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FYI: Earthquake Insurance

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From our friends at Leavitt Group


Earthquakes can be the sneakiest of all natural disasters. Striking with no warning, sending your favorite vintage tea set crashing to the ground! According to the United States Geological Survey, it is estimated that there are 500,000 detectable earthquakes in the world each year. Of those, 100,000 can be felt and 100 of them cause damage.  


The survey goes on to say that from 1975–1995, there were only four states in the U.S. that did not register an earthquake. That’s a lot of potential for damage!


What can you do to protect yourself? Earthquake insurance may be the answer. Mountain America Insurance has compiled information to help you determine if it’s right for you.


Earthquake coverage basics

  • Damage from earthquakes is not covered by a standard homeowners policy. Similar to flood insurance, earthquake insurance must be purchased separately.

  • Earthquake coverage can be added as an endorsement on your homeowners policy or purchased as a separate policy.

  • Many insurance companies have specific enrollment periods for earthquake coverage. If you choose not to add coverage when you purchase a homeowners policy, you may need to wait until your policy renews to add the coverage.

  • If the insurance company has specific enrollment periods for earthquake coverage, you may receive an offer for the coverage with your renewal policy. This coverage is typically offered every other year.


How earthquake coverage can help
With a typical home loan and deed of trust, you remain responsible for the loan balance even if your home is damaged or destroyed by an earthquake. Earthquake coverage can help reduce the costs associated with earthquake damage, such as:

  • Repairing or replacing your home

  • Replacing the contents of your home

  • Temporary accommodations

  • Paying a mortgage, second mortgage, or line of credit on your home if your home is destroyed


The deductible and amount of coverage available for earthquake damage varies by state.


Mitigate damages and risk of injury
Earthquakes can cause devastation any time of the year and without warning. Take steps to secure the furnishings in your home to prevent injuries and mitigate damage should an earthquake occur. These steps can help protect your family:

  • Secure bookcases and shelves to prevent them from toppling over

  • Attach cabinets to the walls and floors to keep their contents safe

  • Securely anchor large appliances to the wall and brace your water heater

  • Consider using shatter-resistant Teflon fluorescent lights or install plastic sleeves over the light tubes to keep glass from scattering if shattered

  • Secure heavy equipment such as televisions and computers to furniture

  • Use closed screw eyes instead of traditional picture hangers to secure pictures and other valuable artwork to the walls


Mountain America Insurance can’t stop an earthquake from happening, but we can certainly help you mitigate your expenses so you can get back to hosting tea parties! Give us a call today.


For more ideas and information, visit these sites:
Earthquake, Landslide, and Flood – Is Your Home Protected?
Preparing Your Business for a Natural Disaster


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