Oklahoma is not known for earthquakes, but in the past few months, minor earthquakes have rattled homes and businesses. Learn what to do before, during and after an earthquake occurs.
OKLAHOMA EARTHQUAKE INSURANCE FACTS
- Make a Home Inventory List - Compile this inventory before trouble arises by starting at the back of your home and working forward through every room, writing down all items of major value. It will be easier to calculate your loss and secure a fair and accurate claim check for replacing your property if you know a few specifics about expensive items, including televisions, stereos, gaming systems, appliances and the like. Write down the make and model; try to remember what year you bought the item, and what you paid for it. Adding pictures or video to the written list of items can be a big help to your agent. When completed, keep this inventory at a secure location offsite, like in a safe deposit box at a bank, or at the home of a relative who doesn’t live nearby enough to possibly lose their home to the same disaster.
- Ready.gov has great earthquake preparation tips - Learn More
During an Earthquake
The key is: DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building. Learn more with Ready.gov.
View any situation updates when wildfires occur in Oklahoma provided by the Oklahoma Emergency Management
After an Earthquake Occurs
- Ready.gov has great after an earthquake has occurred tips - Learn More
- Report suspected insurance fraud by visiting our Anti-Fraud Units website at http://fraudstoppers.oid.ok.gov
- In the event of concerns or a dispute about your insurance policy or settlement, contact the Oklahoma Insurance Department toll‐free at (800) 522‐0071, or online at http://oid.ok.gov
OKLAHOMA EARTHQUAKE INSURANCE FACTS
- Until local and state officials, insurance companies and adjusters have had an opportunity to receive and review all reports of earthquake damage it is difficult to know how many structures were damaged or what the total monetary loss to these earthquakes will be in Oklahoma.
- Earthquake insurance is not a popular product in Oklahoma. Dan Ramsey, president and CEO of the Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma, estimates that less than 1 percent of Oklahoma homeowners carry earthquake insurance.
- Only about $6.74 million in direct premiums are written annually for earthquake insurance in Oklahoma. The state’s top five carriers for residential earthquake insurance are:
- Travelers Group
- American International Group
- State Farm Group
- Zurich Insurance Group
- Liberty Mutual Insurance Group
- Earthquake insurance typically must be purchased apart from a standard homeowners policy, either as an “endorsement” added to the policy by the company that carries the purchaser’s homeowners insurance, or as a separate policy from a company specializing in earthquake coverage. Consumers will also have to wait a period of time – usually 30 to 60 days – after the most recently reported earthquakes in their area before they can purchase new earthquake insurance, due to the likelihood of aftershocks.
- The cost of an earthquake policy varies depending on factors, including the carrier and the policyholder’s desired level of coverage, but typically an Oklahoma homeowner might expect to pay between $100 and $150 per year for earthquake insurance.
- Earthquake policies frequently have nuances, such as providing or not providing coverage for brick or stone veneers on the home.
- Earthquake insurance carries a separate and often substantial deductible, apart from the standard homeowners deductible. Often this deductible is calculated as a percentage of the insured property’s value – commonly 5 to 10 percent, but occasionally lower or higher – meaning that a $100,000 home would require a deductible of $5,000 to $10,000.
- In 2003, the United States Geological Survey ranked Oklahoma tied with Indiana at No. 18 for earthquake frequency from 1974-2003. During those 30 years, both Illinois and Oklahoma reported 17 tremors of a magnitude 3.5 or greater on the Richter Scale. (While California has a reputation for earthquakes, it was only No. 2 on the USGS list during that time with 4,895 reported tremors of 3.5 or greater; Alaska was No. 1 with 12,053 earthquakes, or 57.2 percent of all quakes reported in the U.S.)
- Quakes are on the rise in Oklahoma. To date, current USGS data suggest that Oklahoma has experienced more than two dozen quakes of a magnitude 2.7 or greater since early Saturday morning (Learn More) with nine of those reaching 3.5 or greater on the Richter Scale and another 14 registering between 3.0 and 3.4. More than 80 earthquakes of all magnitudes have been reported across the state in the last 30 days (Learn More).
- In April, one of Commissioner Doak’s “Commissioner’s Corner” columns published in local newspapers around the state addressed the topic in a piece titled “Shaken But Not Broke: The Value of Earthquake Insurance.” View Now
- On Oct. 28, after a series of minor tremors were reported in the state, Commissioner Doak issued a Consumer Advisory entitled “Recent Tremors Should Prompt Policy Review,” again urging Oklahoma consumers and insurance agents to explore available options for protecting their property and possessions from earthquakes. Commissioner Doak said: “In Oklahoma, we’ve been getting clues for some time now that a damaging event could be in our future. There is no time like the present to consider that future, and the policyholder’s potential need for earthquake coverage.” View Now