Does MY California Home Insurance Cover Earthquake Damages?
Do I Need Earthquake Coverage?
Most California home insurance customers understand that they may be exposed to a catastrophic loss like flooding because it is definitely not restricted to a coastal location. However, when it comes to earthquakes, it’s more likely that only people living in well-known earthquake areas (such as California and Alaska) have a high awareness of their danger.
Recent history has proven that the danger of earthquakes exists in many other areas of the United States as well. For instance, the New Madrid fault line crosses much of the Midwest, making states such as Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky Tennessee and Missouri vulnerable to earthquake catastrophe. There were just recent earthquakes in New York City, Washington D.C. and Oklahoma. In the last decade, regular activity has been measured in many Seismic Zones.
Even though many people are exposed to the danger of earthquakes, only a fraction of them carry Earthquake insurance on their property. Basic homeowner’s insurance DOES NOT include earthquake coverage. Without purchasing specific earthquake insurance, the only protection on a homeowner’s insurance policy is for limited, consequential damage.
Example: The Harris family has a home in Central California. They’ve experienced a number of minor earthquakes, but they didn’t buy earthquake coverage. One day a large quake occurs and severely damages their home. The quake breaks a gas pipe and a fire erupts. The fire damage is covered; however, damage from the quake is not.
Earthquake coverage can be fairly affordable. It does vary on location and size of the home. Damage from most earthquakes is very low; however, it only take one catastrophic quake to cause monumental losses that having a separate earthquake insurance policy makes sense. If you think you can depend on FIMA to take care of you, you will be in for a rude awakening because they only get so much government money and it has to be divided between all the people affected by the earthquake. Call your insurance agent for a quote and avoid being totally shaken up by a disastrous quake!
Written by: Rhonda Remland Source: Rough Notes Photo Credit: yaare.com