Covering Earthquake Damage in Texas a Pricey Option

Deductibles exponentially higher than normal coverages

By Kevin Cokely
|  Monday, Nov 7, 2011  |  Updated 5:31 PM CDT
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Much like hail or flood insurance, agents can write insurance policies to cover quake damage.

Kevin Cokely

Much like hail or flood insurance, agents can write insurance policies to cover quake damage.

Anyone who felt Saturday's powerful earthquake will never forget it.

The 5.6 magnitude earthquake was Oklahoma's strongest ever and it was felt as far away as Wisconsin and right here in North Texas.

Much like hail or flood insurance, agents can write insurance policies to cover quake damage.

Some agents are already hearing from people who felt their homes shake.

"Some companies offer it, some don't in Texas" said Dan Neal, owner of Neal & Neal Insurance in Denton. "Course, it's too late once its happened."

Although earthquake insurance is common in California, the high deductibles make it rare in other parts of the country.

"The premium itself, was like a couple hundred bucks (a year), but the deductible is what gets you," said Neal. "If you're going to pay the first $10,000 or $20,000 if you've got a claim, you're in your pocket."

After a series of minor quakes a few years ago in the mid-cities and Cleburne, Neal did hear from some policyholders there.

"These were people that we unsure, wanting to know if you can get it. We found a couple of markets, but for them it was very pricey. They didn't think it was close enough to worry about" said Neal.

The need for hail insurance is something else entirely.

Neal said hail damage claims in North Texas each year far exceed the claims for earthquake damage in quake-prone California.
 

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