You may not realize you need earthquake insurance
Even if you don’t live in California, you may live in a seismically active area. Reverberations from a recent 5.0 earthquake in the Ontario-Quebec region of Canada were felt in Vermont, parts of upstate New York, and as far away as Ohio, Illinois and Indiana. Many homeowners may not know they live in a seismic zone and need earthquake insurance to adequately protect their home and their possessions. If you need a new home insurance policy for better coverage, make sure you get a home insurance quote.
How to get earthquake insurance
Most earthquakes in the U.S. occur west of the Rocky Mountains. California has the most damaging earthquakes, while Alaska has the greatest number of large earthquakes. However, the most violent earthquakes have occurred in the central states. During a three-month period in 1811 and 1812, a series of quakes erupted along the New Madrid Fault in Missouri. Three of the earthquakes had a magnitude of 8 and were felt over an area covering 2 million square miles in the eastern United States. Since 1900, earthquakes have happened in 39 states.
About 90 percent of Americans live in areas considered seismically active, but only a small percentage buy earthquake insurance. To find out if you live in an earthquake zone, visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Web site, www.fema.gov. All communities in a state or territory do not share the same vulnerability to an earthquake. Be sure to check out FEMA’s link to U.S. Geological Survey maps detailing the risk in your community, before you get a home insurance quote.
Standard homeowner’s policies usually cover your property and possessions from such losses as damage and theft. They also protect your house and your belongings against damage from such natural causes as tornadoes, windstorms, hail and lightning. However, home insurance policies do not offer coverage for damage resulting from natural disasters, such as floods and earthquakes. If you want coverage to reimburse you for damage from floods and earthquakes, you will have to buy additional insurance. The cost of earthquake insurance depends on the area where you live and the risk of an earthquake.
How much earthquake insurance do you need?
If you decide to buy earthquake insurance, get enough to cover the costs to rebuild your house and replace your possessions. Even if home values have fallen in your area, it may cost you more to rebuild your home. Building costs can increase with inflation or after a disaster, when contractors and materials are in demand. New building codes also may make it more expensive for you to rebuild your home.
Earthquake insurance policies often carry a deductible, generally in the form of a percentage rather than a dollar amount, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Deductibles can range anywhere from 2 percent to 20 percent of your home’s replacement value. If it costs $100,000 to rebuild your home and your policy has a 2 percent deductible, you would be responsible for paying the first $2,000. Before you sign any earthquake insurance policy, find out how much time you have to file a claim after a quake. Earthquake damage may not be immediately apparent.
Remember when you buy a homeowners policy, you’re insuring the structure of your home and your personal belongings in your home. Once you have determined the best coverage for your family’s needs, you’re ready to obtain a home insurance quote. Call agents in your local area, contact several insurance companies directly or use InsuranceQuotes.com to instantly get a competitive insurance quote from the nation’s leading insurance providers. Simply fill out a simple online form on InsuranceQuotes.com to find the right insurance coverage at the best possible price. Take the time to protect you and your family today.