Oklahoma Earthquake Rattles Residents, Followed by Second Tremor

Wednesday, 06 Nov 2013 10:55 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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A pair of earthquakes that rattled central Oklahoma late Monday and early Tuesday have inspired a lawmaker to refile a bill that would require insurance companies to proactively let residents know whether their policies cover quake damage.

A 3.9-magnitude tremor hit near Jones, Okla., just after 10 p.m. Monday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. A few hours later, around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, a 3.2-magnitude quake struck four miles northwest of Spencer, Okla.

No damage or injuries were reported, but Rep. Mike Shelton of Oklahoma City told KOCO.com that the earthquakes were just two of 21 minor ones that have hit the state's central area since Saturday.

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According to TulsaWorld.com, Shelton petitioned the House last year to approve a bill that would have required insurance companies to tell people who are purchasing or renewing a policy whether it covers property damage caused by earthquakes. The measure was strongly opposed by insurance companies and never made it past a House committee.

Now, in light of the recent uptick in seismic movement, Shelton wants to refile the legislation.

"This bill will simply require insurers to notify their customers up front that their policy does not cover earthquake damage," Shelton told KTOK.com in a statement. "I've heard from too many constituents who have had property damaged by an earthquake that when they tried to file a claim, they found out that their policy doesn't cover earthquake damage. It is really about requiring these companies to be transparent when they contract with customers."

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