There is at least one industry benefiting from the recent epidemic of tremors in the Sooner State, Oklahoma… Insurances!
So far in 2014, Oklahoma has seen 200 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or stronger. And every time there’s a decent-size earthquake, there is a spike in interest for Earthquake insurances! But why this sudden tremor increase? It’s fracking guys, FRACKING!
As you probably know, standard homeowner policies generally don’t cover damages caused directly by earthquakes (to a building’s foundation, for instance), but usually cover damages that earthquakes can cause (burst pipes or fire). Back in October 2011 less than 1% of houses were insured against earthquake. Now, three years after, more than 40% are covered for earthquake damage. Earthquake insurance policies in Oklahoma are booming like hydraulic fracturing.
It is indeed no longer a matter of debate that hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells, or fracking, causes earthquakes. And thus, there are no doubts that this increase of bills for the normal US citizens are linked to the drilling companies searching for oil and gas! Even the American Petroleum Institute (API) says that fracking can contribute to small-scale seismic activity. However, they are do not believe it can trigger destructive tremors.
As written by Denver Nick from Time: “Attributing any single seismic event to fracking is tricky, in the same way that attributing any single weather event to climate change is problematic. But taken on the whole, it’s hard not to link the notable increase in earthquake activity in Oklahoma with the boom in oil and gas drilling driven by advances in fracking technology. That boom shows no sign of slowing down, which may mean more earthquakes — and for the people selling earthquake insurance, more sales.”
Well, don’t you think they should pay your bill? You don’t have to pay for man-made earthquakes. They should be taking care of the consequences of their activities (not only quakes and rumblings but also water pollution) and thus pay at least for your insurance policies.