OKLAHOMA CITY – After a round of severe weather caused thousands of power outages and millions of dollars in damages, Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak has declared an emergency in Oklahoma. The declaration allows emergency claims adjusters to obtain temporary licenses to expedite the insurance claims process and provide immediate assistance to impacted Oklahomans.
“I will do all I can to make sure Oklahomans get the help they need as quickly as possible,” said Doak. “We know insurers are already stretched thin from the May tornadoes, so we need to make sure they can bring in additional people to handle these claims and take care of policyholders.”
Commissioner Doak offers the following tips for storm victims:
- Call your insurance company or agent as soon as possible. Ask what forms, documents and information you will need to provide in order to process your claim.
- Take photos or video of the damage.
- Make the necessary repairs to prevent further damage to the property. Examples include covering broken windows, leaking roofs and damaged walls. Do not make permanent repairs until your insurance company has inspected the property and you have reached an agreement with them on the cost of appropriate repairs.
- Save all receipts, including those from the temporary repairs that might be covered by your insurance policy.
- If your home is damaged to the extent that it is unlivable, ask your insurer if you have coverage for living expenses incurred while repairs are being made. Save all receipts to document these costs.
What Damage to Your Home is Covered?
Damages caused by wind, wind-driven rain, trees or other falling objects, and the collapse of a structure are covered under most standard homeowners policies. However, you should review your individual insurance contract to determine specific coverage and exclusions. Check your policy and call your insurance agent or company for clarification with specific questions.
What Damage to Your Home is Not Covered?
The following weather-related events are usually not covered by standard homeowners insurance policies:
- Interior storm-water damage when there was no damage to the home's roof or walls
- Flood damages
- Removal of fallen trees from the property, unless those trees land on and damage the roof and walls of the home
- Food spoilage due to power outages
- Water damage from backed-up drains or sewers
Oklahomans with insurance questions are encouraged to call the OID’s Consumer Assistance Division at 1-800-522-0071.