On the heels of a rough hurricane season, the world may be facing a greater increase in earthquakes in the coming new year. In stark contrast to hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and other natural disasters, scientists usually struggle to predict earthquakes, but next year’s models may point toward a sharp uptick in earthquakes of magnitudes greater than 7.0. This threat warrants an urgent call for homeowners and commercial enterprises to review their earthquake insurance coverage as part of their overall earthquake safety preparations.
Residents and businesses should start preparing now for the possibility of strong earthquakes along the west coast, particularly in Oregon, Washington, and California. The Great California ShakeOut website allows residents in all states to register for local hands-on training drills for their communities, schools, businesses, or places of worship.
You can also use the following tips to help prepare for 2018’s potentially powerful earthquakes:
- Secure furniture and other objects that may cause damage or injury during an earthquake. Most pieces of furniture can be secured to the wall using a simple bracket.
- Review “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” procedures with family, particularly children, and employees.
- Stock an emergency kit that provides for at least 2-3 days of supplies, including one gallon of water per person per day, medications, and shelf-stable foods that do not require cooking. You will also want to include a fire extinguisher, a crank-charger for cell phones and other devices, flashlights, and a first aid kit.
- Don’t forget your pets! Set aside food, water, and medication for your furry friends.
- Remember to text family and friends after an earthquake rather than calling. The influx of calls can cause the network to fail, preventing emergency personnel from being able to communicate.
Unlike most other kinds of “weather damage,” earthquakes are not covered in most home and business insurance policies. In California, this lack of coverage came after the 1994 Northridge event. Prior to that catastrophe, home insurance policies were required to included coverage for damages stemming from earthquakes. The Northridge claims ended up far exceeding what the insurance companies could afford, totaling $12.5 billion, an amount higher than the all of the earthquake insurance premiums ever collected. The state then allowed insurance companies to make coverage optional.
Yet up to 80-90% of residents of California do not realize they need additional coverage to be financially prepared. As 2018 approaches, the periodic slowing of the Earth’s rotation matches with previous patterns that demonstrate a higher earthquake risk. Now is the best time for home-and business-owners to review their earthquake preparedness, both physically and financially.
About The Insurance Store
The Insurance Store was created to bring ease and agility to Surplus Lines coverage placement for agents serving commercial and personal lines clients in specific regions throughout the country. We provide a wide variety of packages for hard-to-place products and risks that include earthquakes, floods, hail, and more. To learn more about how we can protect you in the event of an unforeseen event, contact us today at (425) 313-9605.