Indonesia, Haiti, New Zealand, now Japan… Are you ready for the Big One?

We have had several major Earthquakes around the world the past three years, and the USGS has predicted an 80% chance of a 6.0 or larger earthquake will hit northern California within the next 30 years, or for most of us, sometime in our lifetime. There is a 60% chance of that Earthquake happening in the Bay Area. It’s not IF, but WHEN the big one will happen!

California houses two-thirds of the nation’s earthquake risk, with most residents living within 30 miles of a major fault. But just 12 percent of homes with fire insurance also have earthquake coverage. This is particularly ironic considering our Home, for most or us, is our largest asset. Buying auto, homeowners and life insurance is considered a normal part of our insurance portfolio, yet most of us consider it an acceptable risk to leave our largest asset unprotected from this inevitable peril. 

What would happen if a major Earthquake occurs and you do not have earthquake coverage? Many believe the government will assist those devastated by this eventuality. But Federal disaster relief has historically been to offer low interest SBA loans to eligible homeowner’s and businesses, to repair or replace damaged property.

This is additional debt that you will be adding to your current mortgage which you are still be responsible for. The maximum SBA personal property loan is $40,000 and the maximum SBA real property loan for primary home repair is $200,000. FEMA disaster grants are available to those who do not qualify for a loan, but the average grant is less than $15,000, and the maximum is $26,200. Would that rebuild your home in the Bay Area? It can be argued that it is even more important for those with less resources to invest in Earthquake Insurance.  

Along with your earthquake kit, (which should include camping gear, water, food and cash, all of which may be difficult to access if the big one hits); you should give strong consideration to adding an Earthquake policy to your Insurance portfolio. As recent events have served to remind us, we live in an area that has seen, and will see again, this type of calamity. It’s a wise investment in your peace of mind.

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Related posts:

  1. Earthquake Preparedness is Important! How are you protecting you home?
  2. What are my options with Home Owners Insurance and how do I figure out what I need?
  3. The Difference between Homeowners and Landlord Insurance

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