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What is Earthquake Insurance?
California sees more earthquakes than any other state except for Alaska. In order to protect against this risk, property owners in the state generally need earthquake insurance.
Earthquake insurance is available for many different properties. Properties can be purchased to protect single-family homes, multi-family residences, commercial buildings, and even renters’ belongings in some cases.
What California property owners need Earthquake Coverage?
Earthquake coverage is something that almost all California property owners should consider, given how common tremors are in the state. In many cases, property owners who finance their land or buildings are required to carry coverage.
Many lenders require property owners to purchase earthquake coverage when financing a property in the state. Should owners neglect to procure or maintain coverage, a lender may purchase force-placed coverage to protect the property
What coverages are available through Earthquake Policies?
Earthquake policies might provide a variety of coverages that are designed to provide assistance if a property is damaged in an earthquake. Some of the more commonly offered coverages are:
- Structural Repair Coverage: May cover repair costs if a property is damaged
- Rebuilding Coverage: May cover rebuilding costs if a property is destroyed
- Building Code Upgrades Coverage: May cover the additional cost of rebuilding to current codes
- Land Restoration Costs Coverage: May cover the costs of restoring land that’s damaged
- Emergency Repairs Coverage: May cover the costs of making emergency repairs to prevent further damage
- Temporary Housing Coverage: May pay for alternate accommodations while a property is repaired/rebuilt
- Personal Property Replacement Coverage: May pay to replace personal belongings that are damaged/destroyed
There are still more coverages that policies can offer. An insurance broker who specializes in earthquake coverage can help property owners explore all of the available coverage options.
Does Homeowners Insurance cover earthquake damage?
Homeowners insurance protects against many perils, including many caused by Mother Nature. Earthquakes normally aren’t one of those perils, however. Most homeowners policies exclude earthquake damage.
Therefore, property owners usually must purchase a standalone earthquake policy if they want coverage for this peril.
How much Earthquake Coverage should property owners purchase?
Banks will typically require at least enough earthquake coverage to protect their interest in a property, but it’s often wise to purchase more than is required. In fact, many property owners choose to purchase more coverage than their property is worth.
Many buildings can be damaged when an earthquake strikes, and widespread damage can drive up labor and material costs for rebuilding. This can make the cost of rebuilding higher than what the property was worth. Having additional coverage might help ensure that property owners can afford to rebuild their property in full.
A knowledgeable insurance broker can help property owners determine how much coverage would likely be needed for a complete rebuild.
How can property owners in California get Earthquake Insurance?
For help insuring a California property with earthquake insurance, contact the independent insurance brokers at Heffernan Walton Insurance. Our brokers have the expertise to recommend the best available earthquake policy, and we can recommend that best policy regardless of what insurance company offers it. With our assistance, you can be confident that your policy is insured well.