State Insurance Commissioner stops by after the state is shaken by many earthquakes

Ponca City Now - June 19, 2014 7:50 am

With the state shaking quite a bit in the past week, State Insurance Commissioner, John Doak couldn’t have stopped by at a better time. Doak said the most important thing to understand about earthquake coverage is it isn’t part of your existing homeowners policy. He said it’s something you have to add on and it’s a percentage deductible, not a flat rate.

"So, if you have a $100,000 home, lets use that as a hypothetical, it could be a one, three or five percent deductible; which could be up to $10,000, right? for a $100,000 home," Doak said. "Again, it is a special coverage that needs to be added on. And with the activity happening around the state of Oklahoma, as the insurance commissioner we want consumers to be educated, and understand before they have a financial lose and find out it’s not covered under their current policy.”

Doak said the typical method in Oklahoma is bundle, bundle, bundle. For example, you will get the greatest savings if you bundle it with your home and auto insurance. He said he suggest you check with primary homeowners policy carriers or a local broker. Earthquake insurance is an interesting coverage, but it’s getting a lot of discussion and is relative to what’s happening.

Another issue Doak has taken upon himself is exploitation of the elderly and senior fraud. Doak travels the state hosting conferences about warning signs and how to spot a con artist. He covers current scams, Medicare fraud, insurance fraud and investment fraud. The conferences begin at 8 a.m. with breakfast and last until 12:15.

“If there is a civic group or church group or senior group that’s listening, I know we had one here in the area last year; we try to move them around the state, but we would be happy to accommodate and put together something if there was a group here that wanted to host something," Doak said. Again, keeping this thing relative to fraud issues in front of seniors is just vitally important. If we can help just one Oklahoman save their life’s savings than our job has been done, and we know that we’ve been able to do that with these fraud conferences.”

The closest one is in Tulsa on July 15. There is also one in Oklahoma City July 22.

Doak is running for re-election this year and hopes to continue with his track record.

“My office returned over $2.5 million that our office was appropriated to spend, back to the legislature," Doak said. "We’ve had a very successful term highlighting these areas, protecting consumers, protecting seniors, solvency of insurance companies and handling all these claims we’ve had. Its been a pretty interesting track with Oklahoma weather.”

Doak said his office has received 100,000 claims just from the tornado in Moore last May and has paid $2 billion in claims throughout the past couple years.

“My main job is to make sure these companies remain solvent and can pay consumers claims, and also be an advocate for consumers to guarantee they are getting prompt payments relative to their insurance claims," Doak said.

Doak’s opponent is Bill Viner, who is also a republican. This means the June 24 primary election will lead to a winner in this race.


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