Do we really need 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 expanded 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, landslide, 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.
Importance of Earthquake Insurance
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 mandated 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.