The most important thing to know about earthquake insurance is that a basic home insurance policy DOES NOT cover earthquake damage. This is also true of condo and rental insurance. Earthquake insurance must be purchased as an endorsement or a separate insurance policy.
Earthquakes have occurred in 39 states since 1900, and about 90% of Americans live in areas considered seismically active. Yet only a small percentage of people purchase earthquake insurance. Additionally, each year, more homeowners drop earthquake insurance coverage because they think the policies cost too much and cover too little. It’s a serious gamble: Earthquakes can cause severe, expensive damage.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there is a 75 percent probability that one or more damaging earthquakes of magnitude 6.5 or larger will strike the Puget Sound area during the next 10 years. To put this in perspective, an equivalent earthquake in Eureka, CA in January of 2010 damaged 463 buildings and caused approximately $43 million in losses.
Ideally, your earthquake insurance policy covers the cost to replace or repair your damaged property. Here are a few options to consider when picking a plan:
Earthquake insurance rates are determined on several rating factors, such as:
When you decide to purchase earthquake insurance, remember you should buy enough to cover the costs of rebuilding your house and replacing broken possessions. The amount of earthquake insurance you buy should be based on replacement and reconstruction costs, not the market value of your property and possessions.
You should also find out your rights for filing claims before you sign any earthquake insurance policy. It’s important to know how much time you have to file a claim following a quake. In some cases, damage from earthquakes is not immediately apparent.
We can find discounts on earthquake insurance you may not find on your own. Give us a call, or get an earthquake insurance quote online today.
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We have a customer, Al S. from Bothell, who went through a few different claims issues...
February 13, 2012
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