The Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner has issued an order that changes the way insurers file rates with the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Companies are now required to file any rate increase to the state in the first instance where it can be challenged before being approved.
This is in response to findings by the Commissioner that the earthquake insurance market is ‘noncompetitive’. The effect of this has been to limit residents‘ choice of insurance provider and their ability to shop for the best price. Four companies are currently dominating the marketplace.
A recent public hearing on the state’s earthquake insurance market found the industry has generally been raising rates but decreasing coverage with some insurers filing 300 percent rate increases.
The Commissioner’s announced that his job is to protect Oklahomans so that earthquake insurance remains available and affordable.
This is a step in the right direction and I’m actually surprized that this sort of oversight is happening in a state that has a tendency to not protect its residents.