08/26/11

Is it time to consider earthquake coverage?

Earthquakes and California go together. Or at least that’s what most of the country thought until Tuesday’s East Coast earthquake centered in Virginia.

Reports of the earth moving were widespread, coming from New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Georgia. Even a few came from as far away as Chicago.

Although no news of significant damage emerged, such a widespread impact raises questions about preparedness and insurance coverage. That’s  because earthquake damage is not covered under standard homeowners or business insurance policies.

These policies typically exclude damage from earth movement such as earthquakes and sinkholes, said Chris Hackett, director of personal lines policies for Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, a trade group. However, it is common for property insurance to cover a fire that might be the result of an earthquake. Homeowners should read know the exclusions in their policies.

Read more