No state has more evidence of the power of geological forces than Arizona. While the Grand Canyon shows the awesome ability of glacially slow geological forces of running water to carve deep crevasses, it has also faced the abrupt and unexpected affects of shifting tectonic plates and the trembling results of earthquakes. From the incredibly slow to the sudden, Arizona faces all types of natural geological wonders. Does your insurance policy cover these events?
Before you search for quotes on earthquake insurance, there are several factors to consider.
According to the United States Geological Survey:
Earthquake insurance is a form of property insurance that pays the policyholder in the event of an earthquake that causes damage to the property. Most ordinary Arizona homeowners insurance policies do not cover earthquake loss.
Too many residents in earthquake-affected areas think they could rely on Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds should their home or business be significantly damaged or destroyed by tremors. Affected homeowners may qualify for low-interest loans offered by FEMA through the Small Business Administration. But these loans are not free money; homeowners are obligated to pay them back, and they are entered in your personal net worth statement as a liability, offsetting an equal amount of assets.
With earthquake insurance, you are not obligated to repay the reimbursement you receive for covered damages.
With advances in seismic monitoring equipment, today we have more warnings of advancing earthquakes and tremors. However, there are steps you can take to mitigate your loss long before the next quake strikes Arizona.
If you are inside when an earthquake hits Arizona, stay inside and get under a heavy table or desk. Stay away from windows. Do not evacuate the building unless emergency personnel direct you to leave.
If you are outside, get away from buildings and power lines, and remember that stone and masonry facings can break loose and fall away from upper parts of buildings.
If you are in a car, stop safely away from structures, large trees, power lines, and other hazards. Stay inside the vehicle.
Also keep in mind:
Earthquake insurance provides coverage if your home is damaged by an earthquake. Standard homeowner and renters policies will not cover earthquake damage. Earthquake insurance is a separate endorsement you must buy and add to your homeowner or renters policy.
An earthquake endorsement generally excludes damages or losses from floods and tidal waves – even when caused or compounded by an earthquake. However, if you experience a loss due to a landslide, settlement, mudflow, or the rising, sinking and contracting of earth, your endorsement may cover it if the damage resulted from an earthquake.
There are several options to consider when purchasing earthquake insurance from Arizona insurance providers, including:
Deductibles for earthquake endorsements are often much higher than for your traditional homeowners insurance policy.
Fortunately, Arizona is not California, where earthquake endorsement quotes are the highest, as that state experiences the most seismic activity.
Homes that are located directly over or near a known fault line have the highest risk of damage, and policies for these homeowners often come with high premiums.
There are ways that these homeowners can reduce their costs and find lower quotes. Homes that are made of wood generally cost less to insure than those made of brick. This is because wood-constructed homes are more flexible and can better withstand the jarring motions caused by an earthquake. Homeowners can often receive lower quotes by retrofitting their homes to make them better able to withstand an earthquake. This can be done by securing the structure to the foundation and installing a sprinkler system in the home.
Be sure to compare several quotes from a variety of Arizona insurance providers, as deductibles for earthquake endorsements can cary widely -- anywhere from twp percent of the home's value, up to 20 percent. A higher deductible will yield lower quotes, but you want to be sure the deductible you choose is one that you could afford to pay should you need to file a claim.
The last thing you want to worry about as you lead your family to safety during an earthquake is whether or not your insurance policy provides sufficient coverage for the damage occurring around you.
Knowledgeable, independent insurance agents on the Trusted Choice network are always available to answer your questions, suggest coverage options, and even assist you in filing a claim. These agents have years of experience working with Arizona insurance companies, enabling them to find you several quotes with only the best coverage at the most affordable rates. Contact a Trusted Choice agent near you to find out how you can find an earthquake insurance endorsement that fits your needs and budget.