Clients often ask if we personally carry earthquake insurance:The answer? A resounding YES!
We've seen the stats on the losses that earthquakes cause. We saw an insurance company close up shop and leave the state after the Northridge quake in Southern California; we had to replace a lot of policies then. We heard of homeowner's and condo-owners having to pay assessments to repair the properties that were damaged in the quake (the associations either didn't have enough or didn't have any earthquake coverage).
We absolutely believe that reimbursement from an earthquake policy may mean the difference between despair and hope for many families after the "big one." After watching the news reports on Hurricane Katrina a few years ago, and the unprecedented flooding and tornadoes in the Midwest from 2009 - 2012, how can we possibly recommend that our clients rely upon FEMA to help them rebuild their homes and their lives?
There is a better answer than FEMA: We bring financially strong and viable insurance solutions that will allow families to re-establish their lives as quickly and completely as possible after a disaster. And, that is Earthquake insurance. There are lots of ways to buy EQ Insurance:
- In CA, we have the CEA (California Earthquake Authority) that is a pooling of insurance companies to produce a relatively low cost, basic policy
- There are private insurers that offer their own EQ policies, from very comprehensive ones to the less expensive basic programs (they are similar to the CEA programs)
- For residential property owners (1-4 units), you can also purchase a secondary Earthquake policy - in addition to your primary EQ policy - to help cut down the impact of the relatively high deductible that comes with quake policies. For example, many California homeowners will have deductibles in the 10% to 15% range which can easily be a $50,000 to a $100,000 deductible. And, that's a turn off for coverage. However, you can purchase (for relatively a very little amount of premium) a policy that effectively cuts the EQ deductible in half . . . . or more!
- For larger property owners, you can purchase "Loss Limit" policies where you intentionally do not buy enough insurance to fix everything as your spread of property ownership covers so much territory that it all wouldn't be subject to the same claim event. You buy either all you can afford or enough to fix the probable maximum loss from a major quake
- Remember: Earthquakes can strike anywhere, anytime, and without prior warning – and your best bet is to make sure that you and your family are prepared in case an earthquake happens.
First, get your earthquake coverage; then, get prepared. Disaster preparedness starts with education:
- Make sure that your family, and especially your children, know where to go should an earthquake occur. The best bet may be to “Duck and Cover” under a sturdy, heavy piece of furniture.
- Be patient and wait in your hiding place for several minutes after an earthquake, since aftershocks may occur.
- Teach your children that it’s OK to stay at school or daycare, after an earthquake strikes, and that you will pick them up as soon as it’s safe.
- Have one or more disaster kits ready in your home, car, and in a safe place outside your home. To learn what should be included, visit www.fema.gov or www.ready.gov.
- In your home, securely fasten shelves and furniture to walls, store large or heavy things on lower shelves, and learn how to turn off gas and water lines if necessary. (To turn your gas line back on, you need to contact the responsible
If your home was built before 1960 there is a chance that your foundation may not be bolted to your home. In most of Southern California, if your home was built after the 60s, it may be bolted; however, in other areas of the country that are recently experiencing quakes, that is not the case. In case of a quake this lack of a secure foundation may cause even more damage to your house. Call us for more information on how to get your home prepared for an earthquake.
Keep in mind that a standard homeowners policy does NOT cover any damage caused by an Earthquake. If you would like to insure your home for earthquake damage, we can help! We offer unique stand‐alone earthquake insurance coverage that supplements your homeowners policy.