Earthquakes are a hot topic in our corporate headquarters located in Reno, NV. Several hundred quakes have shaken the region within the past few months. Yes, several hundred. And while most are considered minor quakes (the largest registered as a 4.7 on 4/25/08), they are still enough to put people on edge. This is especially true if you are a home or business owner.
California, Nevada, and Alaska are the three states with the most seismic activity in the United States. However, earthquakes have been felt in all fifty states. Some 5,000 are recorded each year in this country.
Seismologists recently released a report that predicts a magnitude 7.8 or greater quake will rock Southern California at some point in the future. The group says it is more a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if.’ A quake of this magnitude is projected to cause an estimated $200 billion in damages. Not to mention the toll it will take on citizens in the form of injuries and fatalities.
Still, far too few Americans carry earthquake insurance on their homes and businesses. One reason may be that many believe their homeowner’s insurance policy covers earthquake damage. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Earthquake coverage must be purchased separately and is typically fairly expensive compared with a homeowners insurance policy.
But with all this shaking going on, it may be a prudent time to look at some quotes for this coverage. Major insurance companies will put a moratorium on new policies for a period following a major quake (typically 30-60 days). So it may be best to look now.