Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Why are earthquake insurance rates on the rise in Oklahoma?

OKLAHOMA CITY - Earthquake insurance rates are on the rise but so are the number of higher magnitude quakes in the state.

In the past couple of weeks, several quakes that were magnitude three and higher have rattled Luther, Harrah, Perry and Fairview.
The insurance commissioner said they have had two different 100 percent rate increase requests for earthquake insurance from different companies, and he wants to know why.
“It feels like a jagged thing. It goes whomp, whomp, whomp, whomp. And, you just feel it go boom,” said Barbara Weidell.
Weidell felt a large earthquake in the Luther area and then started to see damage from the earthquakes in the area.
“Cracks, bricks separating, a lot of that,” said Lisa Mansell.
Many homeowners are getting earthquake insurance, while others are willing to take the gamble.
“It’s not worth it. It isn’t going to cover anything. Not right now, not unless they improve it and change it,” Weidell said.
And, it could be getting more expensive to get that insurance.
Since 2014, the insurance department has had 16 different rate increase requests.
Two here recently were for 100 percent increases.
“We’re not saying which companies right now, because they have not, we have not finalized those rate filings,” said Buddy Combs with the Oklahoma Insurance Department.
The insurance department plans to hold a hearing involving not only the insurance companies but citizens, as well.
“One of the questions becomes is how easy is it for you to go find coverage?” Combs said.
Whether they have that coverage or not, many Oklahomans agree on one thing.
They want the shaking to stop.
“Whatever’s causing them, they need to quit,” Mansell said.
The rate increase hearing is at the end of May.
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