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Earthquake Insurance

Most homeowners likely know that, regardless where they live, they may be exposed to a catastrophic loss such as flooding. It is definitely not restricted to a coastal property. However, the same cannot be said concerning earthquakes. It is much more likely that only persons living in well-known earthquake areas (such as California and Alaska) have a high awareness of its danger.

However, the danger of earthquake exists in our area of the United States. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Virginia's largest earthquake was a 5.9 Magnitude in Giles County in 1897. Also, North Carolina's largest earthquake was a 5.2 Magnitude near Waynesville in 1916. In the last decade, regular activity has been measured in this Seismic Zone.

While many persons may be exposed to the danger of earthquake, only a fraction of such property owners carry the proper level of insurance. Basic homeowner coverage does NOT include protection against earthquakes. Without purchasing specific earthquake insurance, the only protection available for a policyholder is against limited, consequential damage.

Example: The Johnsons love their home on the outskirts of Richmond. While they've experienced one minor earthquake in the few years they've owned the home: they did not buy earthquake coverage. One day a quake occurs and severely damages their home. The quake breaks a gas pipe and a fire erupts. The fire damage is covered (though the quake damage is not).

Earthquake coverage is typically quite affordable. It is generally available for a couple hundred dollars per year to provide protection for a modest-sized home. While, even in areas that are in earthquake prone, such losses are low probability; the potential loss severity is so high that purchasing separate protection makes sense. So shake up your insurance protection and avoid being totally shaken down by a disastrous quake!