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Earthquake Insurance Needs Arise After Strong Temblors


Two 4.7 magnitude earthquakes have hit northern Oklahoma in the last two weeks, serving as an important reminder for those lacking earthquake insurance coverage.

State Insurance Commissioner John Doak says there’s usually a moratorium on purchasing coverage after a 2.0 or higher magnitude earthquake, but not having it is risky.

"If you don’t have earthquake insurance, you’re self-insuring, which means you’re going to take on the entire loss," says Doak.

Doak asked insurers in October to clarify whether their policies include earthquakes caused by oil and gas operations. He gave them 45 days to respond and they now only have a few days left to do so.

"Really, the global earthquake industry on insurance is kind of watching what’s happening here and in other places around the United States," says Doak.

Some insurers are amending their policies to include wastewater injection, while others have waived exclusions of man-made quakes. Some insurers, however, still do not cover them.

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