Do You Need Earthquake Insurance?
When it comes to protecting your property and possessions, what are the two most important things to know about Earthquake Insurance?
- Most home insurance policies do not cover earthquake damage.
- Even if you don’t live in an area where earthquakes are common, you may still need earthquake insurance.
Earthquakes have occurred in 39 states since 1900, and about 90% of Americans live in areas considered seismically active. For many of our neighbors in California, earthquake insurance can be inexpensive. Earthquake premium rates, available insurance companies and coverage options have only gotten better this past decade. You might be surprised at the new lower rates available.
When it comes to insurance for myself and family I go with only one thing – peace of mind that’s what I call NHC Insurance. I have our home, autos and personal property all with NHC.
The professional service and response that I get every time I talk to Julia Burdick is number one. I know that when I hang up the phone it’s taken care of – peace of mind.
Why You Should Consider Earthquake Insurance
In all likelihood, almost the entire US would be better protected by purchasing earthquake insurance. Consider the facts:
- In the West: According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there is a 70% probability that one or more damaging earthquakes of magnitude 6.7 or larger will strike the San Francisco Bay area during the next 30 years.
- In the East: The Earthquake Education Center at Charleston Southern University claims there’s a 40 to 60 percent chance of a major earthquake somewhere in the eastern United States in the next 20 years.
- In the Midwest: According to the Insurance Information Institute, there’s a 40 to 63 percent chance the New Madrid Fault (which runs through Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee) region will suffer an earthquake with a 6.0 magnitude in the next 15 years.
What Does Earthquake Insurance Cover?
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.
What to Do When an Earthquake Strikes
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.
I am a physician in the South Bay and have utilized NHC Insurance for the last nine years. Julia Burdick has consistently been superb at meeting all my needs from simple questions, comparative shopping, and most importantly all claim issues.
When I had a flood due to a slab leak in my Redondo Beach home she single-handedly arranged everything from repairs to lodging. She is the best with superior knowledge of her business and excellent communication skills.
Wow, such a great business. I have all of our 3 cars insured with them. Our agent, Julia, is always so helpful, quick to reply, and is always thinking of ways to save money for us on our policy. I honestly cannot think of any reason to ever switch over to another insurance carrier.
Even if I were to find slightly lower rates, I would still stick with NHC because of how well they treat me. They indeed know how to create customer loyalty.
By the way, I don’t think many other insurance companies out there can beat their rates. I won’t throw any numbers out there, but I was completely shocked (in a good way) when I found out how cheap it was to add my wife’s car and my second car onto the policy. I would 100% recommend this place to my friends and family.
A long time friend did me a huge favor, he gave me Renee’s phone number, and said, you will never change your auto insurance agent!
After 3 years, I have no worries, I have all the help I ever could need, it only takes a phone call while I am on the road, and my insurance needs are taken care of. No more worries! Now, I recommend my friends and family to Renee!
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