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The head of Oklahoma’s insurance department is urging residents to look into the state’s program for “hard to insure” homes, in the wake of more than $1 billion of claims paid out from severe tornado damage in May.

Insurance Commissioner John Doak issued a statement Thursday reminding residents about the Oklahoma Market Assistance Program, designed to find protection for homes that are hard to insure.

“There are several reasons a home is difficult to insure,” Doak noted. “It could be the location of your home, the number of claims you’ve submitted or even the presence of a wood-burning stove in the home. Mobile homes can also be difficult to insure. That was a big problem we saw after last year’s wildfires. Bottom line, if the traditional insurance market won’t cover you, OK-MAP may be able to help.”  

Any Oklahoma homeowner who has been declined coverage by two insurers is eligible to apply for assistance. After an application is submitted, it is randomly assigned to a carrier.

An application may be sent to a maximum of three carriers. If no carrier accepts the risk, it goes to the OK-MAP Executive Committee for review. If none of the carriers on the committee will accept the application, the Insurance Commissioner can assign it to a carrier or determine that the risk is uninsurable.

Earlier this week, the department said that claims payouts from the severe tornado outbreak in late May had topped $1 billion. Oklahomans have filed nearly 91,000 claims since May 19, according to the department. (Source)

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