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Nov 11 2011 1:00PM
Earthquakes prompt insurance queries

If Saturday nights rumbles werent enough, Monday nights earthquake encore has at least a few people in central Kansas thinking about checking their insurance. Jeff Wells was at Saturdays football game in Stillwater between Kansas State University and Oklahoma State and said he didnt feel the earthquake when it occurred.But when he got to his American Family Insurance office on Monday, he felt the aftershocks -- in the form of the ringing telephone. Two earthquakes that struck near Prague, Okla. -- a 5.6 magnitude quake at 10:53 p.m. Saturday and a 4.7 magnitude quake at 8:46 p.m. Monday -- have been felt in central Kansas in recent days. You never think about it in Kansas, Wells said. This has educated everyone, gotten them thinking. On Monday alone, Wells said, his office received about 15 phone calls from clients asking about earthquake insurance. I added maybe four yesterday who didnt have it and wanted it,Wells said. State Farm agent Bary Martin said his office has received a couple of calls as well. We do get earthquakes in Kansas, but theres never much damage, if any, he said. It wont cost much Thats why the insurance is dirt cheap, Martin said. Wells and Martin said that, depending on numerous variables such as cost of the house, insuring a typical house would cost $20 to $30 a year. A brick or stone exterior is more likely to collapse and makes a home more expensive to insure, Martin said. Quake insurance from State Farm and American Family includes a deductible that ranges from 2 percent to 15 percent, based on the value of the house for example, on a $150,000 house with a 2 percent deductible, the homeowner would be responsible for the first $3,000 in damage.Wells said he sending information to his customers explaining how earthquake insurance works, so they ll know its available. Not within 200 miles Most insurance companies place a temporary hold of 30 to 60 days on writing new earthquake insurance policies near the site of a recent quake, Wells said. With his company, that hold zone is within 200 miles of the quake -- which covers parts of southern Kansas, but not Salina. I would guess the majority of people around here dont have it,Wells said. As an agent, you want to make sure people have all the coverage you can, without overdoing it. Martin said he has carried earthquake insurance on his home for a long time. If we had one, and I didnt have it, it would look pretty stupid,he said.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     
 
     
 
 
 
 
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