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:
Statute of limitations and time periods to perform post-loss actions by policyholders are important. Some states hold these periods set out in policies as “can’t miss” deadlines. In some states, if you are late, you are out of luck collecting more money even if owed. …
As a law firm whose sole focus is representing policyholders in insurance disputes, we spend a lot of time alleging insurance companies are engaging in bad faith practices and fighting tooth and nail for evidence that demonstrates this. We get what information we can through the discovery process, the rules and logistics of which can vary drastically depending on the state, the court, and even the judge. Discovery must be tailored to each individual case, and insurance companies invariably object to requests for information about wider business practices or schemes as too vague, too broad, too burdensome, or irrelevant. This can make obtaining any evidence of bad faith practices we already know are occurring a long and costly battle.…
In Oklahoma, we’ve been keeping a close eye on State Farm Fire and Casualty Company and its claims handling practices, as it seems something within State Farm has changed, making litigation against it more frequent. This graphic depicting the trajectory of insurance-related lawsuits involving State Farm in federal courts throughout the country is telling:1
On April 28, 2021, policyholders in Norman, Oklahoma, and surrounding areas were rocked by a catastrophic hailstorm with baseball size hail and 70 mph winds resulting in more than $1 billion in damages. As many of our blog readers may know, I was one of those policyholders. While I am fortunate to report State Farm has paid my claim in full and all my restoration work has been completed, many policyholders cannot say the same. With supply chain issues and market pricing increases, many Norman policyholders are still waiting on roofs and windows, which keeps their claims open. Others are still fighting over their scope of damages or proper costs for repair/replacement. Regardless of what aspect of their claim remains unresolved, with the one-year anniversary of the catastrophic hailstorm coming up, they now face the possibility of having to timely file a lawsuit by April 28, 2022. Failure to do so may result in a waiver of policy benefits they are otherwise entitled to. How could this happen?
Continue Reading A Warning for Norman, Oklahoma Policyholders on the One-Year Anniversary of the April 28, 2021, Catastrophic Hailstorm
Since 1999, the Oklahoma Insurance Department (“OID”) has provided free mediation services for policyholders who find themselves at odds with their insurance company.1 The program is called “E.A.G.L.E. Mediation,” which stands for “Ending Arguments Gently, Legally, and Economically.” Per the OID website, E.A.G.L.E.’s purpose is to “reduc[e] the amount of litigation that ultimately costs policyholders money” by helping “citizens and insurance companies settle disputes early enough to avoid becoming embroiled in lawsuits.”2…
Continue Reading Does Oklahoma EAGLE Mediation Help Policyholders?
(Note: This guest blog is by Liberty Ritchie, a Licensed Legal Intern in our Oklahoma City office)
Insurance companies took over $6 billion in premiums from Oklahomans last year.1 That money should be working for you, but too often it feels like you are being ignored or strung along by your company instead. The process of submitting an insurance claim is a daunting maze of bureaucracy, fine print, adjuster shuffling, and endless “on hold” phone calls. The claims system seems designed to be confusing, leaving policyholders frustrated and, all too often, underpaid.
Continue Reading How to File a Complaint with the Oklahoma Insurance Department
In a press release Monday, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter and Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready announced Farmers Insurance agreed to pay Oklahoma policyholders $25 Million they denied or improperly failed to pay policyholders out of coverage for earthquake damage.1…
Continue Reading Hot off the Press: Farmers to Pay Oklahoma Policyholders $25 Million for Earthquake Claims
A new bill is making its way through the Oklahoma legislative process that could impact policyholders and the roofing industry in Oklahoma. On March 3, by a vote of 77 to 11, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed House Bill 1940, which would prohibit roofing contractors from waiving or paying any part of an insured’s deductible when the funds for repairing or replacing a roof come from an insurance company as a result of a property damage claim. The current form of the Bill was authored by Representative Kyle Hilbert and Senator James Leewright, and the Bill currently states:…
Continue Reading Oklahoma Bill Seeks to Prohibit Roofing Contractors from Covering Insureds’ Deductibles
Like the Oklahoma Sooners took care of the Florida Gators in the Cotton Bowl (55-20), the Oklahoma Supreme Court issued a commanding opinion on December 15, 2020, confirming assignments of claims are valid and enforceable in Oklahoma. In fact, the Oklahoma Supreme Court almost seemed surprised it was even a question when it reversed the trial court’s erroneous grant of summary judgment in favor of the insurance company against a construction company.
Continue Reading Oklahoma Confirms Assignment of Claims Are Valid