What you should know about earthquake insurance

The recent New Yorker magazine article "The REALLY Big One" has a lot of people asking about earthquake insurance.

Remember the basic homeowner's policy does not provide earthquake coverage. You have to buy a separate policy for that.

Earthquake insurance isn't cheap and as State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler notes, the deductible can be high.

"It can be as much as a 25 percent deductible, so if you have major damage from an earthquake that does not exceed 25 percent of the value of your home, your insurance won't even kick in," he explained.

Kreidler's not trying discourage you from getting earthquake insurance. He knows that the damage from a major quake could be considerable. He just wants to make sure people understand what they're buying and what it's going to cover.

He advises homeonwers to ask themselves this question: Can I afford to rebuild my house if I don't have earthquake insurance?

Kreidler suggests contacting your insurance company and have them run the numbers for you.

You'll find information about Earhquake insurance on the State Insurance Commission's website.

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