Oklahoma’s Burn Ban Grows

Over the past few weeks, there have been an increasing amount of grass fires sweeping across parts of Oklahoma. With only minimal chances of precipitation later in the week, counties all over the State are being placed under a burn ban. Yesterday morning KOTV, News Channel Six, posted a list of 20 counties including Creek, Payne, and Rogers that have all been placed under a burn ban. At around 2:30 Monday afternoon, the article was updated to also include Okmulgee County. If you are caught violating the burn ban that has been put into place you will receive a minimum of a $500 fine.

The growing list comes after another large grass fire caused a power outage in Inola on Sunday evening. Firefighters believe the fire started after the wind knocked down a power line causing it to spark and ignite. The wind only served to spread the fire at a rapid pace. According to Fox 23, who spoke with Inola Firefighters, the fire began around 10 p.m. At one point, the fire stretched over 2 ½ miles wide, burning acres and acres of land. Although no homes were damaged by the grass fire, most of Inola Citizens were left without power from Sunday into Monday. The Inola School Superintendent was forced to call off school on Monday simply due to the power outage.

I am sure that everyone is well aware of the lack of rain and high winds lately, but I am not sure that people understand exactly how quickly these fires take off. A few weeks ago (prior to any burn bans) I wanted to clean up the limbs in my yard from the snow and ice storms. It was going to be nice out, and since the ground was still wet from snow and ice earlier in the week I figured I would not have to worry about catching the entire yard on fire. Well, I was right about one thing, it was wet. It was so wet I may have used an excessive amount of lighter fluid to get my fire started. Eventually I had a small fire. After a while I noticed small areas of my grass catching on fire. I could not believe it! Even with all the moisture we had recently received, the grass dried out and burned quicker than all the twigs and limbs I stacked.

We encourage everyone to be diligent when working outside with anything that could create a spark. I understand that individuals who are welders or electricians encounter these problems daily, but just be aware of your surroundings. For a complete list of counties under the burn ban check out: http://www.newson6.com/story/24555522/another-oklahoma-county-adopts-burn-ban

Channing Spence


Claremore Mourns the Loss of Mayor

Mickey with family putting up signs for the upcoming election.

Mickey with family putting up signs for the upcoming election.

This morning I received sad news that the Mayor of Claremore, and dear friend, Mickey Perry has passed away.  At the age of 66, Mickey passed away from a heartattack last night.  Honestly I am shocked, as most people who knew him would be. It was only a week ago my husband had to pull him out of our driveway, because it was too slick for him to get back up the slope (getting stuck was a result of him not listening to his daughter who told him not to go down there).  Nevertheless, I feel the need to reminisce about this great man.

Mickey and family after recieving his Citizen of the Year award.

Mickey and family after recieving his Citizen of the Year award.

Mickey has been serving the Rogers County area for decades now. He began as a patrol officer, then he worked for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, and eventually was promoted as the Chief of Police. Mickey retired as Chief of police at the beginning of 2011, but that would not be the last we seen of him. By April, Mickey had been elected as Mayor to the City of Claremore. Throughout his career he was also involved in other community events like the Special Olympics and “Share the Spirit”  which delivers food and gifts to those in need around the holidays. In 2012 Mickey was named as “The Citizen of the Year” by the Claremore Progress, and just this past Saturday he was inducted into the Law Enforcement Hall of Fame.

Mickey with daughter Jennifer after being inducted into the Law Enforcement Hall of Fame

Mickey with daughter Jennifer after being inducted into the Law Enforcement Hall of Fame

Anyone who knew Mickey knows that no job or title he has held was as important to him as the role of husband, father, and grandfather. Mickey’s daughter became my aunt about a decade ago, and with that he became a part of my family. Mickey was so wonderful to me! Such a sweetheart. It was Mickey who pulled a few strings (or a lot of strings) to help me cross my number one item off my bucket list. Because of Mickey I got to meet Garth Brooks while on a trip to Vegas! I cannot explain to you how happy I was! Turns out Mickey was just as excited for me he could hardly stand it. He called my Aunt first thing the following morning to see if I had called to tell her all about it. Mickey, his wife, and I met for lunch when I got home so I could fill him in on all the details.

Mickey Perry was one of the most giving, thoughtful, and respected people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Not only will your family and friends miss you Mickey, but you will be missed by an entire community.

3rd Quarter Referral Winner!

Congratulations to the 3rd Quarter Referral Winners Jack & Sharron Moody! We hope they enjoy their new 32″ flat screen! To learn how you could win visit our website:

Jack & Sharron Moody from Claremore, OK

Jack & Sharron Moody from Claremore, OK

Our next drawing will be in December!

Little White Lies in Insurance

Deceitful Words for Cheaper Rates:

A common misconception that insured’s have is that they can lie to the insurance company or their agent and get away with it while paying a lower premium for their insurance. Most people will “forget” the number of tickets, accidents and claims they have had within the last five years. This is why, at RCI Insurance Group, we pull everyone’s Motor Vehicle Report (M.V.R.) and Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (C.L.U.E.) report. The M.V.R. report shows the insurance company any tickets or accidents, even those accidents that are not at fault. The C.L.U.E. report shows claims that have been made on your auto policy and on your home. This report shows such claims as hail damage to your roof or your car, hot water tank burst causing water damage, an auto collision with another object or person, and anything that has happened to your home or cars that your insurance has paid to fix or replace. When you misrepresent information on your insurance policy and you have a claim, the claim can be denied when the company finds out about the wrong information and you will not get paid for your loss.

When it comes to your life insurance application, insurance companies have access to the following: paramedical exam records, doctor’s records, pharmaceutical database searches, credit reports, motor vehicle reports, and autopsy reports. So misrepresenting your annual income, current health, family health history, tobacco and drug use, or even the fact that you have depression could result in the cancellation of your policy.

In conclusion, just remember that an insurance policy is a contract of Utmost Good Faith: Each party is entitled to rely upon the representations of the other.

  • The insured tells the truth regarding material facts expecting the insurer to fulfill promise to pay any covered loss.

Remember: Deceitful Words for Cheaper Rates up front will lead to MUCH higher costs in the long run.

“Why I Like My Teacher”

This past week RCI Insurance had the opportunity to honor and meet some great students! These students took part in our “Why I Like My Teacher” Contest and each wrote an essay about their favorite teacher. Our first winner was Katey from Sequoyah she won an iPod Touch!

Katey with her prize

Hanna Hayes (RCI), Katey, and Tabi Moss (RCI)

Katey and Mrs. Tittle (Sequoyah Elementary Principle) They both were very excited!

Our next winner was Akara from J W Sam Elementary in Catoosa, Akara had no idea that she had been chosen as a winner. So we surprised her at their first “Student of the Month” Assembly of the year. It was so much fun to attend the assembly we did the pledge of allegince, sang the national anthem, and did their school pledge. Next,  we supprised Akara in front of all of her classmates, she was very happy!

Remember to keep the essays coming, our next student winner will be chosen at the end of December! Good Luck!

Are You Sure You Have the Right Oklahoma Auto Insurance?

Amber Helmuth

Many people opt for a basic coverage plan rather than choosing individualized insurance that could save them a lot of grief and expense.

Some might find it interesting that the phrase “one size fits all” has become so commonplace in our marketplace, since there is rarely any truth to it. Whether one is talking about shoes or clothing or cars or homes, most people have their own unique needs and preferences to consider when making purchases that will affect their everyday lives and comfort.

Insurance is no different. Many companies might present insurance within a series of easy choices, available with a few clicks of a button and an online payment. But Mick Cottom of RCI Insurance in Claremore warns about the pitfalls of making a hasty decision when buying insurance. “Trying to compare apples to apples will get you smashed when you hit the road,” he says. “You want coverage that protects your personal situation.”

Cottom uses this example to illustrate his point: A man has purchased the most basic coverage, 25-50-25,on his vehicle. This means that the coverage caps at $25,000 per person for bodily injury, $50,000 for the entire accident, and $25,000 for property damage. One day, he collides with a Mercedes Benz, driven by a doctor who is transporting his wife and two children. Not only are two people in the other vehicle killed, but the man himself is badly injured and is in the hospital for six months. “Will that 25-50-25 insurance cover the devastating costs of this accident?” Cottom asks. “Who will pay the man’s salary while he is off work?”

Protection against the worst that could happen is the reason for procuring insurance in the first place, but ironically people often don’t consider the very worst that can happen when they actually make the purchase. “We all think we are invincible,” Cottom states. “A lot of consumers are uninformed when it comes to insurance and will gravitate toward the lowest price.”

Basing a decision on the lowest price, however, will often leave huge holes in the safety net that  insurance was designed to provide. That’s why Cottom encourages current and potential clients to call or visit Amber Helmuth, personal lines risk manager at RCI Insurance, to review and discuss an individualized plan. Amber specializes in personal service, helping to set RCI Insurance apart from the “one size fits all” discount companies whose one-on-one service ends once the policy has been sold.

“Sometimes we actually can provide a person a great deal more insurance for the same price they were paying just through these discussions,” Cottom adds. He cites the example of a local businessman whose assets were worth around $2.5 million, but who was only carrying the basic 25-50-25 insurance. After discussion and review, RCI Insurance was able to provide the man over 10 times the coverage of his previous plan, combine his auto, home and other insurance policies, plus add a $1 million umbrella over all his assets – for about the same price he’d been paying for the basic insurance.

How much insurance do you need? The only way to know for sure is to talk it over with an agent such as Amber Helmuth. “Come sit down or have a meaningful conversation over the phone,” Cottom says. “In order to maximize discounts, we will review your whole situation, give you total protection, and bring you into our circle of safety.”

This article was written by Lorrie Ward of the Value News for Rogers County.

Christmas Came Early This Year

We recently heard of a need in Chelsea, Oklahoma. The public library was in desperate need of computers. Luckily, we had a few extra computers. Not too long ago, our office upgraded all of our computer systems. Not wanting to waste the extra computers we now had, making a donation to the Chelsea Public Library seemed liked a great idea.

Loading up six computers, monitors, keyboards, and mice, a couple of our employees went to the Chelsea Public Library and donated it all to them. The local librarians, Laura Adkins and Rae Brown, were absolutely ecstatic about the new computers. For such a small library, their clients have a great need for computers. There is usually a wait for the few computers that they do have.

Laura and Rae were so happy with the computers and couldn’t wait to get them set up. Laura kept exclaiming excitedly, “We got six?!?! We got six?!?! We got six?!?!”

While Rae justkept saying said “Christmas came early this year!!!”

RCI Insurance is proud to have helped a local library make giant leaps in the process of education.
Here is a letter from the ladies at the Chelsea Public Library:

To the RCI office family,
Today, Christmas came early to the Chelsea Public Library.
As a longtime customer of yours (over 10 years), I was very impressed with your out-reach work in the communities of Rogers County.
Your very generous donation of 6 computers, keyboards, and monitors, to the Chelsea Public Library (where I work) is a testimony to the kind of company you are, and the kind I am proud to do business with.
Again, THANK YOU VERY MUCH from the grateful staff at Chelsea Public Library!

Laura Adkins Library Director
Rae Brown (customer) Librarian