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Earthquake Coverage – Not for Californians Only
 

Invariably, when the subject of earthquakes comes up, all eyes turn westward.  The San Andreas Fault Line has been the recipient of much of the press concerning earthquakes for some time, and predictions concerning the ultimate cataclysm believed by many to eventually be centered there have given it a mythical stature unrivalled by fault lines elsewhere in the country. 

Nonetheless, California does not have a monopoly on earthquakes. The New Madrid Fault Line, centered in Missouri, has been cited by the U.S. Geological Survey as being a potential source of significant earthquake activity.  The USGS also notes that earthquakes in the central and eastern parts of the US typically have a broader range than their western counterparts.  One such quake along the New Madrid Fault Line in 1811 rang church bells as far away as Boston, Massachusetts, about 1,000 miles away from the epicenter!  More recently, in April 2003, a quake measuring 4.9 on the Richter Scale hit Alabama.  A year earlier, a slightly more powerful quake hit Plattsburgh, NY.   In January 2002, a 5.0 quake hit Evansville, Indiana.  These quakes all shook neighboring states and caused significant damage to businesses, homes and infrastructure in and around their epicenters.

While none of these quakes equaled, for example, the intensity and resulting damage caused by the Northridge Earthquake of 1994, they do serve to support the notion that it may be beneficial to consider adding earthquake coverage to your property policy even if you are not located in close proximity to a known fault line. 

Since earthquake insurance is generally an elective coverage, it would be wise, especially if you have not taken a look at your policy recently, to do a quick review to determine whether or not it is a covered peril.  Also, look at any scheduled property endorsements or personal property floaters to see if specific items are covered for earthquake-related damage regardless of whether or not the earthquake coverage endorsement has been purchased.   If the answer is “no” to any of these questions and you would like to obtain a quotation for coverage, contact your agent for details.

It is also worth noting that, should an earthquake cause damage that is either:

a)      not covered because you elected not to purchase coverage

b)      within the policy deductible, retention, or co-insurance amount, or

c)      is in excess of the coverage you purchased

the loss may be tax deductible.  Check out the IRS website at www.irs.gov for details or consult with your tax advisor.  


 

 
 

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Jerry Brunson Insurance Agency
1726A General George Patton Drive
Brentwood TN 37027
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Important Note: This website provides only a simplified description of coverages and is not a statement of contract. Coverage may not apply in all states. For complete details of coverages, conditions, limits and losses not covered, be sure to read the policy, including all endorsements.

   

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