As earthquakes continue to rock Oklahoma, earthquake insurance is becoming a hot topic across kitchen tables, and now it’s coming up as items on board meeting agendas.
After the 5.8 magnitude earthquake in Pawnee rattled most of the central states on Sept. 3, municipalities and organizations began discussing whether or not to buy earthquake coverage.
The city of Fairview, in Major County, has experienced enough seismicity to warrant a closer look at earthquake insurance.
City Clerk Sally Jantz said the city updated its insurance to include earthquake coverage recently.
“We just got it about a month ago,” she said. “We have never had it prior to this point.”
Between the Sept. 3 Pawnee quake and some damage to the Fairview City Hall building, Jantz said it was enough to look into getting insurance.
Jerry Eubanks, Fairview public works director, said the damage has been minor, but enough to get their attention.
“We’ve had some cracking throughout the building,” he said. “A lot of the entrance doors have shifted to where they drag a little bit. Most of those doors have adjustments so you can raise and lower them, and that’s what we’ve done so they don’t drag. There’s no major damage, just kind of cosmetic. Nothing structural but some shifting in the doors.”
The city of Fairview bought purchased $1 million of earthquake coverage through the Oklahoma Municipal Assurance Group. OMAG does not offer coverage for man-made earthquakes.
The city of Medford, in Grant County, is another city that’s moving and shaking, thanks to the increased seismicity, but so far, it’s not shaking hard enough to merit insurance.
Medford City Manager Dea Mandevill said city property hasn’t sustained any visible damage.
“We have considered getting insurance; we just haven’t purchased any yet,” she said. “If we keep getting some of these bigger ones, then yes… We don’t have any visible damage. But when things keep shaking, you don’t know what’s happening behind the walls.”
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