OK Insurance Commissioner Says Earthquake Insurance Noncompetitive

Wednesday, June 8th 2016, 3:23 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

The Oklahoma Insurance commissioner is cracking down on insurance companies. The commissioner says the earthquake market is noncompetitive, allowing for huge premium increases.

The issue, according to the insurance commissioner, is 55% of homes that have earthquake insurance are covered by only four companies.

Russell Deck bought earthquake insurance for his Edmond home about a year and a half ago. 

“It got to a point we were really worried about our house and infrastructure,” said Deck.

Russell says he shopped around first for the right policy. But the Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner says that may be getting more difficult.  After seeing an increase in rates and deductibles and reduction in insurance companies offering earthquake insurance the commissioner held a hearing last month to investigate.

“Those things kind of triggered us to take a deeper dive into the earthquake insurance market to make sure that consumers in Oklahoma are being treated fairly,” said Combs.

The commissioner ruled the market noncompetitive and issued an order, demanding insurance companies file any rate increase with the Oklahoma Insurance Department before they go into effect.

“We’re taking a look at all these rates and going over them with a fine tooth comb to make sure that they’re right,” said Combs.

The commission can then challenge any rate change they find inappropriate. The Insurance commissioner says this will help protect Oklahomans and help make the insurance market more competitive.

The order takes effect immediately. It will not affect existing policies until their renewal.