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Earthquake Insurance

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Earthquake Insurance

We never know what the providence has in store for us. The best thing we humans can do is to remain prepared against any natural disasters or untoward incidents.

Nowadays, insurance provides financial protection against losses for persons or businesses. Over the years, the domain has exp anded to encompass almost every type of disaster that is of common occurrence on earth. Earthquake insurance is one such policy that covers one from losses incurred due to a cataclysmic earthquake or any earth movement such as mudflow, l andslide, mudslide or sinkhole that involves the sinking, rising or shifting of earth. But it excludes losses incurred due to floods and tidal waves – even if the disaster had been compounded by an earthquake.

An important thing one should realize is that earthquake insurance is not a part of the homeowner and tenant insurance policies. Instead, it is a different deal altogether that one needs to subscribe separately.

Earthquake insurance – unlike other homeowner polices – mainly covers major losses. The claim is usually paid after accounting for all deductibles, which in the general case falls between 10% and 25%. Given the present trend, the deductibles are on a spiral up the scale.

The payment structure works much like the auto insurance. The damage that exceeds the deductibles is only paid. Some policies take in to account, the structure and contents as different entities. In such cases, the deductible applies separately to the total losses on structure, of contents and the damage occurred to external structures like sheds, garages, retaining walls or driveways.

Some insurance providers put forward stringent requirements before issuing a policy – they insist on an inspection of one’s property before signing the deal. For example, many insurance companies require that one’s home is securely bolted to the basement. The inspection also considers bracing on interior walls, the manner in which shelves are fixed and the way strapping guards are used to hold fixtures. But these are no big revamp and won’t be expensive. Ideally, the prospective customers should get their side clear before inviting the insurance company inspection team to the house.

Once an earthquake occurs, no more earthquake insurance policies will be issued until the declared moratorium expires; that is after the chance for further damaging aftershocks has lingered.

After the damage has occurred, it is very important to make the claim, supported with all the required documents, in a definite period of time as m andated by the company’s terms and conditions. Not reporting in the stipulated time is valid grounds for the insurance company to reject one’s claim for insurance.

Consumers should consider their requirements and circumstances before applying for earthquake insurance. Sometimes, it can be argued that his/her house is situated in a low risk area. But it is always better to be in a safer side with one’s home. After all, our homes are our biggest assets.

Earthquakes – Not Just a California Problem

When you live in California, the song "I Feel the Earth Move" is more than just a fun tune for dancing. The Golden State is known for Hollywood, smog and earthquakes. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Southern California experiences over 10,000 earthquakes a year. Most are so small, no one feels them. However, there are quakes that we do feel, and those are the ones that can do the most damage to property and cause injuries.So, to protect ourselves when the earth decides it needs to adjust itself, we have insurance.

But California isn’t the only state that deals with earthquakes, so don’t think that just because you live in Roanoke you don’t have to worry about it. The USGS reports that 39 states could experience an significant earthquake. Significant being a quake of at least a 7.5 magnitude on the Richter scale. That means 75 million people at any given point might see their wedding pictures quiver, their china shimmy and their dogs running around barking at the ground.

Check with your insurance agent and find out your risk for an earthquake. Once you know the possibilties you can decide if earthquake insurance is right for you.

Is it Earthquake Weather?

How would you like to wake up to Mike Tyson – specifically, the scary, ear-biting, late-1980s-to-mid-1990s Mike Tyson — punching the wall of your house? On the morning of April 23, 2012, that’s exactly what woke Los Angeles resident Kevin V andever. Except the shaking V andever felt wasn’t Tyson’s legendary fists: It was a 3.9 earthquake.

Whether you live in Los Angeles, Brentwood or Santa Monica, you’ve probably experienced a few earthquakes. In fact, it’s always “earthquake weather” here in SoCal; written history of earthquakes in the region stretches back to 1769, when an expedition about 30 miles from L.A. felt four strong shocks. Forty-three years later, four people were killed when a quake demolished a church at San Juan Capistrano, and an 1857 quake in Fort Tejon was an incredible magnitude 7.9 — and was felt all the way to Las Vegas!

Over the next half-century, earthquakes killed almost 50 people and destroyed hundreds of buildings across California. The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake killed at least 700 people, opened a 296-mile rupture in the San Andreas Fault, and caused more than $500 million in damage. And, of course, L.A.’s 6.7-magnitude Northridge Earthquake killed 57, injured more than 800, and displaced 20,000 residents, causing $20 billion in damage.

From 1769 to today, more than 200 earthquakes have rocked SoCal – and that’s just counting magnitude 5.2 and higher.

That’s a lot of shaking and quaking and it’s all centered around one area: The California-Nevada Fault and its many offshoots, some of which run right through L.A.

Sounds a lot scarier than Mike Tyson, right? When you build a major metropolitan area along a huge fault line that’s constantly shifting, quake damage is bound to be a concern. Given Southern California’s long, earthquake-filled history, it’s no surprise that high-tech study after high-tech study confirms what many seismologists have long predicted: The Los Angeles area is long overdue for a massive earthquake.

Scientists have found that major earthquakes occur every 88 years or so. It’s been about 150 years since the last monster quake hit, making the probability of a large quake extremely likely. Even worse, predictions indicate that this quake may be as strong as 8.1 on the Richter Scale — with the potential to release more than 100 times the energy as the Northridge quake! Recent concerns about fracking in L.A. have intensified fears of a major quake.

As if that isn’t terrifying enough, scientists project that an earthquake that large could cause between 2,000 and 50,000 deaths and billions of dollars in damage in L.A., Anaheim and San Diego.

How can residents prepare themselves? Experts recommend building up stores of food, water and supplies, establishing an emergency plan, and safeguarding possessions in advance. In addition, earthquake insurance protects your family from loss, helping you to get back on your feet after the disaster is over.  Get the hint, talk to one of our licensed agents about Earthquake Insurance today.

So the next time you wake up to shaking walls, cross your fingers and hope that it’s just Mike Tyson!

Karl Susman, Agent

Earthquake hits Malibu

Several small earthquakes have been felt by residents in Malibu over the last few hours.  According to the USGS, a 4.0 quake hit in the Channel Isl ands region at 10:42PM last night, followed by a 2.2 magnitude at 7:22am this morning.  No damage has been reported.  Good time to check in with your insurance agent and be sure your Earthquake Insurance is in effect!

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