Montana earthquake insurance policyholders are few and far between

Residents of the state are cleaning up after having experienced a 5.8-magnatude quake last week.

Montana earthquake insurance has been a subject of discussion for the first time in a very long time as residents pick up after last week’s quake. Homeowners and business owners find themselves looking into their policies to see what type of damage is and is not covered when the ground rocks.

In a state where earthquakes – particularly strong ones – rarely happen, insurance companies are getting inquiries.

Agents say that they are receiving inquiries about Montana earthquake insurance. This is a coverage that doesn’t typically concern homeowners and business owners in the state as it is not traditionally prone to earthquakes. However, as floors shook, walls rattled and objects fell off shelves, Montana residents are suddenly curious about what type of protection they have from their policies.

Most agents are getting calls about Montana earthquake insurance coverage within standard policies.

montana earthquake insuranceFor instance, property owners want to know if their standard homeowners insurance coverage will pay if a well pipe breaks. What many western Montana residents are now discovering is that the vast majority of them don’t have any coverage against earthquakes at all. This type of protection simply is not commonplace within the state.

After all, last week’s quake had a 5.8 magnitude and was the worst tremor the region had experienced in over sixty years. Many of the insurance agents currently fielding calls from consumers have never had to deal with questions about earthquakes in their careers. Those who have are experienced with only one or two other times at the most.

It is estimated that less than 1 percent of western Montana residents have earthquake insurance. That said, as geologists have been pointing out since the tremor, residents of Montana are fault lines, which means that this type of thing will happen sooner or later.

The issue is that Montana earthquake insurance is not automatically included in homeowners coverage. Moreover, the coverage is not cheap. Furthermore, the deductible is typically 10 to 25 percent of a house. On a $200,000 home, that means the lowest deductible would be $20,000. As residents of Montana rarely experience earthquakes, they don’t tend to think that type of expensive coverage is worth the high cost.

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