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Oklahoma earthquake: Earthquake damage not covered by homeowner's policy

Earthquake insurance inexpensive in Oklahoma because events rarely damaging
By Don Mecoy Modified: October 13, 2010 at 12:23 pm •  Published: October 13, 2010

Earthquake damage is not typically covered by a standard homeowner's insurance policy, but in Oklahoma such damage is extremely rare.

Those wanting to obtain such coverage likely could buy it fairly cheaply.

"I don't know what the cost would be, but based on risk I would suspect that it would be priced reasonably," said Jerry Johns, president of Southwestern Insurance Information Service.

No significant damage has been reported with this morning's earthquake measured at magnitude 4.3.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey records dating back to 1918, only a handful of Oklahoma earthquakes have been intense enough to cause property damage. And the damage was limited a fallen chimney, minor foundation damage, cracked plaster and shattered windows.

Dan Ramsey, president of the Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma, said he never wrote an earthquake policy during his 22 years as an insurance agent.

"This certainly deserves asking the question: what does it cost?" he said. "It's something people probably ought to explore. It's not that expensive, relatively speaking."

In California, a statewide agency offers earthquake coverage, and Jones said such policies are much more common in Missouri, which sits atop the New Madrid fault and was the site of one of the strongest quakes in the early 1800s.


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