There is no question that Oklahoma has been the epicenter of destruction wreaked by tornadoes, flooding and other storm-linked calamities across much of the United States in recent days.
Many of the state's eastern counties have been especially mauled, as evidenced by President Trump's declaration last week that several of them qualify for federal assistance as major disaster areas. Media accounts prominently spotlight Tulsa, Wagoner and Muskogee counties, among others. One representative report duly stresses that those locales "have been devastated by flooding, tornadoes and other severe storms."
Key federal officials and decision makers have consistently cited Oklahoma’s ground-zero storm status and dire need for help. Vice President Mike Pence visited the state last week. Pence stressed from a podium in Tulsa that federal aid will be made readily available to Oklahomans needing help to rebuild damaged homes and businesses.
The details of such assistance are in the fine print, of course, but the government’s quick acknowledgment of Oklahoma’s suffering and the coupled offer to help are certainly encouraging and appreciated.
Insurance companies across the state must also play a pivotal role, of course, in responding to the devastating storm damage presently evident across the state. Legions of residential and commercial policyholders who have consistently honored the terms of their insurance contracts in good faith are justifiably relying upon them to do so.
Oklahomans are a resilient people who know how to deal with the ravages of extreme weather and its sometimes harrowing consequences. They will undoubtedly respond purposefully and with vigor to the recent storm events and related damage.
We stand strongly with them at the long-tenured pro-policyholders’ insurance law firm of Mansell, Engel & Cole in Oklahoma City. And we stand ready to help them when they have any questions or concerns regarding an insurer’s response to a claim for damages.