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Why are earthquake claims often denied?

On Behalf of | May 11, 2020 | Denied Insurance Claims

Oklahoma has become an earthquake epicenter in recent years. Between 2008 and 2015, the number of earthquakes in the state increased by nearly 4,000%. This increase occurred due to wastewater injection, a disposal practice which ended in 2015. Even though the number of earthquakes has dropped since then, one still happens every few days.

Yet, homeowners in Oklahoma often find their earthquake insurance claims denied, despite their prevalence in the state. If you find yourself in this situation, know that there are steps you can take to receive proper compensation.

Why claims face denial

In 2017, around three in four earthquake claims in Oklahoma faced rejection. A common reason for this is that standard homeowners insurance policies do not cover earthquake damage. Homeowners must purchase a supplemental policy to receive coverage. Yet, even this coverage may prove inadequate when an earthquake happens. The deductibles on earthquake policies tend to be high, and even devastating damages may not reach its threshold.

What you can do

If an earthquake damaged or destroyed your home, you will face an uphill battle without a proper policy. In the case you need to buy earthquake coverage, you may face a 60-day waiting period to do so after the event. And while the damage to your home may prove substantial, your insurance company may reject it if it falls beneath your claim’s deductible. In this case, you will likely want a second opinion from a reputable contractor or structural engineer. These people may have a better idea than your insurance company’s adjuster about the total damages to your home.

Receiving proper coverage after an earthquake doesn’t have to be a feat of seismic proportions. An attorney who specializes in rejected insurance claims can help you find a path forward.