Insurance Rates on the Rise

Claremore’s RCI Insurance Group can help save you time and money.

By: Carol Beck-Round | Category: Professional Services | Issue: November 2013

Hanna Hayes, personal lines agent; Jeri Giles, customer ­service representative; and Amber Helmuth, personal risk ­manager at RCI Insurance Group, are ready to help customers with all of their insurance needs.

Hanna Hayes, personal lines agent; Jeri Giles, customer ­service representative; and Amber Helmuth, personal risk ­manager at RCI Insurance Group, are ready to help customers with all of their insurance needs.

Oklahoma’s insurance ­companies are facing a tough market, according to Amber Helmuth, personal risk ­manager with RCI Insurance Group. “Due to hail, wind, snow, ice storms and wildfires that have taken place the last several years, the majority of insurance companies have had to increase their rates ­significantly or have ­completely quit writing ­insurance in Oklahoma due of the extensive number of claims turned in and the ones expected in the future.”

    In addition to the ­catastrophes, the cost for materials, labor and overall repair on a home or an ­automobile continue to ­fluctuate. “Over the last few years, the cost of shingles has quadrupled,” Amber explains. “And when the demand for something increases, so does the cost. Just in the last month or two, we are seeing a significant increase on the estimated replacement cost for homes, likely caused by the catastrophes our state experienced in Moore and other areas.”

    What does this mean for the insured and what is your agent doing about it? “Because we are an ­independent insurance agency,” says Amber, “we work for the customers – not the insurance companies. We’re expecting an increase on most insurance policies over the next year, and RCI’s agents have been working extra hours to review every policy as it comes up for renewal. If we notice a large premium increase, we try to find a company with a better rate.”

    Amber encourages ­customers to call the office immediately if you’re ­unhappy with the rate. “We have access to a number of companies and may be able to get you quality coverage at a better rate. At RCI, we ­understand every dollar helps, but we’ve also seen the effects of not having the proper insurance in place when tragedy strikes. We do know some companies are able to extend better rates, but ­sometimes the coverage is lacking. Our goal is to offer you quality coverage at ­competitive rates.”

    RCI employees have also been undergoing extensive training to prepare for the Affordable Care Act. Amber and Hanna Hayes have spent approximately 30 hours ­combined in training to assist those who will qualify for health insurance under the new law. “There are close to 50 options, and we want to be able to help our clients ­navigate through these options of affordable ­healthcare so they get the best coverage,” Amber explains. Based on household size and income, more people in Oklahoma will now qualify for health insurance since the federal law was passed several years ago, according to Helmuth.

    Since RCI Insurance Group became a recognized AARP auto and home ­insurance provider last year, they’re able to offer even more options with healthcare. “This is the first year we will be able to offer AARP Medicare supplemental ­insurance through United Health,” says Mick Cottom, RCI president. “You can only get United Health ­supplemental insurance through AARP.”

    You don’t have to be an AARP member currently to enroll in their insurance ­program. “We are required to offer other solutions as well,” he says. “We think this is a good program but we’re not limited and if we think we have a better option for a ­customer, we will offer it.”

    If the AARP plan is the best product for one of RCI’s customers, and that customer is not already an AARP ­member, he or she can sign up during the insurance enrollment process. However, if it isn’t the best plan for a customer, AARP enrollment is not required. “We want to do what is best for our ­customers,” he adds. “We are here to guide you through the maze of Medicare and health insurance, as well as ­insurance in general.”

For more information, contact

RCI Insurance Group

621 N. Cherokee
Claremore, OK 74017
(918) 341-6081  

Carol Beck-Round Profile Picture

About Author Carol Beck-Round

After 30 years in public school education, Carol Round retired and moved from Grand Lake to Claremore, Oklahoma in 2005, where she writes a weekly faith-based column which runs in 14 Oklahoma newspapers as well as several national and international publications. Three volumes of her columns have been compiled into collections: A Matter of Faith, Faith Matters and by FAITH alone. She has also written Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God and a companion workbook, The 40-Day Challenge. This past year she has written three children’s books, a series called Nana’s 3 Jars, to teach children about the value of giving, saving and spending money. All of Carol’s books are available through Amazon. In addition to writing her weekly column, authoring books and speaking to women’s groups, she writes for Value News. She also blogs regularly at When she is not writing or speaking, she loves spending time with her three grandchildren, working in her flowerbeds, shooting photos, volunteering at her church or going on mission trips overseas, and hiking. She is also an avid reader and loves working crosswords and trying to solve Sudoku puzzles.

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RCI Insurance

For more information, contact:

RCI Insurance

(918) 341-6081
621 N Cherokee Ave | Claremore, OK 74017
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