Oklahoma man warning others: Don’t get earthquake insurance

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GLENCOE, Okla. - More and more Oklahomans are getting earthquake insurance, but many are asking if it is really worth it.

A Glencoe man says it definitely is not.

“It was a 3.3.  It was basically under the house.  It was 750 feet right out there and up to 450 away.  This place went 'ploo,” said Mark Crismon.

The earthquake occurred on Oct. 18, 2014 and the next morning, Crismon saw cracks all over his home.

“All these cracks from here to there, that’s earthquake damage,” said Crismon.

He says he found cracks on the driveway, in the fireplace and on the living room floor.

“Doesn’t look like much but it’s getting bigger and bigger,” he said.

In fact, he says it even moved his house.

“When it was finally settled, it moved it probably an inch,” said Crismon.

Crismon hired an out-of-state engineering firm to give him their opinion.

“They said, 'Yes, more than likely a lot of that damage was caused by earthquakes,” he said.

Crismon filed a claim with his insurance company and their engineers decided there was about $4,000 worth of damage.

After his 2 percent deductible, he received about a  check for $1,000.

“You can’t fix THAT crack for $1,038,” said Crismon.

Since 2010, insurance companies in Oklahoma have paid approximately 19 percent of the earthquake claims that have been filed.

Half of those paid claims were less than $5,000.

“You’re better off taking your money and going to the casino.  I’m serious.  You got a better chance of winning.  You got a 30 percent chance at the casino.  You got a 2 percent chance with the insurance company,” said Crismon.

He never cashed his check and says he doesn't plan to renew his earthquake insurance.

“I would tell every Oklahoman that’s in that earthquake hazard zone not to buy earthquake insurance,” said Crismon.

A representative with Crismon’s insurance agent says the payment made to him was issued in compliance with Oklahoma Insurance Commission standards.

And a spokesperson with the Insurance Commission says earthquake insurance really isn’t for fixing cracks, it’s insurance in case a large earthquake hits and levels your home.

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