Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak, a former State Farm
agent, has expressed disappointment over the insurer’s plan to close its Tulsa office in 2019.
The company announced the move earlier in the month as more than 500 jobs are expected to be moved from the community.
“I am extremely disappointed in both the decision and the communication between State Farm
and my office,” Doak said in a Tulsa Beacon report.
“I was notified about the closing just 10 minutes before it was announced, giving me, Gov. Mary Fallin and Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum no time to discuss options and try to keep those jobs in Tulsa. Just two weeks ago a State Farm
executive assured me the Tulsa facility was included in the company’s future plans. As the state’s largest insurer, I would expect advance notice of such a significant decision.
“I have invited State Farm
’s CEO Michael Tipsord to sit down with me, Gov. Fallin and Mayor Bynum to discuss possible alternatives. In the past, we’ve always had a positive relationship with State Farm
so I hope we can have a productive discussion on this issue that impacts so many Oklahomans.
“I understand the need to gain efficiency and streamline processes. Those are goals we have achieved here in our office and at other state agencies as well. I look forward to a constructive meeting with Mr. Tipsord,” he concluded.
In a separate report from Tulsa World
, Mary Schmidt, State Farm
executive vice president and chief administrative officer, said: “We understand the decision to exit these facilities directly affects our employees and their communities. While the exits will begin in 2018 and continue over several years, we are announcing this decision now in order to give employees time to make personal and professional decisions.”
“The company will continue to have a strong local presence in these communities through our agents and local claims employees,” Schmidt added.
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