Photo of Steven V. Buckman

Steven V. Buckman practices in the field of insurance law litigating a variety of first-party and third-party actions including, but not limited to, bad faith, coverage questions, declaratory judgments, products liability, trucking insurance, fire and casualty, wrongful death, and catastrophic injury matters.

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The typical Oklahoma business manages a considerable part of its liability risks by purchasing insurance coverage. Businesses sometimes take their insurance coverage for granted.  They just assume insurance will be there if an accident happens.

It is not a wise risk management practice to simply assume you will have coverage for every situation.

A recent decision by the Oklahoma Supreme Court brings the point home. In Siloam Springs Hotel, LLC v. Century Surety Company, 2017 OK 14, a hotel purchased liability coverage to protect against accidents and negligence. Century Surety Company sold the insurance policy.

Guests at the hotel were injured when carbon monoxide entered the air ducts due to leakage from the heater for the indoor swimming pool. The hotel believed it had insurance to cover the claims and potential lawsuits. However, the insurance company said there was no insurance to cover the injuries.  Apparently, there was an exclusion in the insurance policy.


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A grass fire burns March 7 in Harper County, Oklahoma. (KOKH/Steven Anderson)

Fires in northwest Oklahoma have damaged more than 800,000 acres.

The extent and size of the area damaged is hard for many of us to comprehend. As a couple of measuring sticks, there are 640 acres in one square mile. You would have to jog four miles to go around a section of land with

Disappointment

There must be a good reason for the denial of a homeowners claim. The decision to deny coverage is complicated. It may sound simple, but it isn’t.

In Oklahoma, you really need an attorney involved before denial. Not just any attorney, but one familiar with Oklahoma law. There is a balance the courts strike in

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You don’t always think about a church needing CGL liability insurance. Churches aren’t bad, in fact,  churches are known for doing good. Some church groups engage in food banks, food drives, clothing centers, and all sorts of work to make this world a better place. Why would a church doing good have anything to worry