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New grant program could help Oklahomans make their homes more weather-resistant

Dawn breaks over the rubble that used to be homes, in this case a door propped up and marked with a street number, left earlier in the week when a tornado hit Moore, Okla., Friday, May 24, 2013. The huge tornado roared through the Oklahoma City suburb Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods with debris-filled winds of up to 200 mph.
Brennan Linsley
/
AP
Dawn breaks over the rubble that used to be homes, in this case a door propped up and marked with a street number, left earlier in the week when a tornado hit Moore, Okla., Friday, May 24, 2013. The huge tornado roared through the Oklahoma City suburb Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods with debris-filled winds of up to 200 mph.

By next year’s tornado season, some Oklahoman homeowners may have more weather-resistant homes and lower insurance premiums, thanks to a state law passed earlier this month.

Oklahomans pay the most for homeowners insurance in the country — almost $6,000 a year. However, a new program created by the Strengthen Oklahoma Homes Act will help eligible property owners build or modify their homes to be safer from hazards like wind and hail. Some insurance companies offer discounts on policies for homes that meet weather-resistance standards.

State Rep. Mark Tedford, R-Tulsa, co-sponsored the act. He went on State Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready’s podcast, Mulready Minutes, to tout the benefits of the program.

“If we can as a state have materials that will withstand the weather that we experience here, then I think it’ll have an impact on all homeowner insurance rates moving forward,” he said.

The program will be administered by the Oklahoma Insurance Department, which is still developing the application process and finding funding for the grants.


This report was produced by the Oklahoma Public Media Exchange, a collaboration of public media organizations. Help support collaborative journalism by donating at the link at the top of this webpage.

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