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

In Oklahoma, insurance companies have an incentive to timely investigate and resolve claims submitted by insureds. Part of this incentive exists through a fee-shifting statute,1 where insureds can recover attorneys’ fees and costs if they are the prevailing party at trial. I recently wrote about an Oklahoma Supreme Court decision relating to recovery of fees and costs, Insured Oklahomans Have a Confirmed Right to Make Their Insurance Company Pay Their Attorneys Fees and Costs for Wrongfully Denied Claims.
Continue Reading Recovery of Interest for Wrongfully Denied or Underpaid Claims in Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Legislature has created an incentive for insurance companies to timely investigate claims submitted by insureds and resolve those claims. This incentive comes in the form of a statute,1 which explicitly gives an insured the right to recover the costs and fees paid to his or her attorneys when the insured prevails at a trial (or, in other words, when the jury agrees the insurance company should have paid a claim). The money for these fees and costs is paid by the insurance company. This is huge for policyholders because attorneys’ fees and litigation costs can reach thousands of dollars—sometimes hundreds of thousands.
Continue Reading Insured Oklahomans Have a Confirmed Right to Make the Insurance Company Pay Their Attorneys Fees and Costs for Wrongfully Denied Claims

Reggie Whitten and Michael Burrage filed lawsuits on behalf of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations in Oklahoma state court.1 The actions are similar to the declaratory judgment actions filed by John Houghtaling in Louisiana and California. I do not see how the Oklahoma cases are going to be removed to federal court because they lack diversity of citizenship for such jurisdiction.
Continue Reading Coronavirus Insurance Coverage Update March 30—Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations File for Declaratory Relief in Oklahoma

The South Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce gave Merlin Law Group a wonderful ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the Grand Opening of our new Oklahoma City Office. Drew Houghton, Larry Bache and I were thrilled by the outpouring of wishes for success. I am certain that insurance companies delaying, denying and underpaying Oklahoma claims are not as wishful for our growth as the Chamber Chairman of the Board, Karl Hillerman, is—as seen in this photo wishing that we aspire to even larger offices, with many more attorneys.


Continue Reading Grand Opening of Merlin Law Group’s Oklahoma City Office