Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of our frequently asked questions. If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. Many of the FAQs are printed with permission from the Oklahoma Insurance Department's website.
Is there are grace period if I pay my auto insurance premium late?
No. There may be times when a company will reinstate a policy once the overdue payment has been made, but if you have had a loss during that period, there most likely will be no coverage.
The premium for my auto insurance policy has increased, why?
Compare the previous declaration page with the renewal declaration to find out exactly what has changed. If you have had an accident or a citation, your automobile insurance may be surcharged. Also, you may have lost a discount. If either of the previously mentioned examples are not the case, the increase may be due to a rate increase because your insurer requested an increase based on overall loss experience for the entire state. Please don't hesitate to contact our office if you have questions regarding your premium.
What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage and am I required to have it?
This coverage pays you, resident members of your family, and occupants of your car for personal injuries caused by an uninsured motorist, an underinsured motorist, or a hit and run driver. While you are not required by law to carry this coverage, companies are required to offer it with every policy. It does not pay for damages to your car. If an uninsured motorist damages your car, repairs would be paid for under your collision coverage. If you carry liability only, there would be no insurance coverage available to repair your car.
How do insurance companies determine how much to pay for a totaled car?
Auto insurance provides coverage on an actual cash value (ACV) basis, which means that the company owes the ACV at the time of the loss. The Oklahoma Insurance Department has no authority to determine the appropriate ACV of a vehicle. According to state law, such cost may be determined by: the cost of a comparable motor vehicle in the local market area when a comparable motor vehicle is available in the local market area, one or two or more quotations obtained by an insurer from two or more qualified dealers located within the local market area when a comparable motor vehicle is not available in the local market area, or the cost of a comparable motor vehicle as quoted in the latest edition of the National Automobile Dealers Association Official Used Car Guide or monthly edition of any other nationally recognized published guidebook.
I was involved in an accident in which the other driver was at fault and had no liability insurance. Can my rates increase after I file a claim on my own auto policy?
No, Section 941 of the Oklahoma Insurance Code says that a company cannot assign driving record points, cancel, refuse to renew or increase the premium rate for any motor vehicle liability or collision insurance policy for the reason that insured has been invilved in a motor vehicle collision and was not at fault.
Why are auto rates higher for youthful males than they are for youthful female drivers?
Oklahoma Insurance Code requires companies to use rates that are not inadequate or unfairly discriminatory. A rate is not considered to be unfairly discriminatory if it reflects equitably the differences in expected losses and expenses. Companies maintain loss statistics that continue to show that more dollars are paid due to losses involving male youthful drivers when compared to female youthful drivers. Rating factors will be higher to reflect these figures. However, it is worth noting that the gap between the rates for youthful males and youthful females is getting smaller.
What can I do to lower the premium of my homeowners policy?
There are several things that you may do to decrease your premium. As companies do not charge the same rates, shop for the company that offers the best coverage for the best price. There are upgrades for your home that may provide discounts on your premium. Many companies offer discounts for hail resistant roofs, dead-bolt locks, smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, security systems, approved fire/burglar alarms and sprinkler systems. Most companies also have a discount for having both your homeowners and auto policies with them. You can save money on your premium by increasing your policy deductible. However, you’ll have to pay more out of pocket if you have a claim.
How does an Actual Cash Value (ACV) policy differ from a Replacement Cost policy?
Actual Cash Value coverage will only pay for the replacement cost less depreciation. As the name suggests, a Replacement Cost policy will pay up to policy limits the cost necessary to replace property destroyed by a covered loss, with no deduction for depreciation. You will pay a higher premium for Replacement Cost coverage. With Replacement Cost coverage, at the time of the loss the company will pay the ACV of the damaged or destroyed property. An additional payment will be made for the difference between the ACV and replacement value once the property has been replaced.
My house was destroyed by fire. I am having a difficult time in providing a complete list of destroyed personal property to the company. Any suggestions?
This is a common problem. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that homeowners maintain a written inventory of household possessions to assist them in the event of a loss. A videotape or photographs of your personal property is also very beneficial, along with receipts for the purchase of your more valuable items. A copy of these items and your insurance policy should be kept in a separate, safe location (such as a safety deposit box) away from your home.The Oklahoma Insurance Department developed a Home Inventory File Publication that you may find helpful to use prior to a loss. To download a copy go to Publications section of the Property and Casualty Division and click on Consumer Home Inventory
Is damage caused by flood covered under my homeowner’s policy?
Flood is not covered under a homeowner’s policy. If you are interested in obtaining a flood policy, talk to a Cornerstone Insurance Group agent.