Oklahoma Steps Up Fraud Fight in Disaster Zones

June 7, 2013

Oklahoma is stepping up its efforts to fight fraud in storm-devastated areas of the state with the assistance of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and the North Carolina Department of Insurance.

Five officers from the North Carolina Department of Insurance are now in Oklahoma, teaming up with OID’s investigators and law enforcement personnel to monitor various tornado disaster zones, the Oklahoma Insurance Department reported.

Investigators with the OID’s Anti-Fraud unit have been patrolling the various disaster zones since the beginning of the tornado outbreak on May 19.

In addition to educating tornado victims about potential types of fraud, the investigators have also been verifying the licenses, permits and insurance of people and groups soliciting business. The work has been possible through a partnership with the Moore Police Department.

By teaming up with OID’s investigators, the law enforcement officers are able to double their coverage area.

In addition, the NAIC reported it has set up a call center to assist with adjuster licensing in the aftermath of the tornadoes that hit central Oklahoma in May. Housed at the NAIC’s Central Office in Kansas City, the call center will manage the overflow of insurance company/adjuster calls to the producer licensing unit of the OID.

This partnership allows the OID to more quickly license out-of-state adjusters through the application of an emergency adjuster license. Additional adjusters will allow claims to be processed more quickly, resulting in faster recovery time for citizens who experienced losses from the disaster.

“Insurance companies have already paid out more than $250 million in storm claims,” said Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak. “Unfortunately, those claim dollars are often the target of unscrupulous individuals who prey on disaster victims at a time when they are emotionally devastated and most susceptible to fast-talking scam artists. We have to do all we can to prevent that.”

Source: NAIC, OID

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