After the 6.9 magnitude quake shook Northern California, standard policyholders wonder about coverage.
Recent tremors over the last few days have spiked the number of calls that homeowners and earthquake insurance companies have been receiving in order to find out what type of coverage they have and to make sure that they do have protection if the “big one” should strike.
The California quake has received the most attention, but there were two in South Carolina, as well.
Those two rumbles were notably lower than their Californian cousin, at a magnitude of 4.1 on Friday and a magnitude of 3.2 on Sunday as an aftershock. This type of jolt can cause homeowners policyholders to wonder if their properties and possessions are covered by earthquake insurance if damage does occur when the earth shakes below their feet.
No damage was reported after the Californian quake, but earthquake insurance was needed in S.C.
The notably higher magnitude earthquake in California caused no damage or injuries, but in South Carolina, the tremors cracked homes and left them with notable damage, even drawing kitchen cupboards out of their ceiling attachments. Among the main problems that the insurance industry is seeing, yet again, is that many homeowners aren’t realizing that their standard coverage will not protect them against this type of damage.
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While additional coverage is available for many homeowners to purchase, it often is not, particularly in areas that see only the occasional rumbling and not regular occurrences such as in that region of Northern California, near Eureka. Still, both in areas where tremors are commonplace and where they are less frequent, people just don’t seem to think about the damage that these events can cause until it has already happened.
Purchasing earthquake insurance to supplement a standard homeowners policy after a natural disaster has occurred is too late. It must be thought of in advance or it will not provide any protection at all. Moreover, when a tremor has occurred, it is important to note that some new policies will not become effective until a certain amount of time has passed, as insurers will not provide sudden coverage for aftershocks once the ground has already been shaking.