Possible Damage From “Fracking” Not Covered By Standard Homeowner’s Policy

Possible Damage From “Fracking” Not Covered By Standard Homeowner’s Policy by Matthew Sturdevant, The Hartford Courant, July 13, 2012
In case you were wondering, insurance policies for homes and commercial properties probably don’t cover any damage that might be caused by “fracking” – a relatively new approach to drilling for natural gas through hydraulic fracturing. The issue came up this week when Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. became the first insurer to say it won’t cover damage resulting from fracking. If the ground shifts at a fracking site and breaks the foundation of a nearby home, or if the chemicals taint a drinking-water well, standard homeowner and commercial-property policies won’t cover the cost, said Robert Hartwig, president of the Insurance Information Institute, a property-casualty resource and trade group. … Scientists and others are still debating whether fracking — cracking open subterranean rock with high-powered water and chemicals — results in earthquakes, shifting ground and polluted groundwater. But if it does cause any of those ills, Nationwide won’t be paying damages for that. … On Friday, many property-casualty insurers were mum when asked about payouts for damage related to fracking.

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