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Wednesday, March 26, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak plans to ask the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to invest in Shared Emergency Response Vehicles (SERVEs) for education and disaster response.
“These vehicles are a great way for the NAIC to highlight the benefits of state-based regulation and would show a true commitment to consumer education and assistance,” said Doak. “Taking state-based educational opportunities across the United States and meeting consumers in their own community would be a defining moment for the NAIC.”
Each custom-made vehicle, modeled after units currently in use by many insurance companies, would have seven workstations, a small conference room, a secure wireless modem, a flat-screen monitor, satellite phones and charging stations. Commissioner Doak’s proposal includes stationing the vehicles across the country and deploying them to disaster-stricken areas when needed.
“We were able to borrow one of these vehicles after the Moore tornado,” said Doak “It was vital to the success of the Insurance Village. It allowed us to issue identification badges to adjusters, meet with consumers and keep in touch with other state agencies. Oklahoma isn’t alone when it comes to disasters. The Northeast had Superstorm Sandy, California experienced ferocious wildfires and we’ve seen devastating tornadoes in Joplin, Tuscaloosa, Hattiesburg and many more. These threats aren’t going away. The NAIC needs to be prepared to respond in the best way possible.”
When not deployed to a disaster zone, the units would be available for educational events such as health fairs, state fairs, Medicare enrollment events, severe weather preparedness events, visits to schools and universities and more. The SERVEs could also be sent to state capitols to promote state-based regulation.
“The NAIC has the ability to take care of consumers with this new, innovative assistance tool,” said Doak. “This is also a great opportunity to partner with the industry, which has already discovered the many benefits of a rapid response vehicle.”
Commissioner Doak believes, that with the NAIC’s current net assets topping $100 million, now is the time for the NAIC to focus on a domestic brand identity and promote state-based consumer education and disaster assistance.
“The NAIC needs to follow the lead of the industry, which has been using disaster response vehicles very successfully for years,” said Doak. “The NAIC should serve consumers when they need help the most. That effort will pay huge dividends for the NAIC by promoting the benefits of state-based regulation.”
If Commissioner Doak’s proposal is approved, the vehicles would be purchased with NAIC funds in 2015.
The NAIC is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization created and governed by the chief insurance regulators from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight.
About the Oklahoma Insurance Department
The Oklahoma Insurance Department, an agency of the State of Oklahoma, is responsible for the education and protection of the insurance-buying public and for oversight of the insurance industry in the state.
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