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Insurance Companies To Inform Customers Which Earthquakes They Cover

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An increase in earthquakes throughout Oklahoma has many people trying to protect their interests with insurance. An increase in earthquakes throughout Oklahoma has many people trying to protect their interests with insurance.
GUTHRIE, Oklahoma -

An increase in earthquakes throughout Oklahoma has many people trying to protect their interests with insurance.

Until now, insurance companies have had all the power with confusing wording in many of those policies, but all that is about to change.

Recently the state insurance commissioner told insurance companies they have 45 days to let consumers know what types of earthquakes they'll cover.

Some cover both naturally occurring and those believed to be induced by oil and gas activity while some insurance companies only cover those they consider to be natural.

"I don't want other people to have these same problems,” Lisa Griggs said. “I want this to stop."

Griggs lives just a stone’s throw away from Liberty Lake near Guthrie. It has been a hot spot for earthquakes over the last few years. That's one of the reasons she bought earthquake insurance.

"There are absolutely no programs in place other than Gov. Fallin telling us to buy insurance,” she said.

However, Griggs doesn't believe that's what will fix the problem. Just over the property line in her backyard is an injection well, but Griggs is fortunate. Her policy covers all earthquake activity.

"Yes, I'm getting checks. Yes, this is being fixed but what happens when I move back in and they're still doing that activity over there,” she said.

"Most policies historically have not covered ground moving caused by so called man made activities,” consumer advocate attorney Ken McGuire said. “Oil and gas activities. That’s going to be the issue."

Griggs' damage has happened over the course of a couple of years, and the repairs go all the way down to the bare frame of her home. 

When all is said and done, the total will be about $100,000 worth of damage. She hasn't been able to live in her home since July, and she's pointing the finger at oil and gas companies.

"Once they're on notice they're causing damage, I think they can be on the hook for damages,” McGuire said. “ So, I think you're going to see that coming."

If you do have earthquake insurance be expecting a letter in the mail from your insurance company detailing specific coverage.

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