McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

April 9, 2014

State Insurance Commissioner Doak speaks of tag seizures, anti-fraud efforts

McALESTER — Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak traveled to McAlester on Tuesday, where he met with Pittsburg County Sheriff Joel Kerns and spoke to the Rotary Club.

Doak, a Republican from Tulsa, also filed for re-election to a four-year term in office at the state Election Board in Oklahoma City on Wednesday.

While in McAlester, Doak talked about a number of insurance-related matters, including the law that’s currently in effect that allows police to seize the license plates from vehicles of uninsured motorists.

If a motorist in Oklahoma is caught driving without insurance, police can seize the license plates, suspend the driver’s license, tow the vehicle or issue a ticket, Doak said.

If the tag is seized, then a temporary tag is put in place and the vehicle is automatically insured. The driver will have to pay the cost of the insurance to get the license plate back, according to Doak.

“They have 10 days to pick it up and pay the fine and fees,” Doak said.

In the meantime, if the vehicle is involved in an accident, it’s insured, Doak said.

Currently, 25 percent of the drivers in Oklahoma are uninsured, according to Doak.

When he spoke to the Rotary Club, Doak asked how many of those have been involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist and “15 out of 40” indicated they had he said.

“We all share in the rising cost of uninsured motorist accidents,” he said. “Hard-working folks are carrying insurance, yet 25 percent are not.”

While in McAlester, Doak and several of his assistants drove an anti-fraud vehicle owned by the Oklahoma  Insurance Department. The vehicle is dubbed as an anti-fraud unit and is identified as such by the lettering on its side.

Doak said the OID drives the vehicle into an area hit by a natural disaster and looks for fraud from contractors or workers who seek to prey on the disaster victims.

The insurance commissioner said he and the OID are glad to help Oklahomans with their insurance questions and he would be honored to serve another four years at the state’s insurance commissioner

“Nobody ever asks me if I’m a Republican or Democrat if I’m standing in their driveway helping with their insurance claim,” he said.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

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