Oklahoma earthquakes stir interest in insurance coverage
A standard homeowners' insurance policy does not cover earthquake damage.
Suddenly Oklahomans are interested in earthquake insurance.
After much of the state felt Saturday's largest-ever recorded quake, a magnitude 5.6 centered near Prague, and some rumbling aftershocks, residents began calling their insurance agents.
Videoview all videos
Nov 7Damage done by earthquakes that occurred in Oklahoma City...
Photoview all 35 photos
NewsOK Related Articles
Dan Ramsey, president of Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma, said many agents were scrambling Monday trying to find earthquake insurance providers.
“They're getting the calls and they're calling me,” Ramsey said. “I don't have any answers right now.”
Standard homeowners' and commercial property insurance policies don't cover earthquake damage. Ramsey estimated that fewer than 1 percent of Oklahoma homeowners carry earthquake insurance, which must be purchased as an endorsement to homeowners' coverage or as a separate policy.
Less than $7 million in direct premiums are collected annually in Oklahoma for earthquake insurance, the state Insurance Department said. The largest providers of such coverage are Travelers Group; American International Group; State Farm; Zurich and Liberty Mutual, the agency said.
The coverage is not offered by all property and casualty insurance companies, largely because large earthquakes occur so seldomly in Oklahoma, said Jerry Johns, president of Texas-based Southwestern Insurance Information Services.
Damage estimates from the recent earthquakes were not immediately available, insurance officials said.
Johns said he expected numerous Oklahoma property owners will inquire about earthquake coverage, but few likely will buy it.
In California, where earthquakes are much more frequent (and premiums are considerably higher), only about 12 percent of homeowners have earthquake coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
Business Photo Galleriesview all
- 15391Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 9463Finding Addyson – One family's struggle in the Moore tornado
- 8117Oklahoma tornadoes: Woman meets the military officer who shared the clothes off his back
- 7214Oklahoma tornadoes: Plaza Towers Elementary School teacher shoved students into bathroom as wall collapsed
- 6364Story behind the photo: Family members describe desperate search for one another after EF5 twister
- 6332Oklahoma tornadoes: Cost, custom keep basements scarce
- 6331Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill to join Blake Shelton at "Healing in the Heartland" Oklahoma tornado benefit