Do I Need Flood Insurance If I Own My Own Home?

The things that make living in Oklahoma City, OK great – the numerous rivers and lakes that attract boaters and recreational fishers – also make it vulnerable to floods. Flooding is one of the most devastating hazards your home can face. It’s also a hazard that’s not covered by your standard homeowner’s insurance policy. If you live in a flood zone or any other area that’s vulnerable to flash flooding, having flood insurance from Freeland Insurance can help repair the damage and make replacing your personal belongings easier.

When you purchase a new home with the help of your mortgage lender, you’ll notice a few important stipulations in your mortgage agreement. Not only will you need a homeowner’s insurance policy, but you’ll also need to carry flood insurance coverage. Lenders can decide whether to require mortgage holders to have flood insurance in low-to-moderate-risk areas. In high-risk areas, however, any homeowner with a federally regulated or insured mortgage must have flood insurance coverage by law.

A new home is a major investment for both the buyer and the mortgage lender. Carrying both policies not only ensures that you’re financially covered in case of flooding, but it also ensures your lender won’t lose its collateral – your home – to the severe damage that’s often caused by flooding.

Once you’ve finally paid off your mortgage, however, you’re no longer under any obligation to maintain your flood insurance coverage. But that doesn’t mean you should ditch your policy at the first opportunity. Your flood insurance policy ensures you’re financially covered if and when the next flash flood makes a mess of your home.

If you own your Oklahoma City, OK free and clear, it’s up to you to decide if your home still needs flood insurance coverage. Contact Freeland Insurance today for a no-obligation consultation with one of our independent agents.

Why Does Someone Need to Have Health Insurance?

For people that are in the Oklahoma City, OK area, one of the most important types of insurance to have is health insurance. Today, having this insurance is a practical necessity. There are several reasons why someone needs to have health insurance in place at all times.

Gives Protection for Major Expenses

One of the main reasons why you need to have health insurance is that it will give you protection for major expenses. If you suffer an injury or get sick, you could end up spending tens of thousands of dollars to get better. If you have health insurance in place, the actual money that you will have to spend out-of-pocket will be significantly less. If you do not have health insurance, you likely will spend years trying to pay back this debt.

Encourages Better Health

Another advantage of having health insurance is that it can help to promote and encourage better health. When you have health insurance, you will have the ability to go see the doctor on a regular basis and get check-ups. This can get you motivated to live a healthier lifestyle. If you do not have health insurance, you will not have this ability.

Required by Law

Today, all people are required by law to carry health insurance at all times. For people that are on limited income, there are a variety of options to get discounted plans. If you do not have any type of health insurance, you could end up facing a big fine that will need to be paid when you file your taxes.

When you are looking for a health insurance policy in the Oklahoma City, OK area, Freeland Insurance is a great place to start your search. Freeland Insurance will help you to find a policy that is right for you.

Why Life Insurance Is Important for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs are risk takers, and while they do all sorts of research for their business and the risk is calculated, it is still a risk. Life can often be unpredictable, which is why even though entrepreneurs are used to taking risks, they should still consider life insurance.

About 41% of business owners don’t have life insurance, which means that don’t have funds to support their business, employees, and family in the event that something happens to them. Since entrepreneurs in Oklahoma City, OK often have a unique outlook for the business, if something were to happen it could derail the company and possibly lead to the collapse of the business itself. Even though no one wants to think about unexpected things that could happen, life insurance is one of the easiest ways to protect those who depend on you. Life insurance can give you peace of mind so that you can spend your time focusing on building your business and know that your business partners and family are protected should anything happen to you.

Entrepreneurs should consider getting term life insurance. Term life insurance covers an individual for a certain amount of time and it’s the most amount of coverage at a lower premium. Term life insurance policies are customizable and can be tailored to suit your needs. However, there are other types of life insurance available. An agent at Freeland Insurance can help entrepreneurs come up with a policy that suits their goals. Business owners should think about the level of debt, future obligations, and income replacement. Many entrepreneurs can be unaware of vital financial measures and the value of their business, which can cause them to not have enough coverage.

Contact Freeland Insurance, serving Oklahoma City, OK, to get a quote on life insurance.

Steps to Prepping Your Commercial Property for Winter Weather

With tornadoes in the spring and snow in the winter, residents of Oklahoma City, OK are not strangers to inclement weather. When the forecast calls for dangerous conditions, use these tips to protect your physical assets and reduce the likelihood of workers and visitors sustaining injuries on your property.

  • Ensure your liability and commercial property insurance policies are up-to-date. Are you sure you have enough coverage to protect you from a catastrophic loss? Talk to the experts at Freeland Insurance to make sure your payouts will be enough to help you rebuild after a big storm.
  • Move outdoor displays, tools, and decorative items inside. This will prevent them from flying away and causing further damage to surrounding property.
  • Place thick rubber safety mats at all entrances and exits to reduce accidental slip and falls due to excess moisture. Consider placing a more absorbent mat underneath to contain precipitation to one area.
  • Be sure to insulate pipes before the temperature drops to prevent freezing. This includes lines for septic systems, water supply, or anything that runs close to the surface of the ground. Even electrical equipment can be damaged by extreme cold.
  • Check your property’s safety lighting system. Ensure there are no burnt-out bulbs or malfunctioning equipment that could compromise the nighttime vision of visitors.
  • Visually inspect gas flues and outlets. Are they sufficiently covered to keep them from getting clogged with snow or ice?
  • While the weather is still good, survey your grounds. Repair potholes in the parking lot, broken pavers, and other issues that might become a hazard in the presence of ice and snow.

These steps ensure that your clients and workers stay safe on your commercial property in winter conditions. Want to know more about how the right commercial insurance package can protect your business interests, regardless of the weather? Contact Freeland Insurance to learn more about insurance policies for your Oklahoma City, OK business.

What You Should Know about Home Insurance and Winter Storms

When it comes to the winter season in Oklahoma City, OK, there is a lot that can go wrong that may increase your need for complete home insurance. Knowing what your insurance will and won’t cover can keep you prepared for when winter storms strike. For questions about what your policy covers, contact Freeland Insurance.

Water Damage: If the water damage comes from a burst pipe, thanks to the cold spell that comes with the winter storm, then you will be covered as long as you haven’t left the home unoccupied and with no heat on. The coverage should include the broken pipe, water damage into the home, and the water damage to furnishings.

Roof Damage: If water leaks through your roof, you are covered for damage to the home and furnishings. If the roof caves in because of the weight of the snow, you are covered for the damage caused. If gutters are clogged with ice, you are covered for any damage to the walls and ceiling that occur from the water leaks.

Trees Falling: If a tree falls and damages the roof, your home insurance will pay for repairs and removing the tree. If a neighbor’s tree falls on your property and causes damage, then your insurance will pay for some damages and reimburse you to a certain amount for removing the tree. If a tree falls on the property but does not cause any damage, your insurance won’t pay for removal of the tree.

Wind Damage: Whether it’s a fallen tree or shingles flying off, your insurance will cover the damage.

Winter storms can also increase your liability risk with property damage to others, or personal injury if someone slips on ice on your walkways. Snow and ice on the roof can also crash down and injure someone on the property. It’s important to take preventative measures, but you are covered if these events happen.

Contact an agent at Freeland Insurance, serving Oklahoma City, OK, to get a quote on home insurance.

Tips On Keeping Your Car Safe During A Storm

Tornados and strong thunderstorms are common in Oklahoma City, OK. The agents at Freeland Insurance are well aware of the dangers that come along with these storms and work diligently to help their clients protect their vehicles at all times. It’s important to know how to protect your vehicle if you find out a storm is heading your way.

Park Away From Trees Or Buildings

If you aren’t at home and don’t have access to a garage or carport, park away from trees, buildings, and other objects that could be blown over or thrown around by high winds. While you won’t have any protection from hail damage, being parked a safe distance away from large objects will prevent them from falling onto your vehicle.

Park In A Garage, Carport, or Other Covered Area If Possible

If you have access to a garage or carport, use it. If a carport is available, pull in as far as possible to prevent the wind from blowing things under it. In some cases, being able to park alongside a building that can act as a block against the wind may also be beneficial. If you are in a public lot, avoid blocking fire lanes and other areas designated for emergency vehicles.

Many of the residents in the Oklahoma City, OK area have experienced the devastating effects of severe weather. At Freeland Insurance, each agent always goes above and beyond to help their clients remain safe and secure during strong storms. Call the office and schedule an appointment if you have questions about how to protect your vehicle and yourself from severe weather and its devastating effects.

Who Should Be Your Primary Beneficiary?

One of the first things you do when purchasing life insurance is to determine who will be your beneficiary. At Freeland Insurance, the licensed and bonded agents can assist Oklahoma City, OK residents in choosing the right person to be the recipient of the proceeds from their life insurance. In most cases, a spouse or partner is often the most common choice, but there are times when choosing someone else may be necessary.

Spouse or Partner

For most life insurance policies, the insured normally chooses their spouse or life partner to be the beneficiary of the proceeds from a life insurance policy. If they are single, it can be a business associate or the executor of their will. A life insurance policy is purchased to help a wife or husband to remain financially stable for a period of time after the loved one passes away.

Caring for the Children

If the deceased has small children and the spouse is financially secure on their own, the beneficiary may be chosen to monitor the proceeds once they are placed in a trust. The trust fund can be used to pay for the children’s needs or can be set aside for their education. Beneficiaries are often chosen based on the fact that they knew the insured’s intent prior to their passing.

If you live in the Oklahoma City, OK area and are interested in purchasing a life insurance policy, the agents at Freeland Insurance can help you choose a beneficiary that will take care of the proceeds of the policy when the time comes. Call and schedule an appointment today so that you can decide who will take care of your family and keep their best interest at heart.

Insurance for Service-Based Businesses

Service-based businesses are one of the largest sectors of our modern economy. Cleaning services, landscapers, medical professionals, and other workers who don’t produce or sell real goods in the Oklahoma City, OK area have unique insurance needs. The experts at Freeland Insurance suggest that all service-based businesses carry these policies to protect their business interests.

  • General liability coverage helps you pay for costs associated with injury, accident, or loss caused by your business. This includes legal fees for the defense of your business and employees, medical payments for the injured party, and court-ordered fees and restitution. If you rent your commercial property, general liability protection will pay your landlord if you damage or destroy the property.
  • Professional liability insurance protects direct service providers from the legal costs of defending themselves against libel, slander, and even copyright infringement. Claims of false advertisement are also covered under these policies. Medical professionals like doctors, nurses, and psychologists depend on malpractice coverage, a type of liability insurance, to ensure they stay financially solvent in the face of legal claims.
  • Commercial auto insurance is more than a legal requirement. The right auto insurance policy ensures that your service or delivery vehicle is always available. Your employees are covered by your policy. If they are involved in an accident while completing their job duties, your commercial auto insurance policy guarantees that you’ll have the funds to repair or replace your service vehicle quickly.
  • Umbrella insurance policies are secondary coverages. All insurance policies have limits. In the case of a catastrophic loss, your primary coverage may not be enough to replace your lost property or allow you to rebuild. An umbrella policy provides additional funds on top of what your primary policy pays. These low-premium plans are a great way to ensure you’re ready for whatever is thrown your way.
  • Do you have the right protection for your service-based business? Contact Freeland Insurance in the Oklahoma City, OK area for a personalized review of your business needs.

Three Ways Umbrella Insurance Can Save the Day

Lawsuits happen everywhere. It’s true in Oklahoma City, OK, and it’s true in the rest of the country. Most people have basic coverage, but many don’t understand the opportunity that stems from an umbrella policy. At Freeland Insurance, we’ve seen it all. These are the three biggest ways umbrella insurance can protect you.

Legal Guidance

Perhaps the most valuable aspect of umbrella insurance is that it prevents you from facing lawsuits alone. When you have an umbrella plan, it is in the insurance company’s best interest to make sure you have top shelf representation. That helps you in finding a good lawyer, and it ensures that you have a good legal plan from the start. Too many people have lost horribly because they represented themselves. Umbrella insurance prevents that mistake.

Reputation

Umbrella insurance isn’t just about protecting your assets. Many policies include clauses for libel, slander and false arrest. If someone levels accusations against you that threaten your future, you can call in the big guns. Your insurance company is better equipped to handle these difficult cases than most individuals. In many cases, winning a defamation case doesn’t just protect your reputation. You may also win a countersuit for damages.

Dollar Bills

Ultimately, this is the primary motivation for having umbrella insurance. It makes sure you aren’t bankrupted if you are liable for damages. The vast majority of times, these cases arise from an honest accident, and none of us are above having a mishap. Umbrella insurance covers the costs of your accident to keep it from ruining your life.

Life in Oklahoma City, OK, can be full of adventure. Umbrella insurance is one of the key defenses to prevent that adventure from mutating into catastrophe. Talk to your Freeland Insurance Agent to make sure you have good coverage.

Why do lenders require flood insurance in addition to home insurance?

Mortgage lenders may require flood insurance as part of the lending requirements, especially if the home is located in an area that is considered having a high risk for floods. These areas are designated as a “Special Flood Hazard Area” by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Homeowner’s insurance does not usually cover flood damage. Flood insurance is a special type of coverage that is a separate policy. If the mortgage is federally insured or regulated, such as an FHA loan, and the home is in a high-risk area for floods, then having flood insurance is mandatory.

Even if a lender does not require flood insurance, it may still be a good idea to have it because weather patterns are changing and the risk of flooding may be there even if the home is not in a designated Special Flood Hazard Area. EcoWatch reported in 2017 that there is increasing flood risk due to the changing weather patterns that are causing routine flooding in areas that were not previously susceptible to flooding.

If you are looking to buy a home, check with an insurance agent at Freeland Insurance in Oklahoma City, OK and they can help determine if the home is in a flood zone. Sometimes real estate agents do not mention the need for flood insurance until the home someone wants to purchase is already in escrow. FEMA has maps available for the public that show where the flood zones are located. If the home is near a flood zone but not within the boundaries, it still may be a good idea to have flood insurance. Just a few inches of water that enters a home can do serious damage and create the need for costly repairs.

Contact an insurance agent at Freeland Insurance in Oklahoma City, OK for any flood insurance or other insurance needs.