ENID, Okla. – The earthquakes keep coming, and now some Oklahomans are saying their insurance companies are refusing to pay for the damage.
One Enid homeowner told NewsChannel 4 that she got a letter from her insurance carrier, notifying her of an amendment to her earthquake coverage.
Basically, it says if her home is damaged in an earthquake caused by oil drilling or injection wells, she’s on her own to foot the bill.
Susan Lang moved into her Enid home two years ago and immediately bought earthquake insurance.
It was a decision she was glad she made with all the recent quakes in northern Oklahoma.
That’s until she got a letter from her insurance carrier along with an amendment to her policy, saying she’s not insured for earthquake damage caused by oil drilling or wastewater injection wells.
“I signed a contract with you that you would cover me for earthquakes, period. The end. And now you’re telling me you’re not covering me for all earthquakes?” Lang said.
She’s not alone.
A lot of Oklahomans have received these same letters, and they’re frustrated.
Attorney Bill Federman is working on a number of bad faith claims against insurance companies for this very reason.
“Think about that for a minute. An insurance company needs to send out a second letter to clarify what should have been clear to the Oklahoma consumer when they signed up for the policy. In and of itself, that should have raised the insurance companies’ awareness that there’s a problem,” Federman said.
It was a concern many Oklahomans brought up at a public hearing on earthquakes at the Oklahoma State Capitol last week.
People like Susan Lang are now rethinking their insurance plans.
She says she may just cancel her policy.
Some legal experts say state leaders are going to have to do something, or a legal nightmare between consumers, insurance carriers, and the oil and gas industry is only going to get bigger.
“We can’t have this go on much longer because eventually you’re going to have kids get hurt in their homes, you’re going to have homes collapsing. The situation is getting worse not better,” Federman said.
Despite these concerns, Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak still says earthquake insurance is a good idea because you’re protecting yourself in the case of a catastrophic event.
Contact your carrier directly to find out what is covered in your policy right now.