An Earthquake policy can cover the cost to rebuild your Dwelling to it’s same, like, kind and quality before the earthquake. It can pay for your contents inside the home, it can pay for the detached structures on your property to be rebuilt. It can pay to put you up elsewhere to live while repairs/rebuilding is happening at your home. It can also pay the additional costs associated with bringing your home up to code after a loss.
An earthquake endorsement generally excludes damages or losses from floods and tidal waves – even when caused or compounded by an earthquake. However, if you experience a loss due to a landslide, settlement, mudflow, or the rising, sinking and contracting of earth, your endorsement may cover it if the damage resulted from an earthquake.
There are several options to consider when purchasing earthquake insurance, including:
- Does the policy only provide coverage to rebuild your home? Are other detached structures covered, such as garages, pools, gazebos, ponds etc?
- Will your policy pay for the contents of your home and for additional living expenses if your home is badly damaged or destroyed so you can live elsewhere? Are breakables included in your earthquake policy?
- Are there any exclusions or limitations to coverage? Yes, in every policy and most read differently. This is why it’s important to work with an independent agent who works with several companies and contracts that can help you find the right fit.
- What deductible must you pay before the insurance kicks in? Is there a separate deductible for each coverage or one deductible for the entire claim? It differs with each company.
- Building Ordinance or Law, what’s that? This is the coverage that will bring your Dwelling to current code in the event you have a loss and need to rebuild to code.
Earthquakes can happen in California – here’s how you can protect yourself
- Make sure your water heater, gas appliances, and other fixtures are fastened securely.
- Check that bookcases and furniture are secure and fastened to walls.
- Have a family emergency plan that all family members know. Designate a meeting place outside the home where family members can gather once the danger has passed.
- Designate a distant relative or friend who can serve as a point of contact and communication for you and your family members if you get separated.
- Plan ahead. Keep flashlights, batteries, and candles on hand. Have a portable radio.
- Be sure everyone in your house knows how to turn off utilities (electricity, water, and gas).
- When shopping for earthquake insurance, ask the company to help you identify possible repairs and other improvements that will make your home safer and minimize damage.
If you are inside when an earthquake hits, stay inside and get under a heavy table or desk. Stay away from windows. Do not evacuate the building unless emergency personnel direct you to leave.
If you are outside, get away from buildings and power lines, and remember that stone and masonry facings can break loose and fall away from upper parts of buildings.
If you are in a car, stop safely away from structures, large trees, power lines, and other hazards. Stay inside the vehicle.
Keep in mind:
- Don’t use candles until gas lines are checked. Also, check throughout your home before you use certain utilities, such as water and electric, sewage connections, and even chimneys.
- Don’t tie up phone lines except to report emergencies.
- Be prepared. Remember that you will need food and water, even for the short term. Keep your family together and stay alert for aftershocks.
Earthquake insurance needs can vary significantly – talk to us today to find out how to get the best price and value on earthquake insurance for you.