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Oklahoma Hail Damage Claim Disputes On The Rise

Posted by Joe Brennan | Posted in Homeowners Insurance, Insurance Advice, Insurance Claims Help, Insurance Dispute | Posted on 05-25-2010


Insurance companies are tightening their belts when it comes to paying for hail damage claims. Oklahomans, who already pay among the highest insurance rates for homeowners insurance, have a couple of reasons to take comfort despite recent hail storms that caused millions of dollars in hail damage.

HOW OKLAHOMA COMPARES:  Average premiums for homeowners insurance, 2007 by State

Average premium

→ Florida … $1,534             → Texas … $1,448

→ Louisiana … $1,400       → Washington, D.C. … $1,089

→ Oklahoma … $1,054       → U.S. average … $822

Source: National Association of Insurance Commissioners

A state law prohibits insurance companies from canceling or failing to renew a homeowners policy or raising the premium because the property owner filed a first claim against the policy.

OK hail storms“That first claim you have an opportunity to file without any impact on the policy,” said Marc Young, state assistant insurance commissioner. “That’s why it’s important that you view that policy as an insurance policy for umbrella protection, and not simply as a maintenance policy.”

Insurance companies providing coverage in Oklahoma are prepared for major storm damage claims, Young said.

“In Oklahoma, we also have a very competitive market, particularly on the property and casualty side,” he said. That provides Oklahomans with an opportunity to shop around if an insurance provider does raise rates.

The Sunday hailstorm potentially could produce greater insured losses than last week’s tornadoes because much of the hail damage was in heavily urban areas, Young said.

Jerry Johns, president of Southwest Insurance Information Service, estimated last week’s tornadoes will amount to “tens of millions of dollars” in insured losses.

Insurance companies typically set rates by evaluating losses over a period of several years. Oklahoma’s turbulent weather is the major reason its residents already pay among the highest homeowners rates in the nation.

“We might see modest increases. It’s dependent upon the company and their exposure in these recent events,” Young said. “They do price for these events over a three- to five-year period of time so I don’t anticipate any disruption at all to the Oklahoma insurance market.”

Oklahomans in 2007 paid the fifth-highest rates for homeowners and renters insurance, according to a survey by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The average premium for homeowners insurance paid in Oklahoma was $1,054; nationally, the average premium was $822.

Johns said while each individual company will determine, based on its losses over time, whether to raise rates, Oklahomans will continue to pay more than most.

“Oklahoma is subject to just about every weather-related disaster known to man,” Johns said, “including earthquakes.

“It’s a state that has and probably will continue to be ravaged by severe weather.”

If you have suffered hail damage from hail stroms, tornado damageor any other weather damage insurance claims in Oklahoma, (OK) and need help with your insurance claim or to dispute your insurance company’s estimate, feel free to contact us to have all your claim questions answered at NO COST!

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(C) Joe Brennan is President and owner/operator of Insurance Claims Group, Inc., a national independent adjusting, appraisal, and umpiring firm. We will answer your claim questions FREE as part of our FREE Insurance Advice and Insurance Claim Consulting Services.

Insurance Claims Group, Inc.
Joe Brennan
Ph: 919-669-9111
Fx: 919-573-9595

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