Oklahoma fire losses may top $30M

BY DON MECOY Published: April 18, 2009
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photo - FEMA representatives talk to homeowner Floyd Craft, wearing red cap, at the back of his house, 11423 Village Ave. in Oakwood East Royale neighborhood, Tuesday morning. Craft’s house was among those destroyed in last week’s wildfires. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
FEMA representatives talk to homeowner Floyd Craft, wearing red cap, at the back of his house, 11423 Village Ave. in Oakwood East Royale neighborhood, Tuesday morning. Craft’s house was among those destroyed in last week’s wildfires. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
Insurance companies expect to pay out about $30 million to cover losses from last week’s wildfires that consumed more than 100 structures in Oklahoma, a state Insurance Department official said Friday.

"In tracking information provided by the major insurance carriers in the state, we’re looking at damage upwards of $30 million,” Assistant Insurance Commissioner Marc Young said. "That’s what they’re putting in reserve in order to assure that they’re prepared to meet the needs of the damage caused by these wildfires.”

State Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland said companies are continuing to respond to customers affected by the fires.

"Insurance companies are well prepared with significant funds in reserve, and policyholders can expect their claims to be paid promptly and accurately,” Holland said.

Earlier this week, the Southwestern Insurance Information Service estimated the covered losses could be as high as $20 million. But that estimate was admittedly preliminary.

Young said insurance companies appear to have reacted quickly to serve Oklahoma customers. But he cautioned that property owners seeking help should make sure they are dealing with licensed insurance representatives.

An insurance adjuster licensed in Texas, but not Oklahoma, signed several contracts with Oklahomans in the aftermath of the wildfires, Young said.


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