Two Important Things About Earthquake Insurance
- Most home insurance policies do not cover earthquake damage.
- Even if you live in an area where earthquakes are not common, you may still need earthquake insurance.
Earthquakes have occurred in 39 states since 1900, and about 90% of Americans live in areas considered
seismically active. For many of our customers in Georgia, earthquake insurance can be
inexpensive. contact us to find out what the costs would be for your home.
Earthquake Insurance Options
Most home, condo and
renters insurance policies do not cover damage caused by an earthquake,
but coverage can be purchased as an endorsement or a separate policy. You may be able to choose to
purchase earthquake insurance from the same company that provides your home insurance, from a
specialized earthquake insurance provider, or from an independent organization such as the
California Earthquake Authority (CEA).
Do I Need Earthquake Insurance in Atlanta?
In all likelihood, almost the entire US would be better protected by purchasing earthquake insurance.
Consider the facts:
- In the West - According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there is a 70% probability
that one or more damaging earthquakes of magnitude 6.7 or larger will strike the San Francisco Bay
area during the next 30 years.
- In the East - The Earthquake Education Center at Charleston Southern University
claims there is a 40% to 60% chance of a major earthquake somewhere in the eastern United States in
the next 20 years.
- In the Midwest - According to the Insurance Information Institute,
there's a 40% to 63% chance the New Madrid Fault (which runs through Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri and
Tennessee) region will suffer an earthquake with a 6.0 magnitude in the next 15 years.
What Does Earthquake Insurance Cover?
Earthquake insurance provides coverage if your home is damaged by an earthquake.
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.
There are several options to consider when purchasing earthquake insurance, including:
- Does the policy cover only your home? Are other structures, such as garages, also included?
- Will your policy pay for the contents of your home and for additional living expenses
if your home is badly damaged or destroyed?
- Are there any exclusions or limitations to coverage?
- What deductible must you pay before the insurance kicks in?
Earthquakes Can Happen in Alpharetta – Protect Yourself
- Make sure your water heater, gas appliances, and other fixtures are fastened securely.
- Check that bookcases and furniture are secure and fastened to walls.
- Have a family emergency plan that all family members know. 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 separated.
- Plan ahead. Keep flashlights, batteries, and candles on hand. Have a portable radio.
- Be sure everyone in your house knows how to turn off utilities (electricity, water, and gas).
- 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.
What to do when an earthquake strikes
If you are inside when an earthquake hits, stay inside and get under a heavy table or
desk. Stay away from windows. Do not evacuate the building unless emergency personnel
direct you to leave.
If you are outside, get away from buildings and power lines, and remember that stone and masonry
facings can break loose and fall away from upper parts of buildings.
If you are in a car, stop safely away from structures, large trees, power lines, and other hazards.
Stay inside the vehicle.
Keep in mind:
- Don’t use candles until gas lines are checked. Also, check throughout your home before you use
certain utilities, such as water and electric, sewage connections, and even chimneys.
- Don’t tie up phone lines except to report emergencies.
- Be prepared. Remember that you will need food and water, even for the short term. Keep your family
together and stay alert for aftershocks.
Earthquake insurance needs can vary significantly – talk to us today to find
out how to get the best price and value on earthquake insurance for you.