When you think about earthquakes in the United States, most people think about California. But earthquakes happen in many other states.
The worst quake in the country was the 1964 Alaskan Earthquake. The first of the New Madrid earthquakes in 1811 were centered just north of Memphis. The first one was so strong, it changed the course of the Mississippi, rang church bells in Boston and woke President and Dolley Madison up in the White House.
Montana, Oregon, Hawaii, and Idaho all had earthquakes in the top 25. Last month, there was an earthquake centered in Millinocket, a small town in northern Maine.
The point here is that everyone needs to look into earthquake insurance.
Premiums and deductibles for earthquake insurance vary wildly from state to state, based on the likelihood and average intensity of quakes.
So, here are the things you need to look at and discuss with your licensed insurance professional:
- Will your insurance pay actual replacement value or market value of your belongings or your house if it is destroyed?
- Will your insurance pay for living expenses such as hotel and restaurants if your house is too damaged for you to stay in?
- Do you need just your home covered? Or are there outbuildings such as sheds, workshops, or garages which should be covered as well?
- Are there limits or exclusions on the policy?
Californians are unique in that they buy their earthquake insurance, whether homeowners or renters, through a public-private partnership called the California Earthquake Authority through a handful of insurance companies. The standard earthquake coverage has a deductible of between 10% and 15%.
Everyone else need only discuss their needs with an insurance professional to see what it is they need to cover.