Oklahoma bad faith law applies to storm, tornado, wind, and hail damage.

Insurance covers all kinds of damaging events. Many people think about their home, car, boat, lake house, disability policy, life insurance, or business. However, insurance is available for all sorts of other things.

For instance, professional athletes insure their hands. Entertainers and music stars insure the ability to sing or play an instrument while actors and actresses buy insurance against disfigurement. Doctors buy malpractice coverage. Rodeo and concert events are insured against weather cancellation. Farmers purchase crop insurance while ranchers obtain coverage for their hay and livestock. Racing syndicates buy all kinds of insurance for valuable race horses. The list goes on and on.


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For the filing fee of approximately $250, anyone can file a bad faith lawsuit. Just saying an insurance company acted in bad faith is not proof. Words are easy to say. Some people jump to the conclusion that there is bad faith when there isn’t any. There is a significant difference in filing papers at the courthouse and actually winning a trial. Filing a bad faith lawsuit means writing words on a legal document. Proving bad faith in a trial means providing evidence to the court of the bad faith.

In order to prove bad faith there must be admissible evidence.

Not all evidence is admissible. For example, courts generally do not allow hearsay evidence.  As another example, evidence that is not relevant is excluded from trial. Judges look at the information you want to give the jury, then make legal decisions about the admissibility.

To prove bad faith, the person who sued typically must have evidence to show:


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Bad faith is when the insurance company wrongfully refuses to pay a valid insurance claim. It is not a simple mistake during the claim. It is not a genuine dispute over the coverage or damages.

Bad faith isn’t present just because the claimant wants more money.

The courts in Oklahoma (and courts in other states) have identified misconduct that is bad faith. Although not a complete list, actions declared to be bad faith include:


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Oklahoma bad faith law protects the public from unscrupulous claim practices. The courts apply the common law precepts of good faith and fair dealing in order to fashion remedies. The laws balance the unequal bargaining position of the parties.

An insurance company has the greater financial resources and usually a lot more sophistication in claims. To the contrary, the insured policyholder may be in a poor financial position at the time of a loss. Due to the imbalance, the courts require the insurer to act in good faith in paying claims.

The public extends to homeowners, businesses, families, and even other insurers. Generally, Oklahoma bad faith laws are in place to make sure insurance claims are promptly paid. If an insurance company acts in bad faith, then damages can be awarded.


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Bad faith under Oklahoma law only applies in certain situations. Not every dissatisfied claimant is entitled to sue under Oklahoma bad faith law.

Oklahoma bad faith is NOT:

* action by the underwriting department while underwriting a policy

* the activity of an insurance agent in selling the coverage

* the action of an

In Oklahoma, an insurance company has a legal duty to fairly pay claims. This duty is technically to act in good faith and with fair dealing. An insurance company that refuses to fairly pay claims can be sued for bad faith for not complying with the law. The insured policyholder can claim emotional distress, financial losses, etc., caused by the bad faith.

It is good to keep in mind that the term bad faith is a short hand version of the duty of good faith and fair dealing. However, most adjusters and insurers use “bad faith” to describe this type of litigation. In everyday communication, saying breach of the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing is a mouthful. Bad faith is a whole lot shorter and easier to say.


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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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Tornado8

Living in Oklahoma means having to deal with insurance claims for tornado damage. We have tornados almost every Spring.

The damage caused by tornadoes can be catastrophic. The aftermath can leave whole towns devastated. Comfort can be found in knowing that a homeowners insurance policy can help with repair of the damage.

Many of today’s