Consumer Watch: Oklahoma’s Weather Too Severe For Insurance Company

Thursday, June 2nd 2011, 5:26 pm
By: News 9

Amanda Taylor, News 9

EDMOND, Oklahoma – David and Charlene Kirtley love their new custom built home.

"It provides security, safety, a place to call home," Charlene Kirtley said.

But Charlene didn't feel very secure last week when she opened a letter from her homeowner's insurance provider.

It said because of the uncertainty of severe thunderstorms and severity of storms over the last few years, Homeowners of America has decided to reduce its coverage in areas most exposed to frequent and severe weather, which includes Oklahoma.

"I literally went through the roof," Kirtley said. "It makes me wonder, heaven forbid, if your home was hit by the tornado or something, would they even pay the claim."

State Insurance Commissioner John Doak told me canceling a policy because of severe weather is legal, as long as they give you at least 20 days notice.

"If they're not committed to Oklahoma, it's better to find out now then find out when they had a claim and that they didn't have the ability, the financial ability, to pay it." Commissioner John Doak said.

Doak added Homeowners of America represents less than 1% of the Oklahoma market.

The Kirtleys believe the insurance company should already have known the risks before signing them up for a policy.

"We live in the state of Oklahoma," Kirtley said. "We all know the conditions of the weather in Oklahoma, good or bad."

If you receive a non renewal notice, you need to contact your local agent or broker right away to get new quotes from other insurance companies.  If you have an insurance related question or complaint, contact the consumer division of the Oklahoma Insurance Department at 405.521.2828.