Oklahoma Weather Causing Insurance Premiums To Rise

Posted May 16, 2014 by Heather McGregor

Justin Dougherty, News 9

Home insurance is on a drastic increase and it could have everything to do with our weather. Insurers label it “Catastrophe Exposure.”

Wildfires, tornadoes, high winds, hail, freezing rain, snow storms and earthquakes all things that factor insurance costs and all things we’ve already seen this year.

“I’ve always loved real estate,” said Guthrie investor, James Long.

Long’s love for buying homes may be impressive, but it’s nothing compared to his love for a good deal.

“I’m always looking,”┬ásaid Long.

Yet lately that deal has been hard to come by with insurance premiums. James has shopped around and found it doesn’t get much better.

“It sure is hard to digest, but to see [the] amount of increases, it’s hard to swallow,” said Long.

In one year Long saw his one property’s coverage increase by 2%, increasing his premium by 13%. In three other properties his coverage increased 46% and his premiums up 34%.

“It’s a big eye opener I haven’t processed…I just simply paid my premiums every year so I feel like they [are] just continuously getting a check from me,” said Long.

“The theory of insurance is to bring you back whole when you have a loss,” said John Doak.

Doak is the Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner.

“They have to have hundreds of millions of dollars on hand at any given minute to pay out any catastrophic loses,” said Doak.

More losses occurred in Oklahoma than any other state in 2013. So while James had zero claims in the last five years, insurers work on a 5-10 year span, meaning the state must pay for the catastrophes together.

“Large numbers to spread across a large amount of people, not just isolated pockets,” said Doak.

“You can’t go uninsured,” said Long.

There is currently a proposed bill called┬áthe “Natural Disaster Deductible Bill”, which may allow homeowners to select higher deductibles and save over a period of time.

Doak also recommends residents shop around for different plans and sit down with an agent on a regular basis to make sure you have every possible discount.