Fellow Californians: do you buy earthquake insurance? Why and why not?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by DustinLC, May 3, 2005.

  1. DustinLC

    DustinLC Supporting Actor

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    Well, I live in Northern California between San Francisco and Sacremento. Looking at the map of fault lines, you can't really avoid them [​IMG]. I'm in the "safer" area but still there really isn't any "safe" place around here.

    A home owner for 5 years now. I'm starting to think about buying. I went to www.earthquakeauthority.com to get an estimated cost. Pricey of course. About 1K/year. With the rising home owner insurance, property taxes, ect, it'll be a blow!

    How are you guys handling it?
     
  2. Bill Cowmeadow

    Bill Cowmeadow Second Unit

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    Something to think about...

    If you live in an area which becomes devastated by an earthquake and your home along with several hundred more fall down, are you going to want to rebuild in an area where most of the other owners are going to bail because they don't have quake insurance? You might be the only person to rebuild in a 3 to 5 block area!

    also, most California quake insurance has a 25% deductible you will have to come up with.

    And if you bear the expense to rebuild, are you going to be able to sell the property if the surrounding properties are bare foundations?
     
  3. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    If you're talking about the Fairfield/Vacaville area I wouldn't bother. I lived there for a dozen years in the 50's and 60's and what few earthquakes I experienced were no big deal. You might do some research and see just how much damage occurred in that area from the last big SF area quake to see if you think it's worthwhile.

    I now live in Fresno CA, about the most earthquake proof place in CA, don't have earthquake insurance.
     
  4. Alan M

    Alan M Second Unit

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    I live in the northern part of LA county.Been in the same house for 14 years.We have had 1 major quake since I've lived in this house(with no damage to my home).

    To think that its possible to lose my home after all these years because of a quake, and have absolutely nothing to show for it scares me.Even if the insurance only covers 75%,I'll still have more money in my pocket if the worst happens then I would with no insurance.

    Peace of mind may have a cost,but its worth it IMHO.
     
  5. DustinLC

    DustinLC Supporting Actor

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    Bill,

    Good points. I don't believe I live in an area that such a scenerio could happen. Knock on wood [​IMG]. On the other hand, if it's a minor damage, I don't suppose you want to make claim due to the 25% deductible and the possibility of an increase in rate.

    Steve,

    I'm in vallejo, 20miles South-west of Fairfield but it's pretty much the same as far as earthquake safe. It's not located on a major fault line. However, those smaller ones and branched ones are everywhere.


    25% deductible: I thought that to mean if you get 100K insurance money for the house, they only give you 75K. Or do you have to come up with 25K to get 100K.
     
  6. Mort Corey

    Mort Corey Supporting Actor

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    You pay the first 25K but, depending on the policy structure, it's likely you will only get the balance IF you rebuild.

    Another option, if there is major devestation, go outside and kick the incoming gas line and light a match.[​IMG] (Just a joke...not advocating insurance fraud or arson)

    Mort
     
  7. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    My house has risen in value from about $100K to about $600K. I talked to my (fire) insurance agent about this, noting my policy would pay for replacement building up to about $250K, and should I be concerned about this.

    His simple reply was "land doesn't burn".

    The extreme cost of homes here has more to do with land values than anything else. That and the high deductable for earthquake insurance convinced me not to get earthquake insurance. My home - about 10 miles away from the epicenter of the 1989 7.1 quake - has ridden all earthquakes since 1959 with aplomb.
     
  8. DustinLC

    DustinLC Supporting Actor

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    Dennis this what I thought too when I read through my policy. You know all the legal wording of everything just makes it confusing. I'm not sure I understand what part of earthquake damage that will be covered on the regular home owner insurance. When a quake strikes, it's unlikely the house just fall to the ground. I thought through myself at what scenerio that the earthquake insurance will be useful and the only thing I can come up with are major events, like my second floor falls off or the house collapse. And what about if it goes on fire. Wouldn't that be fire insurance coverage?
     
  9. Mort Corey

    Mort Corey Supporting Actor

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    And that's why you always have a book of matches handy [​IMG]
     
  10. DustinLC

    DustinLC Supporting Actor

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    Hey, don't lead me to the dark side [​IMG].

    But seriously....
     
  11. SteveA

    SteveA Supporting Actor

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    Nevertheless, it will probably be worth a little less after the "big one" when it's underneath a few hundred feet of water in the Pacific!

    Just kidding. [​IMG]
     
  12. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Actually I've never understood that "California falls into the ocean" thing. The fault line slides sideways, not up and down much. And the part near the ocean is actually moving UP. It's the east coast of the US that is gradually subsiding into the Atlantic. The coast range and the Sierra Nevada are both in their growth phase. Virginia will be underwater in the next million years or so, not California.
     
  13. SteveA

    SteveA Supporting Actor

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    Well, dammit, there goes the value of my house!
     
  14. DevinJC

    DevinJC Stunt Coordinator

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    www.earthquakeauthority.com

    Hey hey, I work there. [​IMG]

    And given all the private/public disclosure and random political things that go on with this agency... that is all I'll say about that.

    That being said, if I lived in an earthquake prone area I'd have earthquake insurance.

    "And what about if it goes on fire. Wouldn't that be fire insurance coverage?"

    Yes, if a earthquake causes your house to asplode, you're fire insurance actually covers the damage.
     
  15. DustinLC

    DustinLC Supporting Actor

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    Without calling my agent, which is probably the best thing to do, I'm guessing it's going to be $1500/yr. Ouch!

    So the fire is covered. With a tag of $1500/yr, can someone give me an idea in what scenerio you will make a claim besides the obvious of the whole house collapsing. The more I'm thinking about it, the more I'm moving away from the idea of getting one. It is for the peace of mind as someone has mentioned. I just need that peace of mind without paying $1500/yr [​IMG].

    You tell them Dennis, it's the rest of the states that are sinking [​IMG].
     
  16. Jason GT

    Jason GT Second Unit

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    Dustin:

    Do not assume that your fire insurance covers fire following an earthquake. There may be a specific exclusion on your coverage.

    As for EQ shake, potential coverages may include:
    - structural damage
    - contents
    - emergency accomodations
    The particulars will depend on your policy.

    The best way to find these things out is to go over your policy...
     
  17. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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    I have earthquake insurance and I live in Kansas! Its only an extra $50/year and I am in range of the New Madrid fault (largest recorded quake in US history was on that fault) and its about due for another major event...
     
  18. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    Homeowner's insurance generally doesn't cover "earth movement". Also, have you consider that an object, such as a boulder or another home, could slid down a hill and crash into your home (assuming you live near a hill)?

    I live right on top of the Hayward Fault (and on a hill), where scientists think the next Big One will likely to occur, so this is a concern for me as well.
     

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