Is earthquake insurance really worth it?

Posted on: 4:30 pm, February 25, 2014, by , updated on: 05:13pm, February 25, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY – Hundreds of tremors in Oklahoma over the past month have homeowners wondering if they need earthquake insurance.

Anthea Bates is just one of the many people who felt an earthquake near the Stillwater area on Saturday.

She said, “And it just sounded, literally, like either a car had ran into our house or a bomb was set off across the street.”

Chris Paine, with CPC Insurance Agency, said, “Every time we have an earthquake event, it draws attention and people start calling in to get quotes about it.”

Paine says earthquake deductibles range from two to 10 percent of your home’s insured value.

That means on a $100,000 home, the homeowner could be responsible for the first $10,000 of repairs.

Dan Ramsey, president of the Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma, estimates that less than one percent of Oklahoma homeowners carry earthquake insurance.

Ramsey said, “When you have such a low number of policies being sold, it’s hard to build statistics on what the rate ought to be.”

But Oklahoma State Insurance Commissioner John Doak is urging more Oklahomans to add the coverage to their policies.

Doak said, “Most Americans, their single largest asset, and Oklahomans, is their home. Can you afford to replace that versus carrying the coverage?”

Doak says homeowners should know that earthquake coverage is not included in a regular homeowner’s policy.

Safeco, American Modern, Mercury and Allstate do not offer earthquake insurance in Oklahoma.

Here are the deductibles for some other companies.

  • Chubb – two percent
  • Hartford – 10 percent
  • Metlife – 10 percent
  • Hanover – five percent
  • Travelers – two percent
  • State Farm – two or 10 percent