Last Tuesday I attended an earth quake class for my insurance license. It made me realize just how many of my clients don't have earthquake insurance. I think most people have the false sense of security that their home will not be the one destroyed by a major earthquake. A lot of them are also ward off by the price of insurance and the fact that you have to pay 10% - 15% of your homes dwelling value as a deductible. I.E if your home is insured for $300,000 then your deductible is 15% or $45,000. Sounds like way too much to pay all at once right? As expensive as that sounds earthquake insurance will only cover a claim where the damages exceeds the deductible. You will receive a check for the value of your home minus the deductible .So there is never an out of pocket expense.
Earth quake insurance is something that you need to discuss with your insurance agent and find a plan that suits you and your families needs. In most cases, EQ insurance cost about the same as your payment for your car insurance. Whether you’re a home owner or a renter, earthquake insurance can help pay and minimize the expenses of rebuilding, relocating and restarting after a major shake.
I've been an insurance agent for almost 4 years now and I too failed to see the importance of this type of insurance until I took a good look at the facts.
Fact1. There where 819 earthquakes in the U.S alone in the past week
Fact2. California has the most earthquakes any where in the U.S. Out of the 819 that happened in the last week roughly 400 of them where in California.
Fact3. 3 out of 5 home owners do not have earthquake insurance.
Fact4. The most comprehensive statewide analysis of earthquake probabilities determine that the chance of having one or more magnitude 6.7 or larger quakes is 99.7 %
Fact5. One of the largest fault lines runs straight in the middle of Riverside.
Looking to the past is a good way to prepare for the future. In California earthquake history it is evident that we are due for a major shake. The California Earthquake Authority has come up with 7 steps to prepare you and your love ones for this inevitable event. Not only home owners should take this advice. It’s for every one living in Earthquake Country.
1. Identify potential hazards in your home/apartment and begin to fix them. Baby safety latches work great for cabinets. Make sure your fridge, china cabinet, water heater and other heavy objects are strapped to a wall ect ...
2. Create a Disaster Preparedness plan. Make sure you teach all children in the home the "drop, cover and hold on”. Select a safe place for you and your family to meet after a major earthquake. One place that every one will meet up no matter where they are at the time of the quake.
3. Prepare Disaster Supplies Kits. Keep a kit where you spend most of your time home, car and work. Keep any important medications in it, first aid, bottle water, snack foods, flashlight or sticks. Also any other important documents you might need in an emergency.
4. Identify your buildings potential weaknesses and begin to fix them. Inadequate foundations, UN braced cripple walls, soft first stories and UN reinforced masonry. Consult a professional to determine if your chimney is safe as well. Doing these kind of repairs to your home may also get you some discounts on your home and earthquake insurance.
5. Protect your self during an earthquake. Remember that old school “drop, cover and hold on” It is still the best thing you can do if you are indoors. If your out doors move to a clear area. Learn more at www.dropcoverholdon.org
6. After the earth quake check for injuries and damages. If you’re bleeding put pressure on the wound and locate your first aid kit. Check for gas leaks, damage to wiring and be careful with broken glass.
7. When safe follow your disaster preparedness plan.
Experiencing a major earthquake is nothing to take lightly. However if we all take the steps to be better prepared we can help minimize how much it effects us and our loved ones.
Learn more at: www.earthquakecountry.info
California’s earthquake history: www.data.scec.org/clickmap.html
Be prepared: www.daretoprepare.org www.shakeout.org www.dropcoverholdon.org www.redcross.org www.earthquakeauthority.com www.espfocus.org
Be aware: www.earthquake.usgs.gov www.consrv.ca.gov/cgs www.scec.org