The Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in Oklahoma
Oklahoma’s average annual premiums for homeowners insurance are on the higher side of the national average — $1,879 per year for an HO-3 policy, compared to $1,173 nationwide — mainly due to the rising number of earthquakes. That said, how much you’ll pay can vary a lot depending on your home’s size, your assets, and your address.
We recommend speaking to several agents to understand what’s covered and what discounts you’re eligible for. Factors like the type of home you own, its age, and location are also important in helping you to find the best homeowners insurance in Oklahoma.
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.
The 5 Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in Oklahoma
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 satisfaction, and it received “A” ratings from Moody’s, A.M. Best, and S&P Global, indicating that it will have the resources to pay out multiple claims if needed.
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. After we requested a quote, 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 simple explanations of what our coverage included. 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 pack on the number of discounts offered, but one in particular that stood out: If your house is Energy Star, EPA, or LEED-certified, AKA “green,” you can save money.
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 $125K. 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.
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 homesecurity 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.
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. Its online quote tool was buggy and only worked after multiple attempts. Third time was the charm, though, and our sample quote was almost exactly the same as Farmers, $241/month, based on a replacement dwelling value of $174K.
Liberty Mutual does have a couple nice bells and whistles we liked. For instance, if you make a claim online, its video chat option lets you go through your home giving a virtual tour to a live rep who can help you assess damage. And while its learning section isn’t as robust as some others, like State Farm’s or Allstate’s, it does have a “Master This” section that features helpful guides on things like tackling home repairs and increasing your home’s value.
Although Allstate wasn’t our top choice, it has a lot to like. The online quote process is incredibly flexible, it gave us the lowest quote of our top five providers, and it scored highest on our own rankings for customer service. It also earned positive marks from industry watchdogs: Consumer Reports’ Reader Score was 80 out of 100, J.D. Power gave it three out of five in both overall satisfaction and the claims experience, and it was 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.
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. 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 deductible 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.
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.
Guide to Homeowners Insurance in Oklahoma
Catalog your belongings
The experts we spoke with all recommended creating a record of your home’s belongings in case you ever need to file a claim. The best way to do this is to shoot videos of your entire home — both outside and inside. “The more ways in which you can establish and prove the features of your home, as well as the quality and quantity of your personal property before a loss occurs,” Jeffrey D. Diamond, adjunct professor of insurance law at Georgia State University College of Law, told us, “the better your homeowners insurance coverage will serve you at the time of need, if and when the need arises.” Many insurers include a cataloging feature on their mobile apps, making it simple to keep your video record up to date.
Make sure you’re covered for earthquakes
Oklahoma is now the most earthquake-prone state in the country, a fact that’s caused insurance rates to rise significantly. What you as a homeowner need to know is this: Your regular policy probably 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, many homeowners still 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 defense. “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 website, and the consumer assistance hotline (1-800-522-0071).
Prices, discounts, and coverage vary from company to company in Oklahoma. (Case in point: Our most expensive quote, from State Farm, was more than double that from Allstate.) With something as important as homeowners insurance, it’s worth dedicating some time to shopping around for the best rates. Still, cheapest isn’t always best — make sure you check the fine print and talk to your agent to certify that the coverage you’re getting will be there if you experience a loss of any kind.
Oklahoma Homeowners Insurance FAQ
How much is homeowners insurance in Oklahoma?
Oklahoma has some of the highest homeowners insurance prices in the country — $1,879 per year on average for an HO-3 policy, compared to $1,173 nationwide. With a long history of tornadoes and ever-increasing earthquakes, Oklahoma is one of the most disaster-prone states in the nation, and its insurance rates reflect that. Prices skyrocketed in 2013, when tornadoes hitting the Oklahoma City area cost over $2 billion in damages.
Why does Oklahoma have so many earthquakes?
Oklahoma has seen the number of earthquakes in the state grow along with its oil and gas industry. These companies inject wastewater deep into the ground to dispose of it, which studies show is the biggest driver of earthquakes in the area. In 2008, there were just two earthquakes recorded in the state; 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.