Oklahoma house_damage

This was a luncheon I would have liked to attend, but it would have really shaken me up:

Joshua Marrow, technical director for Partner Engineering and Science Inc. who, for years, has studied large seismic events in California and other hot spots around the world including, now, North Texas, spoke to The Dallas Chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Wednesday at the Park City’s Club in Preston Center.

While he started by explaining that there are fault lines in North Texas, but they haven’t historically caused felt earthquakes, he ended by saying that could be all wrong. Our area has definitely been movin’ and groovin’ lately… and we wrote about Earthquake insurance way back. (more…)

Earthquake damage

We told you all about this last week, day after Quake Day in Dallas. Under Texas law insurance carriers are not required to offer earthquake insurance, and veteran agents say they have never felt the need to write such policies.

This weekend, Pamela Yip at the Dallas Morning News quoted Randall Guttery, director of real estate programs at the University of Texas at Dallas’ Jindal School of Management, as saying earthquake insurance isn’t worth it. I think his quote is classic:

“At some point, you have to self-insure some stuff in your life or you’ll be broke.”

No duh.

Well, a source just read me a memo from a major carrier. Yep, the Texas markets are looking at carrying earthquake insurance, but it will be fluff coverage, kind of like mold. Look for coverage only for a quake of 5.0 on the Richter scale, with 5 to 10% deductibles. I love my homeowners insurance more than you will ever know, but I will not be buying earthquake insurance.

Maybe these Texas earthquakes are just nature’s way of helping us minimize?

 

Shakemap 1-6-2015

Update 9:50 pm:  The neighbor who took the video you are seeing tells me: “I think it is related (to the earthquake), it happened right after the first earthquake, not 2 hours like the city told Robert Wilonsky, it is at the intersection of Hughes and Dykes Way.” He also tells me that whatever caused this break, “the city water and ATOMS gas crews are out there right now, it is still gushing”. I may go up and grab some pics. Stay tuned.

Update: that water main break is near Preston and Churchill Road.

Did you feel those two three tremors today?

Two of them were widely felt, with the first affecting just Irving. The second quake, which was around 3:10 p.m. and centered around the former site of Texas Stadium, was a 3.6 magnitude quake that was felt from East Fort Worth to East Dallas. The third, which happened at around 6:52 p.m., was a 3.6 magnitude aftershock with an epicenter just northeast of Irving. Some homeowners have reported minor damage, including cracks in drywall and gaps in moulding, while 33 City of Dallas water mains are flooding streets.

While some people will claim that these quakes could be naturally occurring due to their proximity to the Balcones Fault, there is a growing body of evidence that human-induced changes to the structure of the earth’s crust is causing these seismic shake-ups in North Texas. We’ve talked previously about fracking and disposal wells, and whether it can affect home values, but with today’s strong quakes, we’re hoping to find out whether or not this phenomenon is a lasting one.

Just this week, researchers from SMU have started placing sensors in the ground in Irving, hoping to root out the cause of the frequent earthquakes that seem centered in the Dallas suburb. According to this report, there have been 18 earthquakes in the Irving area since Nov. 1. The question is, if the cause is found to be manmade, will homeowners insurance cover the damage? And should we all invest in additional earthquake coverage now that I can feel the tremors all the way over in Casa Linda?