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Homeowners Insurance: Earthquake Coverage?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by OldDog52, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. Yes

    5 vote(s)
  2. No

    7 vote(s)
  3. No, but my 10 acre carrot patch is insured by Lloyds of London

    4 vote(s)
  1. OldDog52

    OldDog52 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    My homeowners policy premium increased by 25% this year. I’ve never filed a claim. Inflation is minuscule. Nothing has changed. This seems ridiculous.

    Now, I do have earthquake coverage. This is the Cascadia Subduction Zone, said to be high-risk for a major earthquake. Earthquake coverage is very expensive and has a very high deductible, meaning there would have to be several tens of thousands of dollars in earthquake damage to the structure to even file a claim.

    If I dump earthquake coverage, and bundle with my auto policy, I can cut the annual h.o. premium by 60%, with slightly higher coverage limits too.

    As usual I turn to the bassist community for advice.
  2. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Do you have PEMCO by chance?
    Our auto insurance went up nearly that much. No claims, no traffic violations, no bad credit, no events we could think of to negatively impact our premiums.
    When I called to ask why, they told me it was a company wide thing and many people saw increases like ours.
    After 15+ years, we said goodbye and moved to Progressive.

    OldDog52 and yodedude2 like this.
  3. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    do you feel lucky?
    rendevouz, HeavyDuty and OldDog52 like this.
  4. OldDog52

    OldDog52 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Farmers. They did the same thing to my auto policy a few years ago. No claims, no accidents, no tickets, no change in credit score. Yet insane premium increases. I switched to Progressive and as they say, saved a bundle. This new h.o. policy would also be through Progressive (actually they do h.o. policies through an affiliate but I don't really care who the insurer is).
  5. foal30


    Dec 3, 2007
    New Zealand
    As someone who has had their house broken by an earthquake I would strongly reccomend having EQ insurance.
    HeavyDuty and OldDog52 like this.
  6. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    I live in LA within 10 miles of one fault line and 25 miles of another. When Earthquake insurance became available again... I bought it. It is expensive with a high deductible but I'm hoping that the company will come through and help me rebuild my house and help me with my housing costs while I wait when the bigg'un hits.... next year, or the year after that, or 5 years from now...

    Try shopping around? Did you ask your agent why it went up? Maybe there's a lot more burglaries in your neighborhood now? I thought you always had to add earthquake insurance as a separate policy and it's not part of your home owner's policy. Here, in CA, there's an "earthquake authority" that provides the policies and it's run by a consortium of insurance companies so that no one company goes bankrupt like last time. The consortium makes the policy and its costs very transparent so my agent is just an order taker in this case.

    Whether it's worth it to you to buy earthquake insurance? As you said, you are in a high risk zone. Could you afford to rebuild or move without selling your house if it were devastated? I thought it was money well spent, but everyone's situation is different.
    OldDog52 likes this.
  7. foal30


    Dec 3, 2007
    New Zealand
    This is not say the Insurance process will be fair or even honoured but living where you do it would seem a peculiar choice to not insure/safeguard.
    OldDog52 likes this.
  8. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    I have worked for the insurance industry; many different companies. Not all of them are honest or fair. IME, which one provides your coverage and determines the cost for the coverage is more than important... it's critical if you want to get a check when you place a claim.
    yodedude2 and OldDog52 like this.
  9. No insurance and a quake in a subduction zone would have you going doubly under.

    A lot of old house foundations got mashed in Christchurch and insurance tried to call it pre existing degradation. A lot of the rest got a plaster over job and now falling apart.
    OldDog52 likes this.
  10. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    As expected... lots of corruption all through the process... claim adjusters, claim processors, construction contractors, city inspectors... the list is endless. It's a lot of work to get what's owed you. The first step is ensure that you're working with honest, competent people in the beginning, and then all along the way. The worst is the city inspectors because if they're corrupt, it's really tough to remedy, IME.
    yodedude2 and OldDog52 like this.
  11. OldDog52

    OldDog52 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    In Oregon, earthquake coverage is through the primary insurer. In my case that’s currently Farmers. Some insurers don’t even offer e.q. coverage at all. Progressive’s affiliate with the cheap quote doesn’t offer it. If there’s even minor earthquake activity in the area, insurers who do offer it can put a moratorium on issuing any new e.q. policies until such time as they decide to resume it. Or they might not resume it at all.

    My house would have to sustain >$30K in direct e.q. damage in order to file a claim. That’s a lot of repair.
  12. twinjet

    twinjet GE90-equipped Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    I don't have it. May not be a bad idea. My residence is within walking distance of a place called Earthquake Park. We have not had a large earthquake since 1964, however. Makes me wonder when it's due next.
  13. What is the construction?
    What is your underlying soil?
    How far are you from the nearest known fault?
    Does it have a return period?
    What magnitude?
  14. OldDog52

    OldDog52 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    1. Wood frame on concrete foundation. Sloping lot.
    2. Soil is clay
    3. Basically the entire state west of I-5 is at high risk. See map - The Cadcadia fault runs along the coast. Risk increases from east to west by color zones as you get nearer to the fault line.
    4. I don’t know what that means. The last large earthquake from Cascadia occurred in 1700. Typically, this zone has a large earthquake every 200 to 530 years. Scientists expect another one to occur, but when exactly it will happen is impossible to determine, according to the researchers.
    5. 9.0+ predicted
  15. toowrongfoo


    Nov 25, 2017
    I kinda have to have it in cali. Sucks, but at least I don't have to have flood coverage.
  16. blastoff99

    blastoff99 Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    SW WA, USA
    Although my house is built like a fortress, it does not qualify for earthquake coverage. The cost of retrofitting it so that it would be eligible for coverage probably exceeds 50% of its value. In other words, it is not feasibly done.
  17. Wood frame good, but what about the rest?
    Slope bad. Things want to wander under accelerations.
    Dry slope better than wet slope.
    Clay not as bad for liquifaction as silt when wet.
    Return period is what you said. 300 to 500 years give or take. Reasonably likely to go bang in the next 50 years. Entirely likely to go bang in the next 300 years. But most of the fault is quite far away.

    I think if you got a taste of a 9 roughly west of you then there would be a wonky house frame somewhere down the hill a bit. It would need tearing down and starting over.
  18. A fortress of stone blocks stacked up becomes a pile of rubble. Choose your fortress carefully.
  19. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    My house is in most peril from a blind thrust fault some 10 miles north but I don't have EQ insurance. A lot of companies won't even insure it due to its age (1922) and lack of seismic retrofits. I figure it's survived nearly a century of some gnarly earthquakes so I'm willing to roll the dice.

    How does @Munjibunga weigh in on the subject?
    Downunderwonder likes this.
  20. foal30


    Dec 3, 2007
    New Zealand
    One would assume the ex-Minister in charge of this mess, I mean rebuild, would be in front of the court

    However as its NZ it's all she'll be right mate.
    OldDog52 likes this.

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