Despite Fracking Tie, Ohioans Largely Pass On Earthquake Insurance

Flickr.com photo by WCN 24/7.
Flickr.com photo by WCN 24/7.
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Mary Bonelli is Senior Vice President of the Ohio Insurance Institute. Its membership represents more than 80 percent of the state’s homeowner market. She says her organization recently surveyed insurance companies about earthquakes.

Bonelli says following seismic activity in the last few years, there has been a noticeable uptick in inquiries about earthquake coverage.

“However, when it comes to actually signing on the dotted line, it is an endorsement to your homeowners policy. An add-on," she explains. "So when people start to think about it, look at the dollars and cents, they typically are not making the purchase. And most of the earthquakes, even though we’ve had an increase in the actual number, the majority of them are 2.0 or below that. And normally you’re not going to see any significant damage.”

Studies have tied earthquakes to fracking in late 2013, across Harrison and Mahoning Counties. They all averaged around 2.0 on the Richter Scale.

A now-closed injection well was tied to a series of more powerful quakes in the Youngstown area roughly a year before that. Ohio DNR officials say seismic tracking devices will help keep earthquakes at bay.

Fracking opponents argue shale development still poses a risk to the environment and public safety.

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