According to the U.S. Geological Survey Survey’s (USGS) latest report, nearly half of Americans across 48 states are at risk for damage from an earthquake. 90 percent of Americans live in areas considered seismically active.
Yet, the Insurance Information Institute estimates just a quarter of all homeowners in earthquake-prone areas have earthquake insurance.
Why is that?
For one thing, it is a common misconception that earthquake coverage is provided in a homeowners’ (or business property, for that matter) insurance policy. It is not. Rather, earthquake insurance is typically an endorsement to be purchased and added to a homeowner, renter, or business policy.
Secondly, unless you or a loved one has already been affected by an earthquake, it is simply not a risk we often think about. Especially for those who live in the Hudson Valley region and Tri-State Area, when we consider seismic activity in the U.S., we immediately turn our attention to California and the San Andreas Fault. You would be wrong, however, to assume that you are in the clear.
In 1884, Brooklyn was rattled by a 5.2 magnitude earthquake, destroying roofs and toppling chimneys in New York City. Felt as far away as Maine and New Hampshire, the earthquake, which originated near the Ramapo Fault Zone, served as a wake-up call for residents. The Ramapo Fault Zone (pictured above) runs through Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Orange and Rockland Counties of New York. Many seismologists are claiming that this fault has the potential to produce a major earthquake in the coming years, with the potential to bring about severe structural damage throughout the Tri-State Area.
Earthquake insurance serves as a crucial tool in transferring the risk of earthquake damage and funding recovery efforts for your home or place of business. There are several options to consider when purchasing earthquake insurance:
- What, if any, are the exclusions or limitations in coverage?
- What is the deductible?
- Does the policy cover only your home (or business)? Are other structures included?
- Does your policy pay for the contents of your home, or for additional living expenses if your home is badly damaged or destroyed?
For more information on earthquake insurance, contact your neighborhood independent agents at 845-986-1177. We are your business, home, auto, and life insurance solutions provider, partner, and adviser, serving Warwick, Greenwood Lake, Florida, Goshen, Pine Island, Middletown, Chester, Monroe, Newburgh, Orange County, and the Hudson Valley and Tri-State Area.