EARTHQUAKE Insurance – Customer-friendly
Because earthquake coverage doesn’t fall under most standard homeowners insurance policies, many people do not realize they’re uninsured, or even that they need it. According to the US Geological Survey, earthquakes pose significant risk to more than 39 states, but only the people living in the most earthquake prone areas — California, Nevada, Oregon, etc. — have specific earthquake coverage policies.
Earthquake insurance is for homeowners who live in an area where they have a greater than normal risk of losing their home or property to a severe earthquake. A home lost to a quake is considered lost unless the proper policy is in place; while many insurance companies will try to work with homeowners to fit it under a normal homeowners’ policy, most are bound by law and unable to help.
Earthquake coverage works by protecting the home against loss in the event of the ‘big one.’ Because the risk of a major quake is lower than the risks of other natural disasters, the deductibles in the event of a quake are higher than normal, sometimes reaching 15%. Note, however, that this deductible is for the amount of coverage, not the amount of damage caused. Homeowners need to ensure their home and the property within is covered under their policy.
Many homeowners do not have the proper amount of earthquake coverage necessary, with an average gap of 18% between the amount of damage caused and the amount that is actually covered by their policy.
The benefit of earthquake insurance is that homeowners can rest easy knowing their home is protected against a major disaster. However, it is important that they take the time to speak with their insurance agent and ensure they have the proper amount of coverage against a major disaster, lest they find out after the fact that their home isn’t fully covered under their plan.