I recently received a request to write about the claims handling guidelines in Oklahoma. Again, I plan to go through all 50 states, but if you have a burning desire to see your state sooner rather than later, speak up! In Oklahoma, the handling of insurance claims is governed by both statute and the administrative code.
An insurance carrier in Oklahoma must acknowledge a claim within 30 business days after receipt of the claim.1 Okla. Stat. tit. 36§1250.6(A) and Okla. Admin Code §365:15-3-5(a). They must provide forms for a proof of loss along with instructions for completing the same within 30 days of their receipt of notice of the claim. Okla. Stat. tit. 36§1250.6(B) and Okla. Admin Code §365:15-3-5(d). They must acknowledge and respond to communications that reasonably requires a response within 30 working days of receipt of the communications. Okla. Stat. tit. 36§1250.6(C) and Okla. Admin Code §365:15-3-5(c). The carrier must conplete their investigation within 60 business days of the claim being opened. Okla. Stat. tit. 36§1250.7(C) and Okla. Admin Code §365:15-3-7(a)(1). If they cannot complete the investigation within 60 days they must advise the insured before the expiration of the 60 days why they need more time. Okla. Stat. tit. 36§1250.7(A) and Okla. Admin Code §365:15-3-7(a)(1). The claim investigation may not exceed 120 days except for cases of fraud or arson. Okla. Stat. tit. 36§1250.7(C) and Okla. Admin Code §365:15-3-7(c).
The carrier must advise that they are accepting or denying the claim within 45 working days after they receive a properly executed proof of loss. Okla. Stat. tit. 36§1250.7(A) and Okla. Admin Code §365:15-3-7(a)(1). Finally, the carrier must advise an insured that their rights could be affected by a statute of limitations or other time limit at least 30 days before the expiration of that date. Okla. Stat. tit. 36§1250.7(E) and Okla. Admin Code §365:15-3-7(e).
I can’t help thinking about Oklahoma without thinking of my dad. He never traveled to Oklahoma in his life, but this song from the musical Oklahoma! holds a special place in my heart. Every time it came on the radio, my dad would tell the story about how he sang this song in a grammer school talent show.
1 Note that the administrative code provides for 20 days whereas the statute provides for 30 days. In several instances the statute provides for a longer time period than does the administrative code. In order to avoid confusion, where there is a discrepancy between the code and the statute, I have provided the longer time period.