Tornado season will soon be upon us and Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak is making his rounds in the state, educating citizens on the importance of having property insurance.
"We just want Oklahomans to be prepared," he said. "It's not a matter of if it happens, it's a matter of when it happens."
Doak was traveling county-to-county last week when he stopped by the local Lion's Club.
"We've been promoting the importance of insurance in multiple facets all over Oklahoma," he said. "My office gets close to a million hits a year on our site, so we have a pretty good idea about what issues are affecting people."
In addition to the protecting property, Doak said he and his department have seen a massive rise in crimes and fraud geared toward exploiting the elderly. He said victims can contact local rep Amanda Riddle should they feel that they are being taken advantage of.
"She is a great conduit into our office for this area," he said.
Car insurance is another key issue Doak said he and his office plan to combat during this legislative session. He said there are roughly 560,000 uninsured cars in the state and this problem has reached something of epidemic like proportions. Currently, Doak is working on legislation that will give officers a new option when pulling over a driver that doesn't carry state minimum insurance.
He said the legislation would give officers the opportunity to place a yellow tag on the car instead of towing it and that would serve as state mandated insurance. Once the driver could prove that he or she insured the car appropriately the yellow tag would be removed and a fee for the time in which the driver had the state insurance would be assessed. Doak said this a more effective way of combatting the insurance problem than simply towing the vehicles.
"It's much like a lien holder on a house," he said.
Doak will continue his journey next week to the southwestern portion of the state to continue educating citizens on the importance of insurance.