotes from several providers to determine which can offer you the lowest premium.”
- Ask for discounts. For safety measures such as installing smoke detectors. For loyalty, if you’ve had the same insurer for a long time. For paying in full annually rather than monthly, or for making auto payments.
- Evaluate your policy. “You can talk to your provider or agent to see if there are optional coverage types included in your policy that are not a good fit for your needs.”
- Increase your deductible. That’s the amount you pay out of pocket for a covered claim. “It will also lower your premium. … Be sure that you can afford a higher deductible before you make the change on your policy.”
- For homeowners, keep your roof in good condition. “Conduct regular inspections and perform repairs when necessary to help minimize the financial impact if a loss were to occur. Installing a new roof or retrofitting your existing roof to make it more resilient to storm damage may generate a premium reduction.”
- Choose to file a claim carefully. “Filing a homeowners (or auto) insurance claim can potentially increase your premiums in the future or even lead to a policy nonrenewal if you file multiple claims. Although filing a claim is necessary for any large covered losses, it is generally not advisable to file a claim for every small loss.”
Car hail damage prevention tips, from AAA Oklahoma
If a tornado strikes your car, it’s a goner. Hail damage is another, more common thing. Here are some ways to minimize damage to your vehicle, from AAA Oklahoma.
- Seek shelter: If possible, park in a garage or under covered parking to shield it.
- Park close to a tall building: Position your vehicle on the opposite side of the coming storm, using the building as a shield to divert hail and strong winds away from it.
- Cover with blankets: Use duct tape or some other fastener to keep them from blowing away.
- Consider specialized car covers: They can provide extra defense.
SIGN UP: Weekly e-newsletter, Real Estate With Richard Mize
Senior Business Writer Richard Mize has covered housing, construction, commercial real estate and related topics for the newspaper and Oklahoman.com since 1999. Contact him at email@example.com. Sign up for his weekly newsletter, Real Estate with Richard Mize. You can support Richard’s work, and that of his colleagues, by purchasing a digital subscription to The Oklahoman. Right now, you can get 12 months of subscriber-only access for $1 a month.
Alice J. Roden started working for Trending Insurance News at the end of 2021. Alice grew up in Salt Lake City, UT. A writer with a vast insurance industry background Alice has help with several of the biggest insurance companies. Before joining Trending Insurance News, Alice briefly worked as a freelance journalist for several radio stations. She covers home, renters and other property insurance stories.