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Tree on houseMost Americans don't give much thought to earthquakes and earthquake insurance. News reports about tremors, tremblors and quakes are becoming more and more frequent, so it may be worth learning the basics so good decisions can be made.

Every state in the country has experienced an earthquake at some time and thirty-nine states have suffered at least one major earthquake. Here's a fact that might surprise you: earthquakes affect almost five million Americans every year.

Earthquakes have been recorded as far back as 1737 and in August 2011, an earthquake was felt by millions of Americans in what is normally considered a non-active area. In 2014, some states experienced hundreds of tremors greater than 3.0 on the Richter scale.

So, what are the basics about earthquake insurance?

This kind of insurance is not automatically included in homeowner, homeowner association or business insurance policies. Like flood insurance, you need to purchase it separately or add it to an existing policy. There are some particular issues to discuss with your independent insurance agent, and those things do vary upon where you live.

The obvious question is how much cover is available and for what cost? And if your home or business property is currently under-insured, does that negatively impact the amount of earthquake coverage you can get?

When you do look at specific policies, check to see if the coverage includes the building's foundation, basement, structure and interior. Find out if personal items such as computers, glassware, and televisions are covered. And what about things like brick veneer on the side of a building?

A new issue to check on is hydraulic fracturing, what most of us call fracking. Legislators and insurance companies are looking carefully into the issue of earthquakes that might be caused by human activity. It may be important to know if a particular policy includes or excludes tremors that might be caused by fracking. If they are included, are there any specific exceptions you need to be aware of?

There's a lot to think about when it comes to earthquake insurance, so contact your agent for personalized assistance today!

We’re here to help. Call Corbett & Associates Insurance Agency at (805) 496-1424 for more information on Thousand Oaks earthquake insurance.

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