NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Approximately 9 small earthquakes hit the Deep East Texas area within a year time span. None of the earthquakes were ever above a 5.0 magnitude but they were still enough to shake up residents.
Now these recent earthquakes in Deep East Texas and the anticipation of possibly more occurring have opened up a new type of business for homeowner insurance agencies.
"We have people inquiring about it quite often, especially in the Tenaha, Timpson and Garrison areas," Kerry Vaught, the owner of a Farmers Insurance agency, said.
It's where several quakes occurred last year. Regular homeowner policies don't cover damages.
When numerous calls poured in after the first quakes, Vaught began searching for policies offered by carriers as far away as California.
"I called probably a dozen different companies," Vaught said. "Then the earthquakes quit and the calls died down."
Then another quake hit sending Vaught back to the computer. Turned off by expensive policies, he followed a tip by a customer badly wanting coverage. He's secured a Dallas company offering reasonable rates.
"Every home is different, but it's in the neighborhood of $350 for a year's worth of earthquake coverage and it covers earthquakes only," Vaught said.
Vaught doesn't want anybody to make a claim on earthquake coverage, but he does believe certain homeowners in certain parts of the county will benefit from the coverage.
"Who would have thought that we would be out looking for insurance coverage for earthquake," Fran Crownover, an earthquake policy holder, said.
Crownover, who lives in Garrison, didn't receive home damage, but neighbors and friends around her did. She tipped Vaught off to the company, fulfilling her desire to purchase it through her local agent.
"Hopefully this never happens again, but it's kind of like that piece of mind when you have good medical coverage," Crownover said. "We do know we have the coverage for it."
Crownover is learning from earthquake Web sites, the coverage may someday be needed.
"Friends of mine have sent me the links, and it will show you all the zones in this area," Crownover said.
While Crownover didn't receive any damage to her home as a result of the earthquakes, one of them did lead to an injury. During one earthquake, she tripped over her frightened dog, which caused her to fall and break her hip.