Oklahoma’s average homeowners insurance premium is on the high end, at $1,879 — mainly due to the rising number of earthquakes. But just because the average is high doesn’t mean that’s what you’ll be paying.
You’ll want to talk to several agents and investigate what they cover, and what discounts you’re eligible for. Factors like the type of home you own, its age, location, and more are also important in finding the best homeowners insurance in Oklahoma. A good place to start learning is with our quote tool.
How We Found the Best Homeowners Insurance in Oklahoma
For this review, we looked at the five largest homeowners insurance companies by market share in Oklahoma, using the same methods as we used in our review of nationwide homeowners insurance providers.
We put each company under a virtual microscope, looking at everything from the usefulness of their websites resources to their financial stability. We took into account the ratings of consumer watchdogs like J.D. Power (based on 16,000 people who responded to an online survey) and Consumer Reports (who surveyed nearly 8,000 people to calculate its Reader Score), as well as financial ranking institutions like Moody’s, A.M. Best, and S&P Global.
We also tried to answer all the questions that a new home buyer might have by using the educational materials on each website, and then we reached out via phone and online to get a quote from each company, based on the average asking price for a home in Oklahoma City. Finally, we took note of what (if any) discounts were available from each company, as well as the scope and breadth of their coverage.
Oklahoma Homeowners Insurance Reviews
Farmers was nothing if not consistent: Both J.D. Power and Consumer Reports ranked it in the middle of our contenders for customer service, timely payment, and overall. It also received “A” ratings from Moody’s, A.M. Best, and S&P Global, indicating that it’s on financially solid ground and have the resources to pay out multiple claims if there is a catastrophic event in your area.
Getting an online quote was no problem on Farmers’ website, and we found a very detailed FAQ section with lots of good information on topics of interest to Oklahoma homeowners, including whole sections on earthquakes and floods, neither of which are covered in standard policies. An agent followed up with a phone call almost immediately, and he was able to tweak our estimate and save us a few dollars.
Farmers gave us the most comprehensive quote of any of the companies we worked with: ten pages long and including a glossary, detailed billing options, and explanations in plain English of what your coverage included. For those new to the insurance market, it would be a real asset to have this information at your fingertips. Its prices were mid-range, based on valuing our home (which was on the market for $125K) at $176K. Farmers also ranked in the middle of the range on number of discounts offered, with one in particular that stood out: If your house is Energy Star, EPA, or LEED-certified, AKA “green,” you qualify for a discount, too.
State Farm is the most popular homeowner’s insurance company in Oklahoma, with 28 percent of the market share. It scored a very good four out of five overall from consumer advocate website J.D. Power and three out of five for the claims experience. Consumer Reports echoes that, with a “very good” rating for both claims and timely payment and a Reader Score of 82. That’s not as high as two others on our list (Liberty Mutual and USAA), but it’s still commendable.
State Farm’s quote on our Oklahoma City house was the highest of the five insurers, partly because it estimated a high replacement cost value of $211K on the property, which was selling for $125. Replacement value is often higher than selling price, of course, but we thought it was skewing the numbers a little higher than necessary. Our other contenders’ estimates ranged in the $160–195K range. Farmers, for example, estimated 176K, while Liberty Mutual suggested $161K.
State Farm’s quote was far more comprehensive than some others, though, including, for example, $5,000 for home computers and $1,000 for credit card fraud — none of the others offered coverage for either. It doesn’t have a ton of possible discounts, but one we found interesting was a discount for using impact-resistant roofing products — probably a wise choice in a state prone to hail storms.
State Farm’s website was easy to use and we obtained an online quote with no problems. The agent we spoke to kindly answered all our questions, and when we inquired about adding earthquake coverage, sent us a revised estimate almost immediately. The site’s blog, called “Simple Insights,” offers a wealth of information on homeowner interests, from how to do a home safety audit to designing a safe room. Rounding out its offerings is the clever HomeIndex home inventory tool, which allows you to keep track of all your belongings, and which can be sent to your agent if the need arises.
If money is tight, you might want to give State Farm a miss, but we appreciated the breadth of features that were covered by its policies. If you’re looking for the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your insurance coverage is truly comprehensive, State Farm is worth looking at.
Liberty Mutual has a good professional reputation: it scored 83 in Consumer Report’s overall customer satisfaction survey, beaten out only by USAA. It also scored six out of six for the claims experience, as did all our other contenders except Allstate, which was five out of six. J.D. Power gave it a three out of five overall score, which left it tied for third place with Farmers and Allstate, behind State Farm and top dog USAA. Moody’s, A.M. Best, and S&P Global all give Liberty Mutual an “A” rating, so it’s on solid financial footing.
However, Liberty Mutual’s website was not our favorite. It lost our online quote the first time we input the data, but when we re-input it all the next day, it told us it could not insure our Oklahoma City house. Huh? Third time was the charm, though, and we (and our house) passed muster and earned a quote almost exactly the same as Farmers, $241/month, based on a replacement dwelling value of $174K.
This included what’s called Home Protector Plus, which augments its standard coverage to provide full replacement value for belongings and extended living expenses coverage for a full year. It came standard with our policy — when we asked to delete it, personal property coverage went from $131k to $87k, loss of use dropped from actual costs to $35k — and our monthly payment was $48 less.
Liberty Mutual does have a couple of nice bells and whistles that we liked. Its Home Gallery app lets you create an inventory of your personal belongings by taking and organizing photos — a boon if you suffer a fire or burglary. If you make a claim online, there is a video chat option which allows you to go through your home giving a virtual tour to a live rep, who can help you assess damage. Its learning section isn’t as robust as some of the others’, like State Farm’s or Allstate’s, but it does have a “Master This” section that features standard texts on things like tackling home repairs and increasing your home’s value.
Allstate scored highest on our own rankings for customer service, largely because it has one of the best websites we’ve seen. It is well-designed and intuitive, with an excellent learning center, clearly outlined coverage options and discounts, an insurance quiz, a rent vs. own calculator — we could go on. It’s a darned good site.
Allstate’s online quote tool is comprehensive and there are options to find out more about your coverage and to adjust its numbers if, say, you don’t agree with its estimation of the replacement cost of your home.
To do so, you merely click on the “view and edit all coverage” button at the bottom of your quote, and you’ll be taken to a page where you can adjust the coverage to try out different numbers. Then just click on “recalculate your quote.” Each quote includes three options: standard, choice, and premium.
In our case, the monthly premiums on our 125K house ranged from $87 a month for standard up to $119 for premium, with increased coverage and decreased deductibles offered for the latter. Interestingly, Allstate’s online quote tool was the only one to tag the fact that our home had experienced a fire in 2016.
Allstate did moderately well with consumer organization ratings. It earned mostly “very good” marks from Consumer Reports, though it did only score a “good” in the category of damage amount awarded. Its Reader Score was 80 our of 100 — also on the low end among our contenders, but still considered positive. J.D. Power gave it three out of five in both overall and for the claims experience — the same grades given to Liberty and Farmers. Liberty Mutual was also in the “A” range with Moody’s, A.M. Best, and S&P Global, indicating that its financially able to meet the needs of its customers, no matter how large the claim.
Although Allstate wasn’t our top choice, there was a lot to like in the flexibility of the website quote process — and it did give us the lowest quote of our top five. If you’re new to the insurance process, you might find it a useful learning tool to switch out different numbers and see how it affects the premium rate. And if you’re pinching pennies now that you have that charming new bungalow to pay for, it’s definitely worth getting a quote.
There are roughly 20,000 military personnel in Oklahoma. If you’re a current of former member of the military, or directly related to one, we recommend that you take a look at USAA for your homeowners insurance needs. You’re also eligible if you’re in a U.S. service academy or ROTC training.
There are a couple of reasons you’ll want to check out USAA. For one thing, its ratings with consumer organizations are through the roof. It was the only one of our five that scored “excellent” across the board with the Consumer Reports’ homeowners survey, where it also earned an outstanding 92 for the reader’s score. It received perfect marks from J.D. Power, too, in its overall score, and earned only a minor reduction in the claims process for service interaction and repair process.
Since USAA only works with the military, we weren’t able to get a homeowner quote from USAA, but it offers standard discounts (like 10 percent off if you bundle your homeowner and car insurance) and feature some perks that would be appreciated by military families — like coverage of uniforms. The only negative thing we could find was some anecdotal evidence from users that its customer service is not excellent as it has been in previous years.
Oklahoma is ow the most earthquake-prone state — and that’s caused insurance rates to rise.
Earthquakes have been on the rise in Oklahoma over the past decade. Why? The oil and gas industries are big in the state, and increasingly, they are injecting wastewater deep into the ground to dispose of it. And this, studies show, leads to earthquakes. Here’s how big a problem this is:
In 2008, there were just two earthquakes recorded in Oklahoma. In 2015, there were 900.
Because this is all so new, insurers, homeowners, and state officials are still working to figure out how to develop and legislate policies that will protect those who may experience a man-made, or “induced” earthquake.
What you as a homeowner need to know is this: your regular policy, in all likelihood, doesn’t cover you for earthquakes. In fact, even if you do have an earthquake rider on your policy, you’ll want to make sure that it covers you for induced earthquakes — some are balking at paying claims for man-made quakes.
And even if you’ve purchased a policy that does cover induced quakes, you’ll want to be aware that many homeowners experience difficulties in resolving claims following earthquake damage. In fact, of 1,800 damage claims filed for earthquakes between 2010 and 2016, only 292 received payments.
Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak encourages homeowners to talk to their insurance agents as a first line of defence. “Since January 2009, the earthquake activity in Oklahoma has been about 40 times higher than in the previous 30 years,” says Doak. “My department is encouraging consumers to sit down with their agents to review their insurance policies and consider earthquake coverage.” He recommends consumers consult the FAQ page on the Oklahoma Insurance Department’s webpage, and the consumer assistance hotline (1-800-522-0071).
The Bottom Line
Prices, discounts, and coverage vary from company to company in Oklahoma. (Case and point: Our most expensive quote, from State Farm, was more than double that from Allstate.) But it’s important to check the small print and talk to your agent to make sure that the coverage you’re getting will be there if you experience a loss of any kind, whether it’s a something that impacts only you, like a dryer fire, or a catastrophic event like an earthquake that could affect your town.