What you need to know about Earthquake Damage
Most earthquakes are unnoticeable, and the tremors cause little or no damage. As we all know others are disastrous to say the least taking hundreds of thousands of lives worldwide in their wake.
An Earthquake is described as a sudden and violent shaking of the ground resulting from movement of the earth’s crust. The National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) records 12,000–14,000 earthquakes each year. Magnitude 2 and smaller earthquakes occur several hundred times a day worldwide. Major earthquakes, greater than magnitude 7, happen more than once per month.
Most homeowners insurance policies outside of known quake zones do not extend to earthquake damages, but if your policy adequately does there is no need to purchase additional insurance other than flood insurance, which earthquake insurance does not cover.
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According to the U.S. Geological Survey, thousands of earthquakes occur each year in about 42 of the United States that are considered at mid to high risk for this type of peril.
The risks vary from state to state and so do insurance premiums. The coverage’s they afford extend to building structures and both business and personal property. See the NEIC chart below for more detail on earthquake data.
One of the most important coverage’s afforded by earthquake insurance is the cost of relocating to a home or commercial operation of like and kind while your structural damage is being assessed and repaired.
In some states such as California insurance coverage for earthquakes is not only offered as an extra endorsement for homeowners and businesses buy must also be offered to persons who purchased renters insurance policies. An earthquake policy can also be purchased as a separate coverage.
Earthquake insurance will not extend to vehicles, fences, pools as well as some fine china, land or landscaping or sinkholes, but may extend to other options purchased such as engineering expenses.
Although flooding is a common results of earthquakes it can only be covered if you purchase a separate flood insurance policy and damage caused by a sewer or drain back resulting from an earthquake should also be covered.
Sixteen out of the forty two states susceptible to earthquakes have registered magnitude 6 or greater quakes on the Richter scale and are considered high-risk. Hazards are especially high along the Western United States, and some Central Midwest regions as well as the Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Illinois boarders. The East Coast of the U.S. has also seen some activity such as the 5.8 magnitude earthquake in 2011 that shook buildings and rattled nerves from North Carolina to Canada knocking out cellular phone service and damaging the Washington Monument as well as the National Cathedral. This quake’s epicenter was about 3.5 miles beneath Mineral, Virginia, about 40 miles northwest of Richmond.