Oklahoma Calls on Insurers to Renew Policyholders After Storms

June 14, 2010

Recent storms throughout Oklahoma caused a tremendous amount of property damage and the Oklahoma Insurance Department says some insurers have been, or currently are, issuing nonrenewal notices to many of their insured. Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland is strongly advising insurers to retain insureds on their current policies for a reasonable amount of time, to include no fewer than sixty (60) days following the completion of repairs.

The insurance department says this will provide sufficient time for insureds to have the necessary repairs made to their property and to obtain coverage from another insurer.

Because the recent storms inflicted immense damage to property owned by thousands of insureds, in many instances repairs cannot be completed prior to the date of the policy’s expiration due to the backlog of work that roofers and repair shops are currently experiencing. This results in open and pending claims which prevent the insured from obtaining replacement coverage the department said.

Insurers are reminded that pursuant to Rule 365:15-7-26 of the Oklahoma Insurance Department, homeowners’ policies and any other personal residential insurance coverage shall not reflect a surcharge for weather related claims.

Additionally, 36 O.S. § 3639.1 provides that insurers shall not cancel, refuse to renew or increase the premium of a homeowner’s insurance policy, which has been in effect more than forty-five (45) days, solely because the insured filed a first claim against the policy.

The commissioner has also granted an emergency order that allows out of state adjusters to adjust claims in the state as a result of the violent weather that pounded Oklahoma in May and early June.

Source: Oklahoma Department of Insurance

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