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Few Ohioans Purchasing Earthquake Insurance

Several Ohio Earthquakes have been linked to fracking, but Ohioans so far have mostly passed on purchasing earthquake insurance. Brian Bull of member station WCPN in Cleveland reports.

Mary Bonelli [buh-NELL-ee] 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.  
MBonelli01: “However, when it comes to actually signing on the dotted line, it is an endorsement to your homeowners policy.  An add-on.  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.” (:26)  
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.

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.
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