Posts by: Britney Han

$5.1 Million Recovered for Oklahomans in 2019

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For Immediate Release:
July 11, 2019

$5.1 Million Recovered for Oklahomans in 2019

 

OKLAHOMA CITY – In the first six months of 2019, the Oklahoma Insurance Department recovered double the amount of money for policyholders compared to all of last year. More than $5.1 million in claims disputes have been settled with the Department’s help.

“These recovery amounts make a real impact on peoples’ lives, and Oklahomans should expect their insurance companies to keep the promises made to them” Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready said. “Today’s numbers show our Department’s continued commitment to protect insurance consumers.”

OID’s Consumer Assistance/Claims Division processes and assist consumers seeking help with their insurance companies. The division opened 3,061 files from January to June of this year. They’ve also answered 7,110 phone calls. The money recovered from January to June of this year totaled $5,129,962.81. Last year, the recovery amount for the entire year was $3,549,619.17.

Policyholders who have an issue with their claim can file a “Request for Assistance” for the following types of insurance: auto, home, commercial, life and health, service warranty, title or workers’ compensation. To learn more about the complaint process, go to oid.ok.gov or call the Consumer Assistance Division at 800-522-0071.

 

For more information, contact:
Liz Heigle
405-522-0683
Liz.Heigle@oid.ok.gov

Commissioner Glen Mulready Files Amicus in Federal Court to Support AHPs

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For Immediate Release:
June 7, 2019

Commissioner Glen Mulready Files Amicus in
Federal Court to Support AHPs

 

OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorneys for the Oklahoma Insurance Department filed a brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals in support of giving Oklahomans more health insurance options. The amicus brief is in response to a U.S. Department of Labor rule that was overturned by a Circuit Court judge.

“This rule, coupled with Oklahoma’s new AHP bill, gives small business owners in our state the chance to find affordable health insurance choices for their employees and their employees’ families,” said Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready. “We’ve worked diligently this year to get Oklahoma’s laws up to compliance with the Department of Labor’s rule. But now a judge has ruled that it can’t stand, and we’re not backing down on this for the sake of all the uninsured Oklahomans.”

The rule allows more employers to form Association Health Plans (AHPs). AHPs are group health plans that employer groups and associations offer to provide health coverage for their members’ employees. Under the rule, employers can form AHPs by location, industry or other commonalities. The new rule also allowed small business owners without other employees, including sole proprietors and their families, to join AHPs.

The amicus curiae brief, or amicus brief, is filed on behalf of someone who is not a party to a case but would like to offer information or expertise. Montana joined Oklahoma on this brief, and other states are likely to join before the end of the month. Nine other states have passed similar legislation to Oklahoma’s which would allow small businesses to take advantage of the Department of Labor rule.

“Other states are interested in joining us because we believe in state-based regulation,” Commissioner Mulready said. “We believe that less government intervention and a more relaxed rule allows businesses to provide more options to their employees. This rule, coupled with our new state law, allows for that.”

Multiple groups and associations have already filed amicus briefs on behalf of their organization. The appeals case, U.S. Department of Labor v. State of New York, does not have a date set for oral arguments yet.

 

For more information, contact:
Liz Heigle
405-819-2221
Liz.Heigle@oid.ok.gov

Commissioner Mulready Calls for a Hold on Policy Cancellations

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For Immediate Release:
May 24, 2019

Commissioner Mulready Calls for a Hold
on Policy Cancellations

TULSA – Storm victims with insurance will be protected after a bulletin was issued today by the Oklahoma Insurance Department. The bulletin directs all insurance companies to keep coverage in effect for storm victims for the next 30 days.

“The effects of the severe weather and flooding have made it difficult for Oklahomans to carry out every day activities, much less tend to their insurance premiums,” Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready said. “This is the time that storm victims need their insurance company to be on their side and why the Insurance Department is calling for a moratorium on policy cancellations.”

The bulletin applies to all insurance entities, including health maintenance organizations, accident and health insurers, third party administrators, discount medical plan organizations, property and casualty insurers, surplus and excess lines insurers and county mutual insurers. It includes property and casualty insurance, life insurance, accident and health insurance, disability insurance and all lines of coverage regulated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department.

Some key points of the bulletin are:

  • All coverage for storm victims shall continue under all insurance policies for the next 30 days.
  • Storms victims can get a copy of their insurance policy free of charge.
  • Any rate increases for policies in the affected areas filed on or after the effective date of the bulletin will be deferred.

Media Availability this weekend.  Contact Liz Heigle.

For questions about the bulletin or to get help with a storm insurance claim, call the Oklahoma Insurance Department at 800-522-0071.

 

For more information, contact:
Liz Heigle
405-819-2221
Liz.Heigle@oid.ok.gov

Commissioner Mulready Offering Help to Storm Victims

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For Immediate Release:
May 8, 2019

Commissioner Mulready Offering Help to Storm Victims

 

OKLAHOMA CITY – In response to the damage caused by last night’s storms, Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready is offering help.

“As Oklahomans assess the damage caused by a tornado in Kiowa County and the severe storms across the state, we at the Oklahoma Insurance Department are ready to help. If homeowners have questions about their insurance policy and their coverage, our Consumer Assistance division is here for you. We also understand that the insurance claims process can be overwhelming, and we want to offer any help we can to speed up recovery.”

If you need help after last night’s storms, call the Oklahoma Insurance Department at 800-522-0071. You can also find more information about preparing for storms and reviewing your insurance coverage at oid.ok.gov/GetReady.

 

For more information, contact:
Liz Heigle
405-522-0683
Liz.Heigle@oid.ok.gov

Commissioner Mulready Reinforces Preparedness in Response to Recent Storms

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For Immediate Release:
May 1, 2019

Commissioner Mulready Reinforces Preparedness
in Response to Recent Storms

 

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Insurance Department is ready to help anyone affected by last night’s severe weather and encouraging others to get ready for the next round of storms. This week, the Oklahoma Insurance Department kicked off a new preparedness program called “Get Ready.”

“Last night’s storms reinforced why we launched ‘Get Ready’ this week,” Commissioner Mulready said. “Being prepared for severe weather will give you peace of mind and make the recovery process easier. One of the things I hope all Oklahomans will do before the next storm is prepare a home inventory.”

Making a home inventory includes documenting all the items inside a home including taking pictures or video. For tools to start a home inventory, go to oid.ok.gov/GetReady.

The Oklahoma Insurance Department’s Consumer Assistance division is ready to help anyone who received damage from yesterday’s storms. Here are some tips for storm victims:

  • Contact your insurance company to start the claims process
  • Take photos or video of the damage before removing debris or cleaning up
  • Make temporary repairs to prevent further damage

Another way to get ready is to understand your insurance coverage especially as it relates to roof damage. Read your policy, and if you have questions, call your insurance agent to clarify.

You can also call the Oklahoma Insurance Department at 800-522-0071 if you have questions about your policy or about the claims process.

 

For more information, contact:
Liz Heigle
405-819-2221
Liz.Heigle@oid.ok.gov

Commissioner Glen Mulready Says Get Ready

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For Immediate Release:
April 17, 2019

Commissioner Glen Mulready Says Get Ready

 

OKLAHOMA CITY – With storm season here, Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready is asking Oklahomans to get ready. The Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID) is launching the “Get Ready” initiative this month to encourage people to prepare before a storm hits.

“We never know when the next storm is going to strike,” Commissioner Mulready said. “But we do know that preparation ahead of the disaster makes recovery an easier road. That’s why I’m asking Oklahomans to pledge to get ready.”

The University of Central Oklahoma (UCO), Department of Finance and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) are partnering with OID on the “Get Ready” campaign.

“The state of Oklahoma can only be fully prepared for disasters when our communities, families and individuals are prepared,” said Mark Gower, OEM Director. “Take time now to get ready by preparing yourself, your home and your workplace for severe weather and other common emergencies.”

“Those who are prepared for disaster are the ones who recover the fastest,” said Randall Ice, Barnabas Professor of Finance, UCO. “That’s why we’re happy to partner with the Insurance Department’s efforts to get ready for the unforeseen financial risks we face in life.”

Some tips to “Get Ready” for Oklahoma’s severe weather include:

  • Make an emergency plan at home and work.
  • Create a home inventory and store it off-site.
  • Understand your insurance policy and know what it will and won’t cover.

There are more helpful tips and a free eBook on how to get ready for tornadoes and severe storms on oid.ok.gov/GetReady.

Commissioner Mulready will kick off the “Get Ready” campaign on Monday, April 29 at 2 p.m. with a press conference on the 1st Floor Rotunda at the State Capitol. The staff at OID are also participating in “Get Ready” activities during the week of April 29. Activities include a tornado drill and a Q&A panel.

 

For more information, contact:
Liz Heigle
405-522-0683
Liz.Heigle@oid.ok.gov

Insurance Department Supporting Gov. Stitt by Running OKC Memorial Marathon

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For Immediate Release:
March 29, 2019

Insurance Department Supporting Gov. Stitt
by Running OKC Memorial Marathon

 

OKLAHOMA CITY – Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready and his staff are answering the call from Gov. Kevin Stitt. This week, the Oklahoma Insurance Department signed up to compete in the Governor’s Relay Challenge at the 2019 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.

“We stand behind the Governor and his push for a healthier Oklahoma,” said Commissioner Mulready. “This is a great way to support Gov. Stitt, the Oklahoma City Memorial and the people who were, and continue to be, affected by the Oklahoma City bombing.”

The Oklahoma Insurance Department has 13 staff members participating in the race which consist of one relay team and six people running the 5K race. Winners of each race category will be invited to breakfast with Gov. Stitt.

“We hope our involvement as a state agency will encourage others to sign up for a little healthy competition,” said Commissioner Mulready.

To sign up for the Governor’s Relay Challenge or any of the other races, click here. Any relay team will be automatically entered to compete against the Governor’s relay team.

The 2019 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon is Sunday, April 28. The marathon, half marathon and relay races start at 6:30 a.m. The 5K starts at 6:45 a.m. The start line is between N.W. 5th St. and N.W. 6th St. on Harvey Ave. in downtown Oklahoma City. Spectators are encouraged. You can find a list of best places to watch the race here.

 

For more information, contact:
Liz Heigle
405-522-0683
Liz.Heigle@oid.ok.gov

Five Organizations Unite to Educate Oklahoma Seniors on Fraud

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 18, 2019

 

Five Organizations Unite to Educate Oklahoma Seniors on Fraud

 

OKLAHOMA CITY – Four state agencies and one association will host Oklahoma seniors this spring in a series of conferences to fight fraud. The Oklahoma Senior Protection Summits will be held around the state starting March 27.

Speakers include experts from the Oklahoma Insurance Department’s Anti-Fraud Unit and Medicare Assistance Program, Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office, Oklahoma Bankers Association and the Oklahoma Department of Securities.

“Fraudsters tend to target the senior population, and many times these scams work,” Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready said. “The information seniors will get from these five organizations will be some of the most useful and helpful tools they can learn to fight fraud.”

“Protecting vulnerable Oklahomans is one of the most important priorities we have as public officials,” said Attorney General Mike Hunter. “These conferences will provide critical information to senior citizens in the state to keep them aware of fraud and teach them how to avoid becoming a victim of a scam. I appreciate the partnership between Commissioner Mulready and the Insurance Department, as well as all of the other public entities who are stepping up to host these events across the state.”

Topics covered during the conferences include insurance fraud, Medicare fraud, investment fraud, banking fraud and current senior scams. The events will be held in these five cities:

  • March 27 – Oklahoma City, Moore Norman Technology Center, 13301 S. Penn Ave.
  • Apri1 4 – Duncan, Simmons Center, 800 Chisholm Trail Pkwy.
  • April 23 – Tulsa, Marriott Tulsa Southern Hills, 1902 E. 71st
  • May 2 – Mustang, Mustang Conference Center, 1201 N. Mustang Rd.
  • May 7 – Owasso, Tulsa Technology Center, Owasso Campus, 10800 N. 140th Ave.

Seniors can attend at no cost, and the event includes a continental breakfast. RSVP is required. Register online at map.oid.ok.gov or by calling 800-763-2828. Insurance professionals can also attend a conference for four hours of Continuing Education (CE) credit. The cost for CE credit is $31.

The conferences are partially funded by the Administration on Community Living’s Senior Medicare Patrol grant. To learn more, go to map.oid.ok.gov.

 

For more information, contact:
Liz Heigle
405-522-0683
Liz.Heigle@oid.ok.gov

National Tornado Summit Offers Unique Education in Disaster Response and Recovery

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For Immediate Release:
February 20, 2019

 

National Tornado Summit Offers Unique Education in
Disaster Response and Recovery

 

OKLAHOMA CITY – More than 50 experts from around the country will share their knowledge on disaster preparedness and recovery at the 2019 National Tornado Summit. The 8th annual conference will be held March 4-6 in Oklahoma City.

“This conference is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to discover how to prepare for the worst but also how to recover quickly and efficiently from all types of disasters,” said National Tornado Summit Committee Co-Chair Kim Decker. “We have some of the best speakers yet this year, including experts from The Home Depot, Walmart and Disney.”

During the National Tornado Summit, attendees have the opportunity to attend five general sessions and six breakout session in five different tracks: Adjusters, Emergency Management, Risk Management, Disaster/Special Interest and the National Severe Weather Workshop.

Some of the speakers presenting this year include:

  • Jason Jackson, Emergency Management, Walmart
  • Honorable Governor Frank Keating
  • Sean Kevelighan, President and CEO, Insurance Information Institute
  • Jennifer Mason, Security Manager, Walt Disney World Emergency Management
  • Jeff Partin, Corporate Security, Emergency Preparedness and Business Continuity, The Home Depot

The Summit also features a pre-conference Disaster Symposium on March 4. Topics include “Avoiding the Pitfalls of Public Storm Shelters” and a session for insurance adjusters on Xactimate training.

The National Tornado Summit is hosted by the Oklahoma Insurance Department, University of Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM), NOAA National Weather Service and National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

“The National Tornado Summit brings together emergency management personnel, as well as attendees from insurance, meteorology, and other fields for a wide-ranging training opportunity,” said Mark Gower, OEM Director and National Tornado Summit Committee Co-Chair. “OEM is proud to take part in the Summit each year, and I look forward to the multitude of success stories, experiences and insights that will be shared throughout this event.”

The full agenda and registration information is available at www.tornadosummit.org.

For more information, contact:
Liz Heigle
405-522-0683
Liz.Heigle@oid.ok.gov

Do not Get Soaked by Floodwaters, Coverage Available Through the National Flood Insurance Program

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March is Flood Insurance Month, so there’s no time like the present to consider flood insurance. It isn’t unusual for parts of Oklahoma to face drought conditions one day and receive a month’s worth of rain the next. That was the situation last June 14 when areas in Oklahoma City reported more than 10 inches of rain in less than 24 hours.

Standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flood damage, yet if you live in an area at high risk of flooding, statistics suggest your home is more than twice as likely to be damaged by flood than by fire. And only by purchasing a policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will your home be protected in case of flood.

The NFIP is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and enables property owners to buy flood insurance from certain permitted agents if they live in communities that participate in the program. The Oklahoma Water Resources Board is our state’s designated NFIP-coordinating agency and its nine-member panel serves as the State Floodplain Board, with responsibilities that include ensuring that NFIP-participating communities in Oklahoma adhere to FEMA requirements for floodplain management.

Nearly 90 private insurance companies work closely with FEMA and the NFIP to offer flood insurance to property owners and renters. A policy can be purchased through property and casualty insurance agents in your community. Rates are locked-in and do not differ from company to company or agent to agent. These rates depend on many factors, including the age and type of construction of your home or business, along with your location’s level of flood risk.

Flood insurance protects two types of insurable property – your home or business structure, and its contents.

Building coverage includes: The structure and its foundation; electrical and plumbing systems; central air-conditioning, furnaces and water heaters; refrigerators, cooking stoves and built-in appliances such as dishwashers; and permanently installed carpeting over unfinished flooring.

Contents coverage includes items such as: Clothing, furniture and electronic equipment; curtains; portable and window air conditioners; carpeting that is not already included in your property coverage; clothes washers and dryers.

So, should you purchase flood insurance? Some people are required to buy a flood policy, but even if such coverage isn’t mandatory, it might be in your best interest.

Homes and businesses in high-risk flood areas with mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders (such as FHA) are required to have flood insurance. These areas are considered to have a 1 percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year, which equals a one in four chance of flooding during the life of a 30-year mortgage.

Residents and business owners in moderate-to-low-risk areas who have mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders are usually not required to carry flood insurance. However, flood insurance may be worth considering because, according to the NFIP, one in four flood insurance claims are filed by property owners from moderate-to-low-risk areas.

A private home lender might require flood insurance even if the government does not. And, residents or business owners from participating communities can simply choose to buy a flood insurance policy on their home or business property as extra protection, regardless whether the government or their lender demands it.

Flood insurance policies covering both the building and its contents start at just $119 a year in moderate-to-low-risk zones and the NFIP estimates that the average flood insurance policy costs only $570 per year, making flood insurance a rather inexpensive way to purchase a little peace of mind.

For a quick glance at what flood insurance might cost for your property and to find an agent who is licensed to sell flood insurance in your community, enter your address in the One-Step Flood Risk Profile at www.floodsmart.gov. For more information on this topic or other insurance questions, visit the Oklahoma Insurance Department online at http://www.ok.gov/oid/.