Hail damage hits the bottom line of an insurance company’s net profits in Oklahoma. Some years the number of hail claims is much greater, making less profits for the insurance industry. Other years the hail losses are greatly reduced. The decrease in hail claims allows insurance companies like State Farm to make greater profits. The insurance premiums charged Oklahoma homeowners for the insurance protection is not paid out in claims.
According to News Channel 4 in Oklahoma City, State Farm reported 33,790 hail storm claims in 2013 in Oklahoma. In 2014, there were only 8,089 reported losses of damage caused by hail stones. Since insurance premiums are based upon an average, profits should increase significantly when there is a decrease in the number of storms.
The news reports that State Farm says, “. . . hail is the most frequent cause of property damage, costing State Farm policyholders more than $2.4 billion in 2014.” Oklahoma homeowners well know the need for good insurance coverage to protect against these types of storm losses and claims.
As there were far fewer losses in 2014, State Farm knows it will have to be prepared for future hail loss claims:
“While last year was much quieter on the hail front, Oklahomans know all too well the rumbling under their feet with recent earthquakes and the ongoing threat of tornadoes,” State Farm spokesperson Jim Camoriano said. “State Farm stands ready to help customers, no matter what nature throws at us this year. We encourage people to visit with their insurance agent to discuss different types of weather and events that could affect their property.”
Insurance companies set aside funds for future claims, knowing the purpose of insurance is to pay claims and protect property owners. Setting aside the proper financial resources makes the claim process simple. A company like State Farm knows the claims will come and proper reserving measures assure the funds will be ready to promptly pay when the time comes.
Oklahoma insurance companies have a legal responsibility to promptly investigate and pay claims. This obligation includes hail damage claims to cars, homes, commercial properties, roofs, boats, and all types of covered property. It’s no surprise that hail losses happen. The difficult things to predict are when and where the next storm will hit. Insurance companies should be fully prepared to act with speed in the claim adjustment and payment. Based upon the company statements, State Farm customers can expect to be treated fairly in Oklahoma.
Insureds that don’t feel like they were given a fair shake file lawsuits and want their attorney fees paid. The Oklahoma insurance laws let the policyholder get back attorney fees for claims that are underpaid. Therefore, a well-documented claim file is a must. The adjuster may be asked to explain the amount paid. Since bad faith lawsuits take time, the details may not be fresh. The claim file needs to document the facts.
In summary, the lull in the number of Oklahoma hail claims has benefited the insurance industry in Oklahoma. But, don’t forget the calm before the next Oklahoma storm.
Our Oklahoma attorney firm has been litigating insurance matters for over 30 years serving Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Muskogee, Bristow, Moore, and the entire state. 918-587-1525, call now!