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Monday, 11 June 2012 15:29

Declaration Allows Claims Adjusters Temporary Licensing in Oklahoma for Storm Damage

After damaging storms hit Oklahoma in late May, state Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak cleared the way for insurance companies to bring in additional claims adjusters.

Doak’s emergency declaration enables emergency claims adjusters to be licensed temporarily to expedite the insurance claims process and provide immediate assistance.

The move, Doak said, is designed “to help storm victims get the help they need quickly.”

Strong winds, hail and several tornadoes left damage across much of the state. Insurance officials had no preliminary estimate of the insured losses.

Doak urged Oklahomans to be cautious in their response to damaged property.

“First and foremost, make sure you and your family are safe,” Doak said. “Don’t make a bad situation worse by putting yourself in danger while assessing damage. Be especially careful of downed power lines, broken glass, exposed nails and other debris.”

State Attorney General Scott Pruitt warned residents in areas damaged by severe storms to be on guard for home repair schemes and charity fraud that typically follow in the wake of weather damage.

“We know from past experience that this type of damage attracts criminals looking for ways to take advantage of Oklahomans,” Pruitt said. “We’re getting the message out now so people can be aware of such quick-fix schemes and spread the word to neighbors and family members before they become victims.”

•Call your insurance company or agent with your policy number and all relevant information as soon as possible. Ask what forms, documents and information you will need to provide to process your claim.

•Take photos or video of the damage.

•Make necessary repairs to prevent further damage to the property (for instance, covering broken windows, leaking roofs and damaged walls), but do not have permanent repairs made until your insurance company has inspected the property and you have reached an agreement with them on the cost of appropriate repairs.

•Save receipts, including those from temporary repairs that might be covered by your insurance policy.

•If your home is uninhabitable, ask your insurance provider if you have coverage for living expenses incurred while repairs are being made. Save all receipts to document those costs.

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