Thousands of Oklahoma residents have recently received letters from insurance carriers informing them that any earthquake insurance claim they make could be denied. The letter says that the carrier can deny an earthquake insurance claim if they find that the quake was caused by oil drilling or injection wells. Residents have experienced hundreds of earthquakes in the last five years, spurring a boom in earthquake insurance policies. The policy amendment has prompted complaints from those policy holders.
Tremors Spur Growth in Earthquake Insurance Claims
Scientific studies have revealed that Oklahoma has recently surpassed California as the state with the most frequent earthquakes. Since January 1, 2016, seismic monitors in Oklahoma City have recorded six tremors measuring at least 4.0 on the Richter scale. Across the state, scientists have recorded almost 90 tremors of at least magnitude 2.7 in January. These frequent quakes have led residents to purchase earthquake insurance in record numbers, as well as filing a high number of earthquake insurance claims
Earthquake Insurance Claims and Fracking
Many scientific studies have linked the frequent earthquakes to an oil drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” The fracking process involves a high pressure injection of fluids into underground shale deposits. The fluids break up the shale and allow drillers to access the oil and natural gas reserves. However, the injection of wastewater into the broken shale leaves the underlying rock too unstable to support the weight above it, leading to frequent earthquakes.
Fracking Controversy Spurs Earthquake Insurance Claim Problems
Most earthquake insurance claims require that the house be a total loss, as well as a high deductible to pay for damages. The growth in the number of earthquakes across the state has prompted insurers to find ways to refute earthquake insurance claims. The recent letter informs those policy holders who purchased additional protection that their earthquake insurance claim will be denied if the quake can be attributed to fracking activities.
Earthquake Insurance Claim Issues Create Legal Mess
The issues surrounding the earthquake insurance claim exception have caused a rift between consumers, insurance carriers, and the state’s powerful oil and gas industry. A member of the stat’s insurance commission, John Doak, advised homeowners to purchase earthquake insurance. He also advised policy holders to check the language of their policy to determine what aspects of earthquake damage their policy covers.
Get Answers For Your Earthquake Insurance Claim Lawsuit Questions
To find out how we can answer your questions about an earthquake insurance claim lawsuit, contact one of our attorneys today. Our intake team will take down the details of your case and quickly connect you to an attorney who understands how to get the most from your earthquake insurance claim lawsuit. You can also fill out the “Confidential Evaluation” form at the top of this page.
NOTE: This blog post is a news story and does not imply an endorsement of Arguello Law Firm by any of the parties mentioned herein.