Let’s shake, rumble and roll
There have been some pretty horrible earthquakes lately that have caused many injuries and damages. We’ve put together a list of the 5 most common questions we receive from our clients regarding Earthquake Insurance.
Q: Why should I buy earthquake insurance? Do I really need it?
A: Most Homeowners Policies do NOT cover Earthquake Insurance. Normally, a separate policy is required. If you don’t have earthquake insurance, you won’t be able to get the necessary help from an insurance company to recover from catastrophic damages, nor will you receive compensation to help cover your living costs while you are out of your home. You will be the one responsible for all costs to repair or rebuild your home, replace personal property, and all other living costs of alternate housing, food, and anything else you might need.
Q: I don’t live near an earthquake fault line. Am I still at risk for earthquake damage?
A: You might not be near a known fault line, but new fault lines are discovered all the time. You might be sitting on top of one right now! Even if you think your home and family are safe from earthquakes, it is always best to be prepared so you can rebuild your life when it happens. Further, a large quake can cause damage hundreds of miles away from the fault line it originates from, so proximity to a fault line is not always a great way to determine your risk.
Q: Will the government help if the “Big One” strikes?
A: Possibly, but it’s definitely not a guarantee. Assistance from the government may be available to assist homeowners who have property damage. However, California residents should know that State and Federal disaster assistance programs have specific eligibility requirements. Basically, FEMA may only grant limited assistance to those who qualify. The Small Business Administration may make low interest loans available, but again, qualification would still apply.
Q: How many people really have Earthquake Insurance?
A: The California Earthquake Authority currently has more than 800,000 policies in effect. They estimate that 1 in 12 homeowners carries earthquake insurance, but stress that the number should be much higher.
Q: What types of Earthquake Policies are available? Can I get an Earthquake Policy where I live?
A: Earthquake Policies are available for homeowners, mobile homeowners, condominium owners, and renters (literally, everyone). Coverage varies from policy to policy and there are many deductible and coverage options to fit your needs. Talk to your agent about what’s important to you and they can tailor a policy to fit your needs.
We will never be completely ready when an earthquake strikes, but you can give yourself a little more peace of mind with earthquake insurance. Talk to your agent today!