Over the weekend, Texas got a little surprise. Three surprises actually. There were 3 earthquakes in the state measuring 2.1, 3.6 and 3.4. Two were in the north Texas area, Johnson & Ellis counties; the other was in south Texas near Corpus Christi.
The good news is no one’s been hurt and the property damage has been limited to mostly broken glass from windows popping. The bad news is no one’s home policy protects them from earthquake damage.
How does this impact Texas home owners? Here are some things to be aware of;
- No home owner’s policy protects against earthquake damage.
- Some of the carriers offer an option that can be added to their home policy that adds earthquake coverage to the home, contents & loss of use
- Other carriers do not offer this option at all
- There are options for standalone earthquake policies that will compliment a home owner’s existing policy
Components of Earthquake Coverage
There are three main components to earthquake coverage;
- Loss of Use
Property coverage is strictly designed to repair or rebuild the home when damage occurs to measurable seismic activity. Contents coverage protects the furniture, appliances, electronic equipment, etc. that is damaged. Loss of use is designed to protect the family financially if they need to rent a place to live in while their home is being repaired or rebuilt.
What’s causing the earthquakes?
There has been some speculation the earthquakes in Texas (and recently in Oklahoma) are related to fracking (the process of injecting salt water & chemicals into the ground to push natural gas up for drilling), but so far, there has been no conclusive evidence linking the two.
There’s more evidence, based on a recent study conducted by the National Research Council, that these tremors are not the result of fracking but rather re-injecting the waste (saltwater & chemicals) associated with fracking back into the ground via disposal wells.
Do Texans Need Earthquake Protection?
The answer as to who needs earthquake coverage depends on each home owner’s risk tolerance. While this coverage is not required by any mortgage company currently, I believe residents in areas closest to these disposal wells would benefit from having some level of protection on their home. If you’re curious about what that would cost, let us know and we’ll provide you that information so you can decide if it’s worth it or not.