Insurance official: Wildfire losses costly, tragic

Oklahoma wildfires have scorched thousands of acres and destroyed scores of buildings, and much of the damage is uninsured, state Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak said Monday.
by Don Mecoy Published: August 7, 2012

Having several resources in one site also can reduce incidents of fraud, which often follow in the wake of disaster, Doak said.

“We've dealt with an awful lot of consumers today,” he said Monday.

Unfortunately, Doak said, the agency and the industry has gained a lot of experience in dealing with disaster in recent months with earthquakes in Lincoln County, a major hailstorm and tornadoes.

“It's a very traumatic time for Oklahoma consumers,” he said.

Post-disaster needs aren't limited to property and casualty concerns, Doak said. Agency workers were able to help a woman with multiple sclerosis get needed medicine after her supply, her prescription and her address were lost in the fire, he said.

Praise for responders

The upside is the damage could have been much worse, Doak said.

“Oklahoma firefighters have done a fabulous job with protecting property for Oklahomans. While we've lost many structures, touring this from the air with the governor, both of us would agree what a great job firefighters have done to save as much property as they can,” he said.

“We saw places where the fire burned up to the edges of a home. They saved the home but may have lost the grassland.”

At 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Doak, joined by local leaders and insurance industry representatives, will deliver an insurance update regarding the recent wildfires at Lake Church in Mannford.

by Don Mecoy
Business Editor
Business Editor Don Mecoy has covered business news for more than a decade after earlier working on The Oklahoman's city, state and metro news desks, including a stint as city editor. He has won state and regional journalism awards for business,...
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Oklahomans can reach the Oklahoma Insurance Department's Consumer Assistance team toll-free at (800) 522-0071 or online at

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