Mansell, Engel & Cole

Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner acts in wake of severe weather

There is no question where Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready’s mindset is focused these days. Official statements from Mulready’s office stress that his department is strongly thinking about the welfare of Oklahoma insurance policyholders in the wake of a current spate of truly bad weather.

The “severe weather and flooding” underscored in a departmental bulletin issued late last week has led to a clear and uncompromising message delivered to insurance companies doing business across the state.

The communication is a directive aimed at insurers, with a bottom line that couldn’t be simpler or more direct.

The commissioner’s order to providers is this: Don’t use the recent adverse weather as a catalyst for making any material changes to existing policies carried by state residents. In fact, don’t do anything over the next month that has negative consequences at all for any policyholder.

Mulready’s bulletin emphasizes the vulnerability of policyholders in emergency situations, and the corresponding need for them to be treated fairly.

“This is the time that storm victims need their insurance company to be on their side,” he stated in his communique last Friday.

That message formally puts insurers across the state on notice that they flatly cannot cancel any storm victim’s coverage for the next 30 days, even if a premium payment is missed or delayed. Moreover, any rate increases in storm areas that are proposed to take effect following the bulletin must be deferred to a future date.

Mulready’s order widely applies to every insurance company operating in the state. Moreover, and as noted by one media report addressing it, the moratorium on insurer actions applies to “all lines of coverage regulated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department.”

Questions or concerns regarding an insurance denial or dispute can be directed to a proven legal team of pro-policyholders’ insurance law attorneys.

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