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Preparing For An Earthquake

Preparing for an Earthquake in Oregon, Washington, and California

While earthquakes are most commonly associated with California, they have occurred in 39 states including Oregon, Washington, and California over the last 100 years, and have inflicted damage in all 50 states. In fact, each year there are about 5,000 earthquakes. The potential cost of earthquakes has been growing because of increasing urban development in seismically active areas and the vulnerability of older buildings which may not have been built or upgraded to current building codes.

Earthquakes are not covered under standard homeowners or business insurance policies. Coverage, however, is available in the form of an endorsement to a home or business insurance policy or as a standalone policy.

Earthquake insurance provides protection from the shaking and cracking that can destroy buildings and personal possessions. Coverage for other kinds of damage that may result from earthquakes, such as fire and water damage due to burst gas and water pipes, is provided by standard home and business insurance policies.

There are generally percentage deductibles for earthquakes. Deductibles can range anywhere from 2 percent to 20 percent of the replacement value of the structure. Insurers in states like Oregon and Washington with higher than average risk of earthquakes, often set minimum deductibles at around 10 percent. In most cases, consumers can request higher deductibles in order to save money on earthquake premiums.

Unlike other disasters such as hurricanes, there are no seasons or warnings for earthquakes. They can happen almost anywhere at anytime. Everyone, no matter, where they live should have a disaster recovery plan which includes securing the right type and amount of insurance.

A few simple steps can help reduce property damage and help protect you and your family from disaster.

Inside the House

  • Anchor bookcases and filing cabinets to nearby walls.
  • Anchor large appliances, such as water heaters, to walls using straps.
  • Install ledge barriers on shelves; place heavy items on lower shelves.
  • Use closed screw-eyes and wire to securely attach pictures and mirrors to the walls.
  • Attach computers and small appliances to desks, tables or countertops.
  • Install latches on drawers and cabinet doors to keep contents from spilling.

The Structure of the House

If the structural elements of your home need reinforcing, you can consider investing in some of the most important and common retrofits:

  • Add anchor bolts or steel plates between your home and its foundation.
  • Brace the inside of your home's cripple wall (the short wood-stud wall between the top of the foundation wall and the first floor)with sheathing.
  • Brace unreinforced chimneys, masonry and concrete walls and foundations.

Fox Insurance Agency

For more tips on protecting your home and family, contact the experts at Fox insurance Agency. .At Fox Insurance, we proudly serve Oregon, Washington, and California, and we would be happy to help you find just the right policy to meet your needs. As an independent agency, we are able to provide quotes from more than one insurance company. We work only with highly recognizable, reputable insurers.

If you are interested in an earthquake insurance quote or policy policy, and live in Oregon or Washington State, contact us today. We would be happy to help you find the right policy for you and your family!

The information in this article was obtained from various sources and is not all inclusive regarding the subject matter. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied. Content provided by Insurance Information Institute.