February 10, 2014

Earthquakes don’t happen where you live or do they?

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, earthquakes pose a significant risk to 75 million Americans in 39 states. In fact, from 2002 to 2012, earthquakes of 4.0 magnitude or greater occurred in 23 U.S. states. While the damage isn’t usually severe, each tremor leaves local residents asking, “What if it’s bigger next time?” The U.S. Geological Survey reports that earthquakes of magnitude 6.5 or greater have caused fatalities, injuries and substantial damage.

Many Americans will tell you that serious earthquakes are restricted to California. But several jarring earthquakes in recent years, rattling windows from South Texas to Virginia, are reminders that earthquakes can happen almost anywhere. With more than 30 earthquakes occuring in North Texas alone, more people are asking themselves, ” should we buy earthquake insurance?”

“When you think of Texas you think tornadoes. You don’t think earthquakes. Which is making more and more people think ‘Am I covered?’

The following chart shows the most common types of losses covered or excluded from a homeowners policy:

Most Policies Cover Losses Caused by
Fire and lightning
Sudden and accidental damage by smoke
Vandalism and malicious mischief
Riot and civil commotion
Aircraft and vehicles
Windstorm, hurricane, and hail (this coverage may be excluded if you live on the Gulf Coast)
Sudden and accidental water damage

Most Policies Do Not Cover Losses Caused by
Termites, insects, rats, or mice
Freezing pipes while your house is unoccupied (unless you turned off the water or heated the building)
Losses if your house is vacant for the number of days specified by your policy
Wear and tear or maintenance
Wind or hail damage to trees and shrubs
Mold, except what is necessary to repair or replace property damage caused by a covered water loss
Water damage resulting from continuous and repeated seepage

Along with increased concerns about their physical safety, homeowners everywhere are seriously considering whether to protect themselves financially with earthquake insurance since earthquake damages are not covered by the standard homeowners insurance policy.

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding earthquake coverage, we will be happy to assist you!