The Oklahoma Insurance Department has released its 2022 annual report. Each year, the OID compiles a report that summarizes the required financial disclosures from insurers in the state, highlights new legislation, and breaks down certain regulatory activities undertaken by the department (although information on market behavior tests is noticeably absent). Here’s a quick rundown of some of the more interesting data and statistics from last year:
By the numbers
In 2022, OID was responsible for regulating 1,800 insurance companies – 86 of which are domestic Oklahoma companies. A staggering $31.8 billion in Oklahoma premiums were collected by these insurers, and they paid $290 million in net premium taxes.
In 2022, the Oklahoma Insurance Department Claims Division received 2,467 initial claims (primarily health and auto claims; 477 were homeowner claims). Of these initial reports, 318 resulted in the insurance department making inquiries and 235 resulted in an external review of the claim or the company. Oklahoma policyholders recovered $5,656,720 through the grievance process.
OID also received 1,331 insurance fraud complaints, of which only 2 were filed for prosecution. These numbers seem to support a point Mr. Merlin makes in his book, Pay!, where he argues that while insurance fraud naturally occurs, it tends to happen much less frequently than insurance companies claim. For dramatic flair, the report includes a “case highlight” about a licensed insurance agent who filed a false claim, had his permit revoked and is now being sought by a “refugee court group.”
The 2022 report also includes a helpful breakdown of new Oklahoma insurance legislation. One bill in particular – House Bill 3495 – directly affects Oklahoma consumers with homeowner’s policies. House Bill 3495 amends Oklahoma’s Unfair Claims Settlement Act to extend the time allowed that homeowners must file wind or hail claims. The law now requires that any Oklahoma homeowner’s policy “that states a time limit covering damage to a roof due to wind or hail must allow claims to be filed after the first anniversary but no later than twenty-four (24) months after the date of loss, unless the damage is obvious without inspection.” 36 OS §1250.5(7).Representative McEntire explained that this amendment was introduced to end the common practice of insurance companies to deny coverage for wind and hail damage to roofs if a claim is made more than 365 days after the date of loss.1 The change requires insurance companies to give homeowners more time to discover and claim non-apparent damages.
HB 3495 further amends the improper claims settlement law to limit the time frame within which insurers can request reimbursement of payments already made. Once the bill is passed, insurance companies in Oklahoma must make such a request to an applicant within 12 months of the payment being made. They have a little longer – 18 months – to request a refund from another supplier.
So there you have it – OID’s 2022 review. There was less information about regulatory action or discipline taken against insurers than I would have liked, but I can’t complain about new, pro-consumer legislation. For a more in-depth read, you can find the full 200-page report here.
1 Marcus McEntire, The Comanche Times, Committees for approved bills (10 March 2022) https://www.comancheok.net/articles/60/view.