The state of Washington is no stranger to earthquakes. Located on the Pacific Coast, the Evergreen state has numerous earthquakes every year. However, when a large earthquake hits, many residents, renters and home owners are caught unprepared. Earthquake insurance is one crucial way to get the extra liability insurance that will allow you peace of mind, knowing that when an earthquake occurs, your home and assets in WA are covered.
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WA Earthquake Facts
- More than 1,000 earthquakes occur in WA every year.
- During the past 125 years, Washington has had over 20 damaging earthquakes.
- The Nisqually earthquake in 2001 injured more than 900 people and caused over $500 million in damages.
In such a seismically active state, it's a wise idea to consider earthquake insurance when purchasing or renting a home. Many home owners and renters believe that earthquake insurance is include in their insurance policies; however, this is usually not true. An earthquake insurance policy must be purchased separately.
What is Earthquake Insurance?
Earthquake insurance is a policy specifically designed to offer you coverage against some of the damages that occur during and after an earthquake. A typical earthquake insurance policy in WA may offer the following:
- Dwelling: This portion of the policy provides coverage for your home and any attached structures.
- Detached structures: This coverage usually applies to detached structures, such as shops, pool houses or detatched garages.
- Contents: Some home owners decide that they'd like coverage for their personal belongings in case of an earthquake. This can cover those assets.
Be aware that many earthquake insurance policies are not available shortly after an earthquake. Also, earthquake insurance may cover sinkholes, tremors and mudslides. Some lending institutions may require you to purchase earthquake insurance, so be sure to ask your lender prior to purchase.
How Much Is an Earthquake Insurance Quote in WA?
The cost of earthquake insurance varies depending on a number of contributing factors. When shopping online for earthquake insurance, make sure to be familiar with the following:
- Location of home
- Building materials used in construction of home
- Number of levels in home
- Whether water heater and other items are strapped down in home
- If electrical/plumbing is up to code
- Desired deductibles
- Desired coverages
All of these factors, plus many more, will be used to determine your individual policy quote for earthquake insurance.
Earthquake Safety Tips
Whether you're a new transplant to Washington, or are a long-time resident of the state, it's important to be familiar with earthquake safety:
- Remember: drop, cover and hold. When you feel an earthquake, find a place under a desk or a table away from windows and shelving that may fall. Hold on, and move with the item you are holding onto.
- Never go outside during an earthquake.
- If you are outside during an earthquake, move away from anything that can fall, including signs, power lines and trees.
- Establish a safety plan with your family, and practice it.
- Have an out-of area-contact that you can call in case of an earthquake. Have this be the main point of contact for your family in case you get separated during or after an earthquake.
- If you are in a vehicle during an earthquake, slowly pull off to the side of the road, away from signs, trees and power lines, and cover your head and neck until the shaking stops.
Nobody expects an earthquake, which is why being prepared is so essential.
Are There Discounts Available on Earthquake Insurance in Washington?
There may be discounts available on earthquake insurance. However, there are many other ways to save on your earthquake insurance policy. For instance, wood homes tend to have lower earthquake insurance rates than brick homes, since wood tends to be more flexible than brick.
Additionally, you can raise your deductibles or modify your coverage to save on an earthquake insurance policy.
Obtaining Earthquake Insurance in WA Is Simple
When it comes to protecting your home and assets from the damages of an earthquake, it's important to have a professional by your side who is familiar with the area and risks, and is committed to helping you find the right coverage at the right price. A Trusted Choice® agent is always available to help you find coverages, suggest policy modifications, or even help you file a claim.