Visit our Earthquake Preparedness Center Here
Earthquakes, in the Pacific Northwest this is a hot topic for sure, with good cause. Click here to learn more about earthquakes in our area.
An earthquake can be financially devestating to a homeowner. Although earthquakes area a real and present danger, they are typically not covered by a homeowners policy.
Make sure your investment is covered. Call us to learn more about this valuable coverage and to obtain a quote.
Reach out – we’d like to talk to you 253-447-8006
Though you don’t always feel them, earthquakes or tremors happen in and around the Puget Sound area all the time. View a list of recent earthquakes here.
In fact, in our area, there have been more than 700 earthquakes since 1931. Usually, they’re nothing to write home about but, like pretty much everyone in the Western seaboard states, we all live in fear of the ‘big one’.
Do I Need Earthquake Insurance?
There is an 87.79% chance of a major earthquake (magnitude 5 or above) in the Puget Sound area within the next 50 years, according to official estimates from the United States Geological Survey.
Yet, most people don’t have earthquake insurance, either because they don’t rate the risks high enough or because they think it’s covered in their homeowners, renters or business insurance policy. It isn’t.
Please ask yourself if you could afford the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home is it’s damaged in a quake.
What Does Earthquake Insurance Cover?
Protection against the costs of damage caused by an earthquake can be either added as an endorsement to your existing home or business insurance, or it can be bought as a standalone policy.
It generally covers the costs of structural damage from shaking and cracking, landslides, settlements and mudflows. Other types of damage that may arise from quakes, such as fire and water damage, usually are covered within a homeowners policy. Of course, policies and endorsements differ so always best to let us review your exact policy and needs with you.
A basic earthquake policy typically just covers the main home and attached structures, not unattached structures on the property like sheds and other outbuilding, but insurance for these can be arranged.
There’s also limited coverage for temporary accommodation costs while your home is being repaired.
If you rent your home, you can generally buy fairly low-cost coverage just for the contents of your home and perhaps temporary accommodation. The structure is the landlord’s responsibility.
How Much Does Earthquake Insurance Cost?
Earthquake insurance premiums are based on your postcode and the likelihood of one striking a particular area. Across the Pacific Northwest as a whole, the cost is between one and three dollars per $1,000 insured value for frame homes and three to five dollars for brick construction.
Insurance companies also take account of the structure and age of the property and whether specific precautions, such as securing water heaters and bolting of framing to foundations, have been taken.
Insurers also impose a deductible (the amount you pay out of your own pocket before your policy pays out) of between 10% and 25% of the insured value.
Do I Need Earthquake Insurance for my Business?
Consider the impact an earthquake would have on your business, not just in terms of the structure of your building but also damage to equipment and inventory and the potential for disruption of your business activities.
But before you can get insurance, your buildings probably will need to undergo an inspection. And if an insurer agrees to cover you, it’s likely you’d have to pay a deductible of up to 20 percent.
We’d love to talk all this over with you and make sure you understand both your current coverages as well as options going forward. Please call or contact us.