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Thursday, June 13, 2013
OKLAHOMA CITY – Insurance commissioners from across the country attended an educational post-natural disaster forum today, hosted by Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak, in response to the tornadoes that swept central Oklahoma in May.
"This forum has been an important opportunity to share support and collaborate on better assisting consumers in the aftermath of these tornadoes," said John D. Doak, Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner. "Represented here today are several of the national disasters that our country has experienced in recent years, including Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina. We are working together to help Oklahoma communities recover and rebuild.”
The forum included a tour of areas damaged by the tornadoes and the Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID) Command Center, as well as a visit to the National Weather Center and the Storm Prediction Center. Regulators from Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey and Wisconsin attended the forum.
"Whether it's a tornado, a hurricane, an earthquake or a wildfire, all our states are subject to disaster,” Jim Donelon, National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) President and Louisiana Insurance Commissioner said. “It's our job as regulators to make sure the victims are treated fairly by their insurer. There are lessons to be learned here and it's a great opportunity for us to learn from Oklahoma, which has handled disasters like this before and continues to do so very well."
The National Tornado Summit (NTS) is credited for generating best practices in disaster response and is held annually in Oklahoma City. NTS serves as a forum for national and state insurance experts to collaborate and exchange ideas on improving emergency management and disaster response.
New Jersey Acting Insurance Director, Peter Hartt said, “Every storm, every disaster is different. I saw the devastation of Superstorm Sandy, but I've never seen tornado damage. It is heartbreaking and dramatic.”
“We couldn't be more proud of the work that's been going on here in Oklahoma,” said Ted Nickel, Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner. “It's a great example for us in Wisconsin to learn from as we prepare for our next disaster. We want to take away the best practices we can to help consumers.”
To date, estimated insured losses from the tornadoes are more than $470 million. OID has supported recovery efforts by providing consumer assistance booths in multiple locations and sending Anti-Fraud investigators to patrol hard hit areas, in addition to long-term consumer outreach across the state.
Please visit http://www.ok.gov/oid/disasterrecovery.html for more information and to assist with disaster recovery from Oklahoma’s tornadoes.
ABOUT THE OKLAHOMA INSURANCE DEPARTMENT
The Oklahoma Insurance Department, an agency of the State of Oklahoma, is responsible for the education and protection of the insurance-buying public and for oversight of the insurance industry in the state.
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