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An Overview of Home Insurance: An Interview with Wes Phillips of Sawyer-Phillips & Associates, Inc

By Wes Phillips

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

With a convenient location in Tulsa OK, Sawyer-Phillips Insurance is your leading local Oklahoma insurance provider; dedicated to serving the distinct needs of area individuals, families and businesses since 1977.

Since the agency's founding and merger, John Sawyer and Wes Phillips have continued to lead Sawyer-Phillips Insurance to success. With over 70 years of industry experience, the agency has increasingly evolved into a trusted coverage resource, providing unmatched service and commitment to its clients, qualities that have helped the company grow into a well respected Oklahoma insurance resource. Our extensive network of local and national coverage providers, and detailed insurance knowledge, ensures that we can tailor the perfect insurance plan to match your specific needs.

Perhaps you're in need of reliable personal lines necessities, such as Oklahoma Auto Insurance or an Oklahoma policy, well rest assured because we've made your coverage needs our number one priority! We offer all of the skilled expertise you would expect from a long-standing, client-focused Oklahoma insurance agency.

In general, what is homeowners insurance supposed to provide for homeowner?

Owning a home is a major milestone, something many work hard for and take pride in. So what comes next? How about protecting you and your property from an array of risk exposures with comprehensive Oklahoma home insurance.

In order to secure you the most appropriate coverage, at Sawyer-Phillips Insurance, we take the time to fully understand your individual needs, because let's face it, every home and Oklahoma homeowner is unique. As your leading independent insurance agency we have the ability to shop multiple carriers, both locally and nationwide, comparing rates and resulting in the best possible solution for your homeowners insurance.

Oklahoma home insurance policies typically include protection for the following:

  • The physical structure of your home
  • Replacement cost
  • Personal possessions
  • Additional living expense (in the event of covered loss or a natural disaster)
  • Personal Liability

Looking for specialty products, for those unique exposures vulnerable within your standard homeowners insurance? Oklahoma clients can rest easy: our specialized homeowners policies are fully customizable and can be further enhanced by purchasing additional endorsements, such as:

  • Valuable Articles/Floater Insurance policies (i.e. Jewelry Insurance)
  • Flood Insurance policies
  • Earthquake insurance policies
  • Umbrella Insurance policies (additional liability)
  • Animal Liability (liability issues due to household pets)

At Sawyer-Phillips Insurance, we know what may work for one homeowner, won't necessarily work for you, which is why we strive to develop especially tailored Oklahoma home insurance policies that reflect the distinct needs of you, your family and your specific property.

Give us a call today, to learn more about our superior coverage options for homeowners insurance! Oklahoma residents will benefit from working with one of our dedicated coverage specialists, who would be happy to provide you with a complete policy evaluation as well as offer you a complimentary Oklahoma home insurance quote right now!

What are a few of the different types of policies available? Are these policies mostly based on income level?

Not all Homeowners, Condominium or Renters policies are created equal. What perils are covered and not covered can vary greatly from one policy to another. Example, many Homeowners policies in Oklahoma exclude water damage to the interior of a home unless roof has physical damage. A typical Oklahoma thunderstorm has winds that can lift roof shingles, drive rainwater under the lifted shingle staining or causing interior ceiling to collapse damaging personal property. Once the storm subsides the shingles lay flat on the roof resulting in no physical damage. If your policy has this exclusion none of the damage may be covered. Some companies do not offer roof replacement cost coverage, some require Wind and Hail deductibles up to 5% of dwelling coverage, and i.e. a home insured for $300,000 could have a Wind and Hail deductible of $15,000. Best advice to compare coverages and premiums. Understanding what your Homeowners policy actually covers and willing to pay for coverages you choose can save considerable grief at claim time.

Income level has no effect on Homeowners premiums or coverages. However, financial rating can play a significant role in determining premium and eligibility.

Do most insurance companies require home inspections? What different type of home inspections are there?

Insurance companies are inspecting homes more and more, especially in Oklahoma. No company wants to insure a home with prior damage that has not been repaired. Plus the homeowner may be unaware of prior damage or needed repairs. Homeowners inspections range from a simple drive by visual inspection to an in depth physical exterior and interior inspection determined by insurance company, value of home or prior claims history.

What are some factors that influence the rate on my home insurance policy?

The greatest premium influence on Oklahoma's Homeowners premiums is weather. The May 2013 Moore, OK tornado damage estimates are well over $1 Billion of insured losses. Strong financial rating and prior claims history influence premiums also. A homeowner with a strong financial status can save 50% or more compared to homeowners with a poor financial rating. Many insurance companies will not insure a homeowner with more than 1 claim in the last five years. Best way to keep homeowners premiums as low as possible are to have a deductible as high as you can afford, only file claims with severe or catastrophic damage and have a strong financial status.

What are my options if I want to cancel my home insurance policy?

If a homeowner wishes to cancel his policy a written notice to the company or agent is best. Canceling a policy on its effective date is best. A policy cancelled mid-term can result in a penalty of up to 20% of unearned premium.

What are some common claim concerns that may arise with my policy?

Claim frequency is a red flag to insurance companies. A homeowner who has claims history, other than catastrophe fire or tornado losses, that is above of the norm raises insurance companies concern of more or larger losses resulting in increased premiums or cancellation.

What's the best way to contact you and your company?

If you have any insurance coverage or premium questions, for any type of policy, please call us at 918-794-4000, 800-763-0562 or consult our website www.sawyerphillips.com.


Insurance savings up to 30%!

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