Mansell, Engel & Cole

Residents, officials dealing with eastern Oklahoma tornadoes

The final day of November was anything but kind to many Oklahoma residents in in the east central part of the state. Residential occupants and business owners across a swath of counties were hit by multiple tornadoes, which reaped considerable property damage over a broad area.

Oklahomans got quickly to work in the storms’ wake, with an immediate focus being on identifying and treating personal injuries, assessing property damage and helping families and local municipalities secure assistance.

Outgoing state Insurance Commissioner John Doak was one public official who went immediately to affected areas to offer support and direct government clean-up and restoration efforts. Doak is close to the end of his term and stated that he had hoped “to make it out without one more catastrophe.”

He didn’t. One of his first on-the-scene tasks was to survey storm damage across a handful of counties that reportedly destroyed more than 150 homes and scores of boat docks.

Doak cites pride in Oklahoma’s response to storm-linked disasters, saying that American coastal states “could take a page out of the things we do.”

Those things centrally include filing claims for federal help (FEMA assistance) and assisting displaced property owners on insurance policy matters and communications with their insurers.

That latter focus is of course critically important in the wake of material dislocation. Policyholders are vulnerable and under pressure. Many of them have seen their homes and/or businesses destroyed. It is imperative that their insurers respond to their contractual claims with dispatch and in good faith.

Sadly, that doesn’t routinely turn out to be the case, as we have duly noted in prior Mansell, Engel & Cole blog posts. Our practiced Oklahoma City pro-policyholder insurance law attorneys routinely represent valued clients in matters where insurers’ bad-faith tactics (e.g., claim denial, purposeful delay or underpayment) are clearly on display. We note on our website that, “We have been helping clients fight for their rights since 1994.”

We welcome contacts to the firm and the opportunity to discuss the diligent representation we provide for policyholders in need.

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