Earthquake Insurance

Posted by on Sep 8, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on Earthquake Insurance

Earthquake Insurance

Many people do not realize this, but homeowner’s policies do not include earthquake coverage. You will need to purchase either a supplemental policy to your current homeowner’s policy, or a separate earthquake insurance policy. Please note, automobile insurance policies generally cover vehicles for earthquake damage under the optional comprehensive portion of the policy.


Earthquake policies typically cover damage to your house and your belongings, up to the insured amount. If possible, you’ll want to buy enough to cover the cost of rebuilding your house and replacing your belongings. While your standard homeowner’s policy may cover fire damage that results from an earthquake, an earthquake policy is important to cover damage that results from shaking, such as structural damage and/or collapse.


How Much Will it Cost?

Because of the massive potential damages associated with an earthquake, coverage tends to be priced accordingly. Your premium amount will depend on your location, along with the age and structural composition of your home. In addition, earthquake policies include a percentage deductible, generally ranging from 2 to 20 percent of total damages.


It is essential to weigh the cost against your policy premium, and your ability to survive the financial aftermath of such a catastrophic event. In assessing your financial exposure, it’s important to know that the government typically will not provide much financial aid for earthquake victims, and help may be limited to low-interest loans that you will need to repay.


Additional Considerations

When buying a policy, you should read it closely to be sure you understand what is covered and what is not. Find out if it covers your house only or the garage as well, whether it will cover additional living expenses if necessary, along with any other exclusions or limitations.


You also should know how much time you have to file a claim following a quake, as damage is often not apparent immediately after the incident. Each policy is different. Nella Insurance Services can offer you recommendations and help you shop around to find the policy that best fits your needs and your budget.


Safety First

While earthquake insurance should absolutely be considered, especially if you live in an area prone to them, there are several things you can do to help protect your home:


  • Make sure it’s easy to shut-off gas appliances. You can do this with flexible connections and/or a breakaway fast shut-off device, or by installing a main gas shut-off device.
  • Secure any water heaters to the wall
  • Anchor bookcases, filing cabinets, dressers, and other tall, heavy furniture to the wall using safety cables or straps.
  • Lock the wheels on any furniture or appliance that has them on the bottom.
  • Install latches on drawers and cabinet doors. This will prevent contents from spilling out.
  • Apply safety film to windows and glass doors.
  • Brace unreinforced chimneys, masonry, and concrete walls and foundations.


As always, if you have any questions about earthquake insurance or your homeowners insurance policy, please reach out to Nella Insurance Services.

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