Everyone who has lived in Oklahoma for the last 5 to 10 years knows that earthquake activity has had an incredible increase in frequency. As homeowners we are all faced with how to prepare for and respond to them. With all of the hazards our homes are exposed to in Oklahoma, our insurance prices have gone up and up as well. Here are a few things to consider as you prepare for another year of taxes and insurance:
- Do you really need Earthquake insurance? It’s like flood insurance and you need to consider where your home is located in proximity to the most activity.
- Be sure you get the appropriate deductible for the price you pay. These vary greatly. Think about what the likely damage will cost you versus the deductible and whether or not you will want to file a claim. (It’s true, insurance is so expensive people often keep the insurance but avoid filing claims to keep the cost down.)
- You will be amazed at the difference between each policy offered so be sure you look at the inclusions and exclusions. Nothing is worse than paying for something for years only to find out that it’s not what you thought it was.
- Know that your standard homeowner insurance policy does not cover earthquakes unless an earthquake rider is added. Its like flood insurance, you have to add it. Some insurance companies don’t offer it at all; in that case, you’ll need to get a separate policy provided by another company that offers stand-alone earthquake insurance policies.
- Read the fine print, and make sure you know exactly what the policy covers.
The bottom line is that earthquakes and how to respond to them is a new thing for all of us Oklahomans. It pays to do your homework and keep up with the latest developments in our community from Governor’s statements to actions by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.
Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
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