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Do You Need To Worry About Earthquakes?

Many people feel that earthquakes are the domain of California, but the reality is that fault lines crisscross the county, impacting more than 39 states. While the largest quakes do tend to hit California, there have been other quakes that have caused damage and loss of life in other states as well.

Earthquakes are a natural phenomenon and much more common than people may believe. There is an earthquake every 30 seconds and while most of them are small, you never know if the next one is going to be ‘the big one.’

How Earthquakes Work?

There are faults that go throughout the United States. They are made of two plates that occasionally will shift and move. When these plates build up energy and finally release, the result is an earthquake. The more pressure built up, the larger the earthquake. The quakes can cause serious damage, leveling buildings and cracking streets. There is little that anyone - even the most informed scientists - can do to predict when these large quakes will occur. Many times the quakes take the area by surprise and there is little preparation time involved before it hits.

Should I Be Insured?

When a major earthquake hit, the damage can be truly devastating. Entire homes and neighborhoods can be leveled and the damage can run in to the billions. On the other hand, many times the quakes are only minor and leave little or no damage in their wake. 

People who don't live in areas prone to major earthquakes tend to shrug off earthquake insurance as unnecessary, but it only takes one time for everything to crumble. Would you hesitate about getting insurance to protect your home from fire, even though you know the odds of that happening are slim?

If you live in an area that is prone to small earthquakes, then you might want to make the investment. As an act of God, earthquakes are not covered by standard homeowner insurance and the small cost of adding it to your coverage makes is a worthwhile investment. The more likely your home being involved in an earthquake, the higher your insurance premium will be. 

How Many People Have Coverage?

According to the New York Times, typical earthquake policies cover the structure of the home, the contents and any living arrangement that must be made in the interim. You would think that in a state such as California almost every resident would have earthquake insurance, but the reality is only twelve percent of policy holders carry the coverage.

That number goes up considerably in the wake of an earthquake. The earthquake and devastation is front and center in people's minds, causing them to see it as a worthwhile investment. After several years without a major earthquake, the mentality shifts and people don't feel the coverage is necessary.

Ultimately, the decision to choose earthquake coverage is a personal one. Review the likelihood of earthquake occurrences where you live, the cost of coverage and your budget to help you make a decision.

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