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Army of adjusters starts cutting checks to owners of damaged Oklahoma property

Hundreds of insurance adjusters have descended on central Oklahoma to deal with the damage wrought by storms of the past several days.

BY DON MECOY Modified: May 19, 2010 at 8:17 am •  Published: May 19, 2010

MOORE — Andrew Brown lives in Kansas City, but he spends part of most springs in Oklahoma.

Insurance adjusters, like Brown, go where storms wreak havoc, and that means regular trips to the Sooner state.

"There are several of us from Kansas City and we joke around about it: What are you doing this spring? Well, I’m going to be in Oklahoma.”

Brown, who works catastrophes for Farmers Insurance, has climbed on a lot of roofs in Moore and the south metro area assessing damage and cutting checks since the May 10 outbreak of hail, wind and tornadoes. Living out of a local hotel and using his minivan as an office, Brown will work for three solid weeks before getting a few days off.

After he finishes up on the south side, Brown expects he will head north to begin working the areas hit by Sunday’s hailstorm. It’s an area he visited just last year to assess tornado damage.

"I’ll probably take a truck north to the Edmond side and take a look at the exact same roofs I did last year,” he said.

Brown is among a small army of insurance adjusters who have descended on Oklahoma in the wake of the damaging storms.

State Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland issued an emergency declaration that suspends some licensing requirements for out-of-state adjusters to allow them to get to work immediately.

On Tuesday, Brown presented Mike and Debbie McKaughan with a check to replace a hail-damaged roof, gutters, carport and a window at their Moore home. Ongoing Coverage: May 10 tornadoes

What you should do when

contracting for repair work

Attorney General Drew Edmondson this week warned property owners to be on guard for fraudulent home-repair companies and offered the tips for choosing a contractor. They include:

• Ask people you trust for referrals.

• Whenever possible, deal with local firms with roots in the community.

• Check out the repairman with the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Unit and the Better Business Bureau.

• Ask for customer references.

• Get written estimates from several firms.

• Don’t do business without a written contract.

• Get all guarantees, warranties and promises in writing.

• Agree on start and completion dates and have them written into the contract.

Avoid these types when contracting for repair work
The attorney general cautioned people to be wary of repairmen and contractors who:

• Solicit door-to-door.

• Offer discounts for finding other customers.

• "Just happen to have” materials left over from a previous job.

• Accept only cash payments.

• Pressure you for an immediate decision.

• Ask you to pay for the entire job up-front.

If you suspect a scam
Anyone with information regarding suspected fraud or scams can contact the attorney general’s consumer protection hot line at 521-2029.


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