The Los Angeles Times recently reported that the area of Ridgecrest, California "is riddled with faults in the Eastern California Shear Zone." This zone produces "some of the state's biggest quakes in the modern record, like the magnitude 7.5 Owens Valley earthquake of 1872 and the magnitude 7.3 Landers earthquake in 1992." But Seismologists say the two large, recent earthquakes to hit Southern California were still not considered, "The Big One."

Oh boy! Here we go! As we are currently experiencing earthquakes and anticipating "The Big One," don't forget to ensure that you are prepared. There's no better time than now to be sure you — and your family — have an earthquake safety plan in place and your home is properly insured.

Look to your local community resources to provide information on earthquake safety and preparedness.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Assemble an earthquake kit with enough water, nonperishable foods, blankets, first aid kit, and any needed medications for every family member. Don’t forget about your pets!
  • Make sure everyone in your household, including babysitters, know how to shut off the gas line to the house or have a seismic shutoff valve installed.
  • Develop plans for getting in touch with family members, picking up little ones from school or daycare, and where you will meet if your home is no longer safe.
  • Save the name and phone number of your homeowners and earthquake insurance agent, as well as your carrier and policy number, in your phone contacts and another accessible location.
  • If you don’t have Earthquake Insurance now, GET A QUOTE! 

What Protection Does Earthquake Insurance Offer?

Did you know most homeowner’s, condo, and renter’s insurance policies do not provide earthquake coverage? Earthquake coverage must either be endorsed onto your policy, or purchased separately. (Auto insurance policies generally cover vehicles for earthquake damage under the optional comprehensive portion of the policy.)

Earthquake policies can cover your dwelling only, or broader coverage can be designed to include your belongings and additional living expenses as well. You’ll want to be sure your limits are enough to cover the cost of rebuilding your house, at a minimum. While your standard homeowner’s policy may cover fire damage that results from an earthquake, an earthquake policy is important to cover damage that results from shaking, such as structural collapse.

How Much Will it Cost?

Because there is a massive potential of widespread damage over a large geographic area associated with a significant earthquake, coverage can be expensive, but not always. It’s worth looking into! Your premium will depend on your location, along with the size, age, and structural composition of your home. Earthquake policies include a deductible ranging from 2 to 20 percent of the insured limits, or of the total damage, depending upon the type of policy purchased. Which could mean significant out-of-pocket costs in the event of a loss, however, you’ll want to weigh the cost against your risk of experiencing an earthquake, and your ability to survive the financial aftermath of such a catastrophic event.

What’s My Risk?

Typically, we think earthquakes strike only in a small portion of the country—namely California, Oregon, and Washington. However, more recent experience shows that the Midwest region is at a relatively high risk of earthquakes due to a fault line that runs through those states.

Additional Considerations

When buying an earthquake policy, you should read it closely to be sure you understand what is covered and what is not. Does it cover your house only or the garage and other structures as well? What about your pool? Will it cover additional living expenses, or what about loss assessment coverage for condo owners? Each policy is different. Take the time to understand your coverage before the big one hits! It’s a good time to look into the possible risks in your area. Take a moment to consider insurance options to protect your property and develop a safety plan for you and your family.

Venbrook Insurance Services, Personal Lines Department can offer recommendations and provide a quote that best fits your needs and your budget. Contact us today for an Earthquake Insurance quote to protect your home.

For more insights into Earthquake Insurance, and other areas impacting the insurance industry today, please contact Ana Preston directly via email or phone:

Ana Preston| Personal Lines Manager | apreston@venbrook.com | 818-598-8932

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