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Increase In Earthquakes Have Oklahomans Seeking Coverage

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Earthquake damage is unusual for northeast Oklahoma, which is why coverage can only cost a few dollars a month. Earthquake damage is unusual for northeast Oklahoma, which is why coverage can only cost a few dollars a month.
The recent 4.8 quake centered in Kansas prompted a new round of calls from people wanting coverage. The recent 4.8 quake centered in Kansas prompted a new round of calls from people wanting coverage.
When Bruce Clark does a home inspection he notes all existing cracks, to document old damage in case something happens. When Bruce Clark does a home inspection he notes all existing cracks, to document old damage in case something happens.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

More than ten earthquakes happened in Oklahoma Thursday. While most were too small to feel, they are prompting more people to call insurance agents about getting earthquake coverage.

Earthquake damage is unusual for northeast Oklahoma, which is why coverage can only cost a few dollars a month.

Homes around Tulsa can have cracks, but experts said that's not likely related to earthquakes; instead, it's the soil expanding and contracting.

Even a structural engineer can have a hard time telling the difference between a common foundation crack and one caused by an earthquake.

"If you go in and look at a crack, the crack doesn't say it's an earthquake crack, you have to pretty well say if the crack was there before the earthquake occurred and the seismic activity caused the house to flex," said Bruce Clark with Knox Inspections.

When Clark does a home inspection he notes all existing cracks, to document old damage in case something happens.

"I try to locate where cracks are and how wide they are so if there is any movement, you'll know," he said.

State Farm Insurance agent Bryan Smith said he's had about a dozen earthquake claims in the last year, but all of them were far west of Tulsa.

He said the recent 4.8 quake centered in Kansas - but felt all over Tulsa - prompted a new round of calls from people wanting coverage.

11/12/2014 Related Story: 4.8 Earthquake Centered South Of Wichita Rattles Northern Oklahoma

"At 4.8 people can still call and add earthquake insurance, at will, right now,” Smith said.

He said adding earthquake coverage to home insurance can be less than $25 a month, because damage claims are rare.

"The pricing has been very, very, affordable and it's a thing when we tell people the price they say ‘I should have done that before,' and they didn't because we didn't have earthquakes going on, but it's affordable for every situation," he said.

Smith said earthquake coverage is a rider on regular insurance, and available on just about any homeowner's policy.

Almost all companies require a separate deductible for earthquake policies; that amounts to two percent of the value of the house.

There is not a waiting period for coverage, unless an earthquake goes over 5.0, and then it's a 30-day wait, because of the likelihood of aftershocks.

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