Everyone desires certain skills they hope to never use (e.g., to know CPR or self-defense maneuvers). Although we may be content to never call upon those abilities, there is comfort in knowing that you are prepared for a situation. The same can be said about insuring your home and property against an earthquake. While you hope never to need it, knowing that you will not need to rebuild alone can help relieve anxiety. While it may seem less likely that a sizable earthquake will affect where you live, the more experts explore fault lines and tectonics, the more incredibly complex they appear. The fact is that in all likelihood, earthquakes will strike the East Coast. And, as with any worst-case scenario, the best time to call our agency to discuss your insurance options is before an event occurs.
Unfortunately, most standard homeowners policies exclude damage caused by earth movement (e.g., earthquakes and any other earth movement, including earth sinking, rising or shifting). But, you’re in luck. You can purchase an endorsement to your homeowners, renters or business policy to cover your losses from earthquakes and aftershocks. Since different building materials react differently to earth movement (e.g., brick versus wood), premiums vary by the type of building construction and they usually are determined by a percentage of the building’s value.
Something to keep in mind: Once an earthquake is detected, it’s too late. You can’t buy coverage within 72 hours after an earthquake, and damaging aftershocks always are a possibility within that period of time.
If you belong to a corporation or association of property owners that has inadequate earthquake coverage (or none at all), you could be assessed for repairs to common property. If you have earthquake coverage and loss assessment coverage on your homeowners policy, you may be able to extend it to cover you for this liability to the association.
Give our agency a call, we’ll be happy to review your insurance policy to make sure you have the coverage you need when you need it.