Insurance Agents: Big Interest in Earthquake Coverage

After the Oklahoma Earthquake, many insurance agents across Texoma tell Newschannel 6 they have received a big number of phone calls from people wanting to get earthquake coverage. For some, the coverage is not an option, but for all – standard homeowner's policies don't cover quake damage.

Bill Barnard, partner in the Barnard Insurance Agency, isn't among those who've received calls about coverage. He said he's surprised he hasn't seen a bigger response. "In our area in North Texas, this is the first time we've had any shakes in several years," he said. Quake coverage is not something he sells often to people in this part of the country. "In my Texas policies, I think I have one customer that has earthquake insurance," he said.

As many homeowners in Oklahoma are discovering, most home and commercial policies do not cover quake damage. "All of your standard homeowner's policies and commercial property policies in Texas and all over the United States exclude coverage for earthquakes," he said.

Barnard recommends checking into the coverage. "Homeowners should contact their agent and see if that coverage is available," he said. For many in the area affected, there is a hold on the coverage.

Several companies have issued a moratorium on earthquake coverage for an area 100 miles around the epicenter of the Oklahoma quake. At least one company has the limit set at 500 miles, which would exclude Texoma. Agents say the ban should be lifted within a few weeks and is standard practice after an earthquake.

Paul Harrop, Newschannel 6.