Recent earthquakes have homeowners looking for new insurance plans

Earthquake insurance
Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 4:55 PM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - Midlanders felt not one but two earthquakes since Monday, spurring some homeowners to look at adding earthquake insurance to their coverage.

First, an earthquake with a 3.7 magnitude struck near the Midland-Martin County line on Monday night. Then, on Wednesday morning, an earthquake with a 2.6 magnitude shook the same area.

Earthquake insurance isn’t on many people’s radar when living in the Permian Basin, but an uptick in seismic activity may cause that to change.

Chris Wray, an agent with State Farm, says he’s seeing more people call in asking for the earthquake endorsement.

“I had four clients in Midland that we added the endorsement to their policy today. They called me yesterday and we got on it today.”

Wray says they added the earthquake endorsement to around 200 home policies in the area just in the last year.

He says the endorsement covers any movement from an earthquake, sinkhole, or anything else that causes the earth to move.

“You don’t think of plate tectonics having an effect here like in Southern California as we have more and more it does raise concerns for what could happen.”

Ellen Rathje, a TexNet Seismic Monitoring Program official, says seismic activity has increased in the Greater Permian Basin area over the last ten years because of oil and gas activity.

Rathje says most of the earthquakes happen in less populated areas and are not anything to be too concerned about at the moment.

“It’s when you get the moderate earthquakes that are closer to populated areas that we need to be concerned. Having said that, it’s not until we get above a magnitude 4-4.5 that we would expect even minor damage.”

Texas never fails to keep us on our toes with what can happen, and when it comes to earthquake insurance, that decision is up to you.

The Railroad Commission said they are monitoring the recent earthquake.

“This week, a 3.7 magnitude earthquake occurred about 10 miles outside Midland close to populated areas. RRC’s Semiologist and staff took swift actions to investigate this event,” RRC said.

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