Are you playing Russian roulette with the most expensive investment you may have? Do you like to hear the click of the gun that just went off near your ear and you realized you just dodged a bullet, with no pun intended!
If you own a home, condo, townhouse, or even if you rent, if you
don’t alreadfy have an earthquake policy in place, you’re definitely playing Russian roulette! Anyone in California that wants to obtain an earthquake policy today will find that they are out of luck! All the insurance companies have placed a moratorium on accepting new earthquake policies for a period of up to 30 days. They would have to wait up to 30 days from the last earthquake, aftershocks, and/or tremors before any insurance company would issue an earthquake policy.
So keep in mind if you don’t already have in place an earthquake
policy in the state of Washington, and we experience an earthquake even one
that is a ½ point on the Richter scale, you would be too late to get insurance,
you would have to wait the standard up to 30 days until there are no more earthquakes,aftershocks and or tremors.
Ask yourself this, would it be easier for you to come up with 10% or 15% of the value of your home, or do you feel more comfortable coming up with 100% of the value of your home, ever? I believe we all know the answer to this question, so why don’t you carry earthquake insurance?
What is Earthquake Insurance?
Earthquake insurance provides coverage if your home is damaged
by an earthquake. Your standard homeowner and renters policies will
not cover earthquake damage. Earthquake insurance is a separate
endorsement you must buy and add to your homeowner or renters
policy. 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.
How earthquake coverage works
Unlike most homeowner or renters policies, earthquake insurance
is designed to cover catastrophic damage. Insurers normally sell it with
deductibles equaling 10 to 25 percent of the structure’s policy limit. This
limit works much like the deductibles on your auto insurance. The insurance only
pays for damages that exceed the deductible. However, unlike car insurance, some earthquake policies treat contents and structure separately. You may have a separate deductible for each of the following:
•unattached structures like garages, sheds, driveways or retaining walls
What to expect from insurers when buying an earthquake policy
Some insurers may require an inspection of your property before they will agree to issue a policy. For example, many companies require and will check to see that your home is bolted to its foundation – a practice that wasn’t required by building codes until the early 1960s.
Other factors an insurer might consider include:
•The location and bracing of interior walls
•Strapping guards to secure fixtures, such as water heaters
•The method used to mount shelves on walls
Many of these improvements are not expensive, while others can be expensive and may require a contractor. You need to think about your individual situation before you decide to take on construction improvements to qualify for earthquake insurance.
Additionally, requirements vary from insurer to insurer. And some insurers may even waive construction changes if you are willing to buy coverage with a higher deductible.
What you can do to minimize damage before an earthquake occurs
•Make sure your water heater, gas appliances, and other such fixtures are fastened securely.
•Ensure bookcases, wall hangings, and hanging plants are secure and fastened to walls and ceilings.
•Make sure you have a family “emergency plan” and all family members know what they should do if an earthquake occurs. 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
•Plan ahead. Keep flashlights, batteries, and candles on hand. Make sure you have a portable radio.
•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.
•Everyone in your house should know how to turn off utilities (electricity, water, and gas) at the home.
Ask yourself this: Are you still going to play Russian roulette with the most expensive investment you may have?