It happened: a massive earthquake struck your area. Now what?
If you're covered with an earthquake insurance policy, you are in good standing. But if you had only a basic homeowners insurance policy, the damage and repair is unlikely to be covered by the carrier if a quake strikes. Earthquake damage could severely affect your most valuable physical assets: your home and the belongings inside.
This is why it's important to equip yourself and your family with the coverage you need. Bishop White Insurance & Financial Services, Inc. provides earthquake insurance to clients in Des Moines IA and surrounding areas across the state.
Understanding Earthquake Insurance
Depending on where you live, earthquakes can be rare, but they can still have significant repercussions. Aside from incurring damage to sentimental items and causing unexpected problems, even a tremor can mean serious losses and subsequent home renovations. Rebuilding your home as is can be a costly process without the cushion of insurance. Tremors are growing across the U.S. even in states that normally don’t suffer earthquakes, causing millions of dollars in damage every year. If you are caught in a quake without coverage, you could be looking to pay thousands of dollars to repair or rebuild the very foundation of your home.
The Price of Earthquake Insurance
Earthquake insurance can be tailored for a variety of budgets and circumstances. For example, rates may be lower for homes made out of wood versus homes made out of brick, as wooden homes are better at absorbing quakes. Your rate will also depend on your location and the probability of an earthquake occurring. Single-story homes are also less vulnerable to quakes than multi-story homes.
On average, U.S. homeowners pay between $100 and $300 for earthquake insurance, although some states (such as California) charge more due to the frequency and severity of earthquakes every year.
Personal property claims are another section of earthquake insurance. Instead of covering your home itself, these claims cover belongings such as furniture or electronics affected by the quake. Additional Living Expenses (ALE), or loss of use, covers costs to live elsewhere while your home is evacuated or under repair.
Is Any Earthquake Damage Covered by Insurance?
Although a basic home insurance policy doesn’t cover direct earthquake damage or tremors afterward, some policies may cover limited after effects, such as a fire that breaks out due to the earthquake. Be sure to contact an insurance agent if you have any question about what your policy does and doesn’t cover. Many homeowners struggle each year because damage they thought was covered actually wasn’t, leaving them to pay unexpected bills for repairs.
Anticipate the Unlikely
According to the United States Geological Survey's recent U.S. National Seismic Hazard Maps released in 2014, 42 of the 50 states "have a reasonable chance of experiencing damaging ground shaking from an earthquake in [a building's typical lifetime of] 50 years."
Consider the ramifications of an earthquake striking and your home being affected. You could have to pay to rebuild your home while also paying your existing mortgage, and for you and your family to stay elsewhere while your home is rebuilt.
Protect What Matters Most
Just as with flood insurance, you can add earthquake coverage to an existing homeowners policy or keep it separate. Excluding this coverage from your portfolio of protection could be disastrous. Contact us today to learn how we could help you.