The Oklahoma Insurance Department is reaching out to Cushing residents affected by Sunday’s 5.0 magnitude earthquake. Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak toured the damage Monday.
“There is significant damage in Cushing,” said Commissioner Doak. “Many people here are on edge. For those with earthquake insurance, we want to help with the claims process so they can recover as quickly as possible.”
Representatives from the Oklahoma Insurance Department’s Consumer Assistance Division will be in Cushing next week to answer questions about earthquake insurance. They will be stationed in the Cushing Chamber of Commerce Board Room, 1301 E. Main St., starting Monday Nov. 14. The schedule is listed below.
- Monday - 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Tuesday - 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Wednesday - 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Thursday - 2 to 6 p.m.
- Friday - 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
A standard homeowners’ insurance policy does not cover earthquake damage. Homeowners must purchase it through an endorsement or through a stand-alone policy. Earthquake insurance is intended to protect your home from catastrophic damage.
During his tour, Commissioner Doak spoke to several residents who said they hadn’t purchased earthquake insurance because they didn’t think the policy would cover damage caused by manmade quakes. In fact, the vast majority of earthquake insurance policies sold in Oklahoma cover damage from both natural and manmade quakes.
Many insurers enact moratoriums, or waiting periods, after strong earthquakes in order to clearly separate one earthquake event from another. Coverage cannot be purchased for damage that has already occurred or is occurring. While the exact guidelines range from insurer to insurer, many companies trigger moratoriums after earthquakes with a magnitude of at least 5.0 for new policies within 100 miles of the epicenter. Typically, a small magnitude quake in the same area during the moratorium would not trigger an additional waiting period. Moratoriums can range from 72 hours to 60 days. Check with your insurance company or agent to determine the length of their moratorium.
Oklahomans with questions about earthquake insurance are encouraged to call the Oklahoma Insurance Department’s Consumer Assistance team at 1-800-522-0071.
About the Oklahoma Insurance Department
The Oklahoma Insurance Department, an agency of the State of Oklahoma, is responsible for the education and protection of the insurance-buying public and for oversight of the insurance industry in the state.