OK Insurance Commissioner Talks Earthquake Coverage

Wednesday, October 30th 2013, 10:48 pm
By: News 9

With so many earthquakes shaking the state, it can cause serious damage to our homes. Many of us have insurance coverage. But it's what we don't have that could end up costing us big bucks.

Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak says earthquake insurance has been available and affordable in Oklahoma for a number of years, but, it is considered additional coverage.

"We get the wind, the hail, the ice storms, tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires," said Doak.

For a state with a non-coastal border, Oklahoma is a state most at risk for natural disasters.

"The first thing was just a horrendous, horrendous boom, just as if an airliner had just crashed in our yard, followed by this tremendous shaking," said homeowner Joe Reneau, two years ago.   

Nov. 6, 2011 was the strongest earthquake recorded in Oklahoma. The 5.6 magnitude quake in Prague, injured two people, damaged 14 homes and sent tremors hundreds of miles reaching 14 states.

10/30/2013 Related Story: Oklahoma Seismologist Plans Experiment To Trigger Earthquake

"In Lincoln County, those folks probably thought that they were safe, and many of them had major damage," said Doak.

"The glass in the bedroom, master bedroom suite, shattered into hundreds of shards like somebody was right behind it and blew it out with a shotgun," said Reneau.

Joe and Mary Reneau's home in Prague was nearly demolished in 2011. A new report from the U.S. Geological Survey says earthquakes in Oklahoma are here to stay.

"I think it's becoming more and more something that people talk about as we continue to have these tremors," said State Farm Insurance Agent, Michelle Dallal.

Dallal says the cost to tack it on to your existing insurance varies. It's based on the amount of the property that's insured, the building structure, and it's typically a percentage deductible, not a flat deductible.

10/26/2013 Related Story: USGS: Quakes In Central Oklahoma Here To Stay

"I would say over 75-percent of my clients take it," said Dallal.

The state insurance commissioner says if you have a $100,000 home for example, many policies might offer you a one, up to a 10-percent deductible.

For more information on earthquake insurance in Oklahoma, visit the Oklahoma Insurance Departments website: www.oid.ok.gov

The Consumer assistance hotline is 1 (800) 763-2828.