For years, homeowners and businesses in Ohio haven’t been too worried about the damaging effects caused by an earthquake. After all, most earthquakes that occur in Ohio aren’t even felt. But the magnitude 5.8 earthquake that hit Virginia last week is a wake-up call for many to reconsider their beliefs about earthquake coverage.
The fact is, damage caused by an earthquake is NOT covered on the standard homeowners policy or the standard property policy protecting most businesses. Unless you added earthquake coverage to your policy, you’re on your own when it comes to paying for the damages.
Most people believe they can’t afford to add earthquake coverage to their homeowners or business insurance policy, but the fact is, the coverage is very affordable mostly because earthquakes rarely strike Ohio hard enough to cause significant damage. For example, the cost to add earthquake coverage to a house insured for $350,000 can be as little as $50 per year. Not too bad considering the extensive damage that can be caused by the shaking & cracking of an earthquake.
According to Jeanne M. Salvatore, senior vice president of Public Affairs and consumer spokesperson for the Insurance Information Institute, “Everyone, no matter where they live, should contact their agent or company representative to make sure that they have the right type and amount of insurance. All Americans also need to have an up-to-date home inventory; an evacuation plan; and to protect their home from the disasters that pose a risk to their personal safety and property.”
While you might not be concerned about an earthquake hitting Ohio in the near future, it’s still a good idea to look into the cost to add this coverage to your policy. Even if you decide the price is too high, at least you will have made an informed decision. We certainly don’t want an earthquake to damage your house or your business and have you learn after the fact that there’s no coverage.
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If you have questions or concerns about earthquake insurance, we stand ready to help guide you through your options.