Earthquake Protection ~ Do You Need Coverage?

PLAINFIELD, CT (WFSB) – Five small earthquakes rattled New England on Monday, January 12th. The Weston Observatory at Boston College said the first four happened within 20 minutes of each other. The fifth was 5 1/2 hours later. It was the third day in less than a week that rumbles shook the Plainfield region.

Plainfield police said it happened around 6:30 a.m. Scientists from the observatory registered the largest of the four at a 3.1 magnitude. Though the U.S. Geological Survey told Eyewitness News it was 3.3. It was felt in Rhode Island and as far away as New Bedford, MA, and Framingham, MA. The observatory said the smaller ones were recorded at 1.1, 0.9 and 2.0. A quake around noon time registered at 1.3.     *Click for link to full WFSB article*

When most people think about earthquakes in the United States, California and Alaska are the two states that come to mind. However, earthquakes can happen in any part of the country. They are a very real threat that everyone must consider and plan for. One of the most vital aspects of proper preparedness is having ample insurance coverage. Earthquake damage isn’t covered in the majority of homeowners policies. This is also true for business policies. Both types of policies specify that damage from earth movement is not covered. While actual damage from a quake may not be covered, property insurance may provide coverage for fires and other incidents that occur as a result of it.

Many people think they won’t experience a major earthquake during their lifetime. This is especially true for those who live in areas where earthquakes happen every 100 years or less. Although many people may not experience a strong earthquake, there are over 5,000 incidents recorded each year by the USGS. Damage from earthquakes has been recorded in all 50 states in history. There have been reports of damage in 39 states alone since 1900. This proves that while some people may not live in areas that commonly experience earthquakes, they’re still not immune to the threat.

Earthquake insurance is available as a rider, which is added to a Home or Business policy.  Since they’re unpredictable and happen suddenly, it’s best to be prepared for all types of disasters. Earthquake insurance is so important that it can’t be stressed enough. The nation’s average is less than 12% who carry this coverage.

Earthquake insurance costs vary by location, building type and the age of the building. Buildings more likely to withstand the force of earthquake are less costly to insure.

Every earthquake policy also has a deductible. This means that homeowners must pay upfront for a portion of the damages before the insurer pays the remaining amount. The deductible may be up to 20% of the structure’s replacement value. The percentage depends on the insurer and the location of the structure.

There are also options for renters. There are coverage policies that protect personal property. In addition to this, they usually cover living expenses if the building becomes uninhabitable after an earthquake. It’s important to keep a list of belongings and their values. Major appliances, furniture, electronics and other expensive items must all be documented properly. A new way of creating a record of belongings is making a narrated video tour of the home and focusing on belongings.

Call ACBI at 203-259-7580 to discuss earthquake coverage that is right for your individual needs.

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