RECENT NAPA EARTHQUAKE IS A REMINDER TO CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS, EARTHQUAKE INSURANCE IS WORTH THE PREMIUM
According to the New York Times, the latest Napa, California earthquake devastated many state residents with expensive damage to their homes and loss of meaningful possessions. While many of those residents have a homeowner’s insurance policy, not enough of them had earthquake coverage. (New York Times, After Napa Jolt, Quake-Proofing Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy, August 29, 2014)
“Whether it’s an earthquake, a flood, or a fire, natural disasters can affect more than just property and homes, they can have a resonating impact on lives and livelihoods as well,” says Frank N. Darras, the nation’s top insurance lawyer. “Strong insurance policies provide for unforeseen circumstances, so make sure all your paperwork and policies are in order, when it comes to you and your family because life has a way of throwing the unforeseeable in our path.”
According to a press release on the Insurance Institute website, it is reported that the percentage of homeowners and renters who have earthquake coverage in Napa is less than six percent. In Sonoma, the percentage is less than 10 percent. About 10 percent of Californians have a residential earthquake insurance policy.* (Insurance Information Institute, August 24 Napa Earthquake Rivaled Intensity of California’s 1989 And 1994 Quakes, August 25, 2014)
The New York Times quotes CEO of the California Earthquake Authority, Glenn Pomeroy saying, “California Earthquake Authority policies commonly have a deductible of 10 or 15 percent of a home’s replacement value. So if your home were insured for $400,000 and your deductible was 10 percent, damage would have to total at least $40,000 before the policy paid out. If your home were destroyed, he noted, you wouldn’t need to come up with the deductible out of pocket to receive a claim payment. Some policies offer a separate deductible for your belongings.”
(New York Times, After Napa Jolt, Quake-Proofing Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy, August 29, 2014)
“These earthquakes and the resulting loss of homes and possessions is absolutely heartbreaking,” comments Frank N. Darras. “It is going to be a struggle for many California residents to rebuild as well as reacquire previous possessions like clothing or furniture. I know it’s hard to anticipate when natural disasters are going to strike but that’s why insurance is so valuable. Even though you do have to pay those premiums, your home will be covered for the next earthquake.”
Localized natural disasters can vary depending on the location, many homeowners’ insurance policies require separate coverage to insure anything from earthquakes to floods. In a place like California, where many residents of the state reside on or near a fault line, residents will need to arm themselves with earthquake insurance. Sure, it may be expensive but with this latest round of earthquakes, many California homeowners are scrambling to cover the damages, says Darras.
“If you live in an area that suffers from any kind of natural disaster, talk with your insurance agent to make sure you are covered. In many cases, homeowner’s think they are automatically covered or make assumptions about their policy. Don’t make that mistake and talk with an expert about what you can do to keep your home covered during the next catastrophe,” says Darras.
Frank N. Darras is available for interviews and appearances. Contact Robin Nolan at McDavid Public Relations, 919-745-9333.
New York Times, After Napa Jolt, Quake-Proofing Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy, August 29, 2014
Insurance Information Institute, August 24 Napa Earthquake Rivaled Intensity of California’s 1989 And 1994 Quakes, August 25, 2014
*The California Earthquake Authority is a publicly managed, privately funded, not-for-profit organization that provides catastrophe residential earthquake insurance.