In North Carolina, there is a gradual increase in elevation from east to west, beginning at sea level on the Atlantic coast and rising to almost 7000 feet at the peak of Mount Mitchell, the highest point in the eastern half of the U.S. There is a corresponding increase in earthquake activity from east to west. Many NC residents wonder about whether or not they need to add North Carolina earthquake insurance.
Earthquake insurance is not usually included in your homeowners or renters insurance policy, which means if you want this coverage, you must purchase it separately. A local independent insurance agent in our network can help. These professionals can answer your questions and provide several North Carolina earthquake insurance quotes to compare. Contact a local member agent today for assistance.
North Carolina Earthquake History
While North Carolina is not typically perceived as a center of earthquake activity, there is great concern among scientists that the possibilities for an increase loom large.
- Recently, the mid-Atlantic states were shaken from a 5.8 quake centered near the Washington D.C. area.
- In September 1970, an intensity V earthquake shook Boone and Zionville.
- In March 1958, an intensity V shock near Wilmington caused moderate structural damage.
- In July 1926, in intensity VI quake created significant damage in Mitchell County.
As drilling and especially fracking increases, those who study the effects of displacing underground rock formations are sounding warnings that these activities may be associated with an increase in earthquakes. Keep in mind that while the eastern part of the state resides in an "insignificant loss intensity" earthquake region, the western part graduates to a moderately high zone.
Are You Currently Protected Against Earthquakes?
Most homeowners insurance policies specifically exclude earthquakes as well as flooding. The good news is that adding extra insurance for earthquakes is relatively simple and inexpensive in NC compared to coverage for those in Alaska and California. In the event of an earthquake, here are some of the options for North Carolina earthquake insurance coverage:
- Dwelling: This covers damage to the complete structure including attached garages and additions.
- Detached structures: This usually pertains to garages or storage sheds on the defined property.
- Contents: Some homeowners also want to protect some or all belongings and personal possessions. Antique furniture may be a specific concern.
Remember that earthquake insurance often provides protection from damage due to mudslides, tremors, and sinkholes. It is also a good idea to find out about extra liability insurance for your home at the same time.
Types of Homes Most at Risk
The age and structure of your home will play important roles in determining the cost of your North Carolina earthquake insurance. Typically, brick structures are more likely to sustain damage, as there is little flexibility in the building materials. Still, most foundations are built from concrete, masonry products, or rock held together with cement, so they can be at risk for damage after a quake of any magnitude.
Newer homes, especially those in higher-risk regions are built to withstand moderate earthquake activity. Older homes can be modified to some extent to improve the stability of the house. Your agent can help you pinpoint the improvements that will help your home withstand earthquakes, and could help you earn discounts on your homeowners and earthquake insurance coverage.
Where to Find North Carolina Earthquake Insurance Quotes
North Carolina is one of 42 states that have experienced a magnitude 3.5 or greater earthquake since 1975. Even earthquakes of that size can cause structural and physical damage that is not addressed in a standard homeowners insurance policy. There is so much variation in the location of NC homes, the building materials, and the ages of the homes that it is difficult to estimate the cost to add this coverage. Since you can also set different deductible levels, the job is even more complex.
When you locate your independent agent, you are actually in contact with a number of different insurance firms. Your agent will develop a portfolio of North Carolina earthquake insurance quotes for you to compare. You will have a sound basis for a decision that can save your property from catastrophe.
Find a local agent today.