Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak is encouraging Oklahomans to purchase earthquake insurance after a new report predicts continued seismic activity in the central part of the state. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said central Oklahoma has experienced more than 200 magnitude 3.0 or greater earthquakes since January 2009.
“Looking into earthquake insurance after your home or business has sustained damage resulting from an earthquake will do little good to help you recover,” said Doak. “Now is the time to protect yourself before the next one occurs.”
USGS reports an average of 40 earthquakes per year in Oklahoma from 2009 to 2013, an increase from an average of two to six yearly from 1975 to 2008. Oklahoma’s record-breaking 5.6-magnitude quake in November 2011 destroyed 14 homes and damaged dozens more. However, an estimated less than one percent of Oklahomans carry earthquake insurance. Standard homeowners or renters insurance policies do not cover damage caused from earthquakes.
Earthquake policies vary in cost depending on multiple factors, including the desired level of coverage and deductible amount. Insurers also determine the premiums based on the property location, age and construction of the home and the cost to rebuild. An Oklahoma homeowner can expect to pay $100 to $150 per year for the coverage, which will cover repairs to the property and may cover other structures not attached to the house, like a garage. It also insures personal property against damage from an earthquake and covers the cost to remove debris.
Source: Oklahoma Department of Insurance