MIAMI – It has been more than 18 months since Glen Mulready took office as Oklahoma’s 13th Insurance Commissioner.
“We had the second most common tornadoes in Oklahoma history, we had the worst floods in Oklahoma history, and now the pandemic. So it’s been an exciting year and a half, ”Mulready told members of the Miami Noon Lions Club on Friday.
He met with local insurance agents and visited the Miami Fire Department prior to the Lions meeting at Northeastern A&M.
Mulready tried to clear up the misunderstanding about flood insurance.
While it’s a very well-known object in Miami and Ottawa Counties, there are still many who don’t understand that it is.
“I think there is a lot of misunderstanding in the market, maybe not as much as here in Miami and other places like those more familiar with flood insurance,” Mulready said. “But what we are basically trying to do is educate consumers that your homeowner’s policy does not cover floods. I like to oversimplify and just tell people if water is coming into your home through a window, through the roof, or a burst pipe that is covered by your homeowners. But once it (water) hits the ground, it is no longer covered by homeowner policy. “
Mulready, a former Tulsa state official, became Oklahoma’s 13th Insurance Commissioner in 2019.
Mulready said he had toured parts of Sand Springs that were devastated by floods last year.
“I’ve spoken to a number of people who told me they have flood insurance. Their bank told them they no longer need to wear it and they are dropping it, ”said Mulready, whose office has 125 employees and is split between Oklahoma City and Tulsa. “These people had at least four feet of water in their home.”
He also saw widespread flooding in Webber’s Falls, forcing the city of Sequoyah County to be evacuated for nearly two weeks.
The day after it reopened, he toured the area with emergency management personnel.
“This 70-year-old couple tried to clean up but you could see by the waterline that they had about 8 feet of water in their house,” Mulready said. “It was their retirement home, fully paid for – and they had no flood insurance. I practically cried with them in their garden. “
Before the spring storm season, the commissioner’s office launched a “Mulready Says Get Ready” campaign to educate people across the state about what’s in the house and whether they have flood insurance.
“It was kind of cheesy, but catchy,” he said. “It has a lot of implications for retirement or life insurance. You have to be ready. You have to be prepared.
“We used that quite often with consumers for flood insurance as well.”
His office oversees a variety of units including fraud prevention, bail, real estate appraisers, and senior health.
Mulready said the OID is working closely with the Attorney General.
Oklahoma had a record 149 tornadoes in 2019, and despite the pandemic, 2020 was pretty eventful.
According to the National Weather Service, there were in the state as of June 34 – none in Ottawa County.
On a positive note, the state has seen fewer earthquakes
“The good news about earthquakes is that they have decreased significantly. A trickle of it, but nothing substantial like a few years ago, ”he said.
“I checked in with them recently and they were down 80%. I recently checked our records and we haven’t received any earthquake complaints since 2018. “