Commissioner Doak has winter advice for state

Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak is encouraging Oklahomans to prepare for the winter weather season as weather forecasters warn about the possibility of freezing rain and flooding over the holiday weekend.

“It’s important to understand what is and isn’t covered by your home and auto insurance,” Commissioner Doak said. “Winter storm damage can be financially devastating to a family without the proper insurance coverage. That’s why I’m urging all Oklahomans to review their policy before any storm hits.”

Liability coverage under your auto insurance policy will cover damage you cause in an auto accident where you are found liable. The optional collision coverage of an auto policy will cover damages to your vehicle from an accident where the other driver is uninsured, a single-car crash or where you were at fault. Comprehensive coverage, which is also optional, would cover damage to your car caused by falling trees or ice. Review your policy for further clarification, or contact your insurance agent for more information.

A standard homeowner’s insurance policy covers the following:

Wind-related damage to the house, roof or contents

Tree limbs that fall on a house – this includes both the damage done by the tree and the cost of removing the tree

Damage from ice and other objects that fall on the home

Freezing conditions such as burst pipes and ice dams; however, there is generally a requirement that the homeowner has taken reasonable steps to prevent this.

Damage caused by flooding is not covered by standard homeowners or renters insurance. Melting snow that seeps into a home from the ground up would be covered by flood insurance which is provided by FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program.

Homeowners who have winter weather related damage should contact their insurance agent as soon as possible to start the claim process. Don’t forget to document the damage with lists, receipts and pictures.