Virginia officials are urging residents to check their home insurance policies to ensure they have protection against earthquakes. The initiative comes as a new law takes effect, which will force insurance companies to disclose what their various policies do not offer coverage for. State officials are hoping that residents will be proactive in finding out what coverage they may lacking and take steps to rectify the problem before they fall victim to a devastating natural disaster.
According to the State Corporation Commission’s Bureau of Insurance, many Virginia residents do not have earthquake insurance. This type of coverage is not typically included with homeowner’s policies in the state. Though earthquakes are not exceptionally common in Virginia as they are in West Coast states, these natural disasters are still somewhat common. The lack of coverage could put consumers in a very risky situation, financially speaking, as they would be entirely liable for any damage caused by an earthquake.
Beginning in 2013, Virginia homeowners will be receiving a notice from their insurance provider regarding whether they are have protection from earthquakes. Those receiving these notices will also be informed that they will have to purchase earthquake protection as a separate policy from their homeowners insurance. This will also apply to homeowners who do have earthquake protection and are renewing their policies on or after January 1, 2013. State officials will continue encouraging residents to purchase earthquake insurance for the sake of their protection and that of their homes.
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