Legislation Aimed at Protecting Okla. Homeowners Clears State Senate

March 18, 2005

A measure to ensure that Oklahoma homeowners do not receive a cancellation notice of their insurance after filing a claim and a bill to enable consumers to get defects with their newly built home repaired swiftly have cleared the Oklahoma Senate.

Senator Mary Easley, author of Senate Bill 402, stated that the intent of the bill is to guarantee that Oklahoma’s homeowners do not receive a lapse in their insurance coverage.

“Many times someone’s house will get broken into and several thousand dollars worth of damage is done to the home, not to mention the loss of property and the homeowner files a claim on their insurance,” stated the Democrat from South Tulsa. “SB 402 will provide protection for those who must file a claim on their homeowner’s insurance due to unforeseen circumstances. We cannot control nature and other outside forces from damaging our homes. This measure is an added protection for homeowners.”

Under provisions of SB 402, Easley states that insurers cannot cancel, refuse to renew or increase the premium of a homeowner’s insurance policy that has been in effect for more than 45 days if a first or second claim has been filed. The bill also states that cancellation, refusal of service or an increase in premiums cannot be allowed because a third or subsequent claim has been filed against any policy, and it has been at least five years since the last claim was filed.

The bill also relates to life insurance policies and would require an insurer to provide notification of any premium due on a policy prior to the due date of the premium.

Senator Todd Lamb noted that Senate Bill 431, also known as the Homeowner Construction Defect Protection Act, would provide those who hire a builder to construct their new home with a peace of mind that if problems do arise, they will be remedied on a faster basis than current law provides.

Under provisions of SB 431 upon notification by the homeowner, the builder has 30 days to respond. The builder has to respond with a good faith estimate to repair, replace, or compensate the purchaser.

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