Contrary to popular belief, San Diego property insurance (aka homeowner’s insurance) does not provide protection for damages caused by an earthquake. Individuals who would like this added protection will need to purchase a special policy or endorsement that covers earthquake losses because earthquakes are specifically excluded from all forms of home insurance.
With the recent 6.1 earthquake in the San Francisco Bay Area, there has been much talk about earthquake insurance. Before you decide to go another day without this particular type of coverage, here are three things that you should know as you compare coverage limits and prices:
Premiums Are Based on Your Level of Risk
– Insurance is all about risk, even when you are buying specialty plans. If you are buying protection against earthquakes, the risks considered will be based on your geography and whether you are in a high-risk zone. The closer you are to a fault line, the higher your premiums will be. The age and construction of your home will also play a factor in determining your eligibility and rates. Frame homes often have lower rates than masonry homes, and older homes built before earthquake codes have higher rates than their counterparts.
Not Everyone’s Coverage Needs Are the Same
– Earthquake policies provide three different types of protection: Dwelling, Personal Property and Loss of Use. You should consider both your budget and your needs when you are selecting which level of coverage is appropriate for you. Most will select an adequate dwelling limit and a low property limit to keep premiums low. Be sure to assess the value of property that will likely be damaged in an earthquake before you low ball your cover. You should also be aware of the fact that your deductibles will be extremely high with this type of plan.
Buy Coverage from a Stable Carrier
– You should be careful when you buy earthquake cover because claims are typically filed when a catastrophic loss has occurred. With so many different households likely to file claims at the same time you do, it is important to choose a financially stable San Diego insurer with the money to pay claims. Check the A.M Best ranking of any agency that you are considering before you purchase coverage.
Earthquakes can cause billions of dollars of damage in just seconds. Make sure you consult the hazard maps to see if you are in a high risk area and consider your financial situation. If you could not pay to repair damage and replace belongings with your own money, it may be in your interests to buy even minimal protection.
For more information about homeowner’s insurance in San Diego, please visit our website at www.americantristarinsurance.com or contact an expert insurance agent directly at 619-272-2100. We offer free quotes and are more than happy to help you find the appropriate coverage for your individual needs.