OKLAHOMA CITY – Tornadoes, floods, wildfires and hail storms continue to take a toll on Oklahomans.
Those events mean consumers could soon be shelling out even more for their homeowner’s insurance.
A metro man recently learned his home insurance is going up almost 40 percent next year.
Paul Ferrer says he called the company to ask about the increase.
He says he was told it is because he lives in Oklahoma, a state considered high-risk.
Ferrer said, “I’m going to have to go back through and decrease my coverage and increase my deductible, which is just not right.”
Ferrer is not sure how he’s going to afford this latest increase to his homeowner’s policy.
His most recent statement shows that he will pay $1,331 in 2014.
It’s a huge increase considering his rate two years ago was just $669.
Kelly Collins, with the Oklahoma Insurance Department, said, “Oklahoma is a high-risk state. In just the last five years, we’ve had at least a billion dollars in insured losses.”
Collins says there is no limit on how much a company can increase a consumer’s rate from one year to the next.
She said, “They raise the rates and then they inform us. We cannot approve or deny rate changes at all. It’s just not written like that in the statute.”
Ferrer said, “Why isn’t there someone looking out for the workers, for the regular Oklahomans?”
Collins says it would take legislation in order for the insurance department to set a limit on the rate increases.
She says there’s really only one thing consumers can do for themselves.
Collins said, “Shop around. I mean, that is the number one thing.”
It’s a situation which is frustrating for consumers like Paul.
He said, “I don’t like it one bit. I don’t like it one bit.”
Ferrer’s insurance company tells us they have increased rates recently, an average of 11.8 percent.
They say it is necessary in order for them to maintain the “ability to pay claims on behalf of their customers.”