The Oklahoma Insurance Department has released its 2022 Annual Report. Every year, the OID compiles a report summarizing the required financial disclosures of insurers in the state, highlighting new legislation, and breaking down certain regulatory activity taken by the department (although information about market conduct exams is noticeably missing). Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the more interesting information and statistics from last year:
By the Numbers
In 2022, the OID was responsible for regulating 1800 insurers – 86 of which are domestic Oklahoma companies. A staggering $31.8 billion in Oklahoma premiums were collected by those insurers, and they paid $290 million in net premium taxes.
In 2022, the Oklahoma Insurance Department Claims Division received 2,467 initial complaint filings (mostly regarding health and auto claims; 477 were about claims handling of homeowner policies). Of those initial filings, 318 resulted in the insurance department making inquiries, and 235 resulted in an external review of the claim or company. Oklahoma policyholders recovered $5,656,720 through the complaint process.
The OID also received 1,331 complaints of insurance fraud, only 2 of which were submitted for criminal prosecution. These numbers seem to support a point Mr. Merlin makes in his book, PayUp!, where he contends that, while insurance fraud does, of course, exist, it tends to happen much less frequently than insurers claim. For some dramatic flair, the report contains a “case highlight” about a licensed insurance agent who filed a false claim, got his license revoked, and is now being sought by a “fugitive warrant squad.”
The 2022 report also contains a helpful breakdown of new Oklahoma insurance legislation. One bill in particular – House Bill 3495 – directly impacts Oklahoma consumers with homeowner policies. House Bill 3495 changes Oklahoma’s Unfair Claims Settlement Act to extend the permitted length of time homeowners have to file wind or hail claims. The Act now requires any Oklahoma homeowner’s policy “that specifies a time limit covering damage to a roof due to wind or hail must allow the filing of claims after the first anniversary but no later than twenty-four (24) months after the date of the loss, if the damage is not evident without inspection.” 36 O.S. §1250.5(7). Representative McEntire explained this change was enacted to end insurers’ common practice of denying coverage for wind and hail damage to roofs if a claim was made more than 365 days after the date of loss.1 The amendment requires insurers to give homeowners more time to discover and claim non-obvious damage.
HB 3495 further amends the Unfair Claims Settlement Act to limit the time frame in which insurers can request a refund of payments already made. With the bill’s passage, insurers in Oklahoma must make such a request to a claimant within 12 months of making the payment. They have slightly longer – 18 months – to request a refund from another provider.
So, there you have it – the OID’s 2022 Year in Review. There was less information about regulatory actions or discipline taken against insurers than I would have liked, but I can’t complain about new, consumer-friendly legislation. For a more in-depth read, you can find the full 200-page report here.
1 Marcus McEntire, The Comanche Times, Constituent Requested Bills Pass Committees (March 10, 2022) https://www.comancheok.net/articles/60/view.