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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.

A forum on Oklahoma Business Transfers was conducted in Tulsa, Oklahoma on August 21, 2018. The conference featured speakers from the insurance industry with expertise in business transfers as well as runoff business.

The discussion was interesting.  The panel compared the new Oklahoma laws with the Part VII transfer familiar to the London insurance market. 

The appraisal process uses a panel to settle a claim.The typical homeowner’s insurance policy has a clause allowing the parties to use appraisal to resolve disputes. The process is intended to quickly and economically determine the amount of a loss in cases of disagreement. Like many aspects of Oklahoma law, the use of a three person panel should be approached with the advice of an experienced attorney. The Oklahoma appellate decisions heavily impact the outcome.

In simple terms, appraisal involves three parties that serve as a panel.

Each side chooses someone to act as a disinterested appraiser. Then, the two appraisers choose the third person, known as the Umpire, by agreement. If the two appraisers are not able to pick the Umpire by agreement, then either side can ask the court to select the Umpire.


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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