Stillwater News Press

Opinion

March 27, 2014

OUR VIEW: Is it time to invest in earthquake insurance?

STILLWATER, Okla. — Debate continues why Oklahoma is experiencing an increased incidence of earthquakes in the last several years. But what is not in debate is the fact that it’s true.

For years, the state would experience a handful of tremblors each year, and none severe.

But since 2008, those numbers began to climb at alarming rates.

In the last year, Earthquake Track indicated that approximately 500 earthquakes of 1.5 magnitude or greater have shaken Oklahoma – 164 of those have occurred in the last month.

No major damage has been reported as a result of the earthquakes – cracked windows, loosened exterior brick, doors that don’t quite close properly. But there’s no doubt Oklahoma is rumbling.

The quakes have many homeowners considering investing in earthquake insurance, which does not come with a standard homeowner’s policy.

Many insurance companies offer the coverage as an endorsement to a standard policy.

If you do elect to buy earthquake insurance, you would be among the rare people in Oklahoma to do so. Less than 1 percent of Sooner state homeowners carry that kind of coverage.

Premiums are relatively cheap. Most homeowners will likely pay no more than $150 per year for the policy that covers structure repairs, personal property damage and removal of debris. But the deductibles are high, even as much as 10 percent of a home’s value.

Oklahomans live in a state that features violent storms. They don’t call it Tornado Alley for nothing, but homeowners are generally insured against property loss or damage in the event of inclement weather that comes sweeping down the plain. But with the spate of earthquakes the state is experiencing, many people are wisely thinking about investing in earthquake insurance as well.

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