Is your home covered by earthquake insurance?

TULSA - Saturday's earthquakes have a lot of Oklahomans on edge and many have started looking at ways they can prepare their homes in case another quake strikes.

State Farm Insurance agent Janine Morales started receiving phone calls and Facebook messages from people interested in earthquake insurance almost immediately following Saturday night's tremor.

"Everybody wants to know 'Do I have it?' and 'How much would it be to add it?," said Morales.

Morales said only one percent of her clients currently carry quake insurance.

"It's not on a standard homeowners policy so you do have to pay extra to have this coverage," said Morales.

The cost for quake insurance depends on the value of your home.

"Earthquake coverage has a separate deductible unlike you homeowner's policy," said Morales. "It's either a 2 percent or 5 percent deductible and then you pay two different rates, one including brick and one excluding brick."

Morales advices concerned homeowners to contact their insurance agent.

"It's a very important cover to have and not everyone knows if they do have it," said Morales.

Morales said homeowners who live within 100 miles of the epicenter of a quake measuring magnitude 5.0 or higher, must wait 30 days to purchase insurance, meaning most residents in Green Country would not be able to get insurance until December.

Of course homeowners might be persuaded to get quake insurance if their home sustained damage this weekend.

Ryan Lefler, owner of Reset Restoration Services, who helps repair homes that have suffered storm or fire damage, has tips on how to spot earthquake damage.

"Look for doors that have been thrown off kilter or don't operate correctly," said Lefler. "Outside your house you can walk around and look at bricks to see if any have cracks down the middle of them, not so much in the mortar joints, but more in the bricks themselves to where you see more dramatic movement."

Lefler also said wall cracks that run at angles above doors inside the home is also a sign of earthquake damage.

Also, cracks in the sheetrock are simple repairs, however fixing the foundation of a home that has sustained earthquake damage would be the most expensive Lefler said.

"As far as any preventative maintenance, I think it's really hard to do anything," said Lefler. "I think the best thing you can do is to prepare your family to where you can be safe."


 

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