Are We Crazy! – Is Earthquake Insurance Really Needed?

Structural DamageMany Sonoma homeowners go without earthquake insurance.  Often people mistakenly think that earthquakes are covered under their homeowner’s policy.  Other people figure the odds are low, and that nothing will happen.  Let us correct you; unless you have added earthquake coverage, it is excluded from your homeowner’s policy.  Some mortgage companies may even require earthquake coverage, depending where you are located.

North Bay Earthquake Insurance

Earthquake insurance covers damage to your home and your possessions. Most earthquake policies also cover costs incurred to minimize further damage after an earthquake, plus costs for additional living expenses.  Deductibles are generally 10-15% of the insured amount. Exterior structures such as pools, irrigation systems, driveways, and detached garages are generally not covered.

We recommend you consider earthquake coverage.  We can help you analyze the cost benefits.  Insurance is all about understanding risks, and many homeowners are at risk for earthquake losses.

As a locally owned and operated insurance agency in Sonoma, California, North Bay Insurance Brokers is committed to providing quality insurance products for individuals and businesses. We combine our strong insurance background and product knowledge to assist both current and future clients in managing and planning for all types of risk.

Don’t Be Excluded From The Party

Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage Review

We know that many people make the mistake of not reading their homeowner’s insurance policy. We recommend that you read your policy and call us if you have any questions. It is important to remember that every policy has limitations, exclusions, and terms. If you buy your insurance online, you may be putting your property at risk, because you will have to determine all the coverage you need, without the help of a licensed professional agent.  Here are a few of the limitations found in most homeowner’s insurance policies.

Each Policy Will Be Different, But Here Are Examples of Policy Limitations

  • Jewelry is usually limited to $1,000 or $2,500
  • Guns and other collections also have a limit of $2,000
  • Business personal property has a limit of $2,500
  • Antiques, art, and silver have limitations
  • Money and gold are limited to $1,000
  • Watercraft is limited to $1,000 and only up to a certain length
  • Trailers have limitations too
  • Securities, Deeds, passports, tickets, and stamps all have separate limits
  • Other structures on the property have a limit of about 10% of the main dwelling

These limitations and limit amounts vary. We always recommend that you read your policy and/or talk to your insurance agent.

At North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc., we combine premium Auto Insurance with personalized service to give you the best coverage possible. Our insurance specialists will work with you one-on-one to find a policy that keeps you and your drivers protected at all costs – for peace-of-mind driving assurance.

If It Quakes It is To Late

Earthquake1 bf6Everyone knows they need earthquake insurance, but not every business buys it. Let’s review some facts.

  • The U.S. has about 20,000 earthquakes a year, mostly small, and 42 states are at risk of quakes, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
  • Just 10 percent of California businesses with property insurance also carry earthquake coverage, according to a recent Napa Valley Register story.
  • Global losses from earthquakes were about $313 million in 2014, higher than 2013 losses of $45 million but far below 2011’s $54 billion, the highest amount ever recorded, according to Swiss Re.

Insurance Coverage for Earthquakes in the United States: Standard business insurance policies do not cover damage from earthquakes. Coverage is available either in the form of an endorsement or as a separate policy. Earthquake coverage is available from private insurance companies rather than from the government.

  • March 2015 forecast from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has upped the likelihood that California will be hit by a magnitude 8 earthquake over the next 30.The most recent calculations differ from those in the earlier USGS forecast in that scientists took into account the possibility that a quake can move from one fault to another, releasing more seismic energy, as well as including newly discovered fault zones. Scientists also said that the probability that the state will be shaken by a magnitude 6.7 quake, similar to the devastating 1994 Northridge temblor, is higher than 99 percent.
  • Most commercial earthquake policies for businesses have a deductible that is based on the value of the building insured. They commonly range from 5 to 20 percent
  • If an earthquake collapses your foundation, you’re not covered. If the earth shakes and a sinkhole swallows your business, you’re not covered. If the earth causes your merchandise to falls off the shelves, shattering on the floor, guess what? you are not covered.

As a locally owned and operated insurance agency in Sonoma, California, North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc. is committed to providing quality insurance products for individuals and businesses. We combine our strong insurance background and product knowledge to assist both current and future clients in managing and planning for all types of risk.

Some information provided by Insurance Information Institute.

California Disasters Gone Wild

bigstock-Nature-burning-27273791

Can You Live Without Disaster Insurance?

Wildfires are burning all over the Sates of California, including the North Bay region. Human caused disasters and natural disasters occur in every state. California has earthquakes and wild fires, Colorado has flooding and wildfires, the Northeast has winter storms and high winds, Florida has flooding and hurricanes, and the Midwest has flooding and tornados.

Personal Insurance And Disasters

Most North Bay personal insurance products can cover wildfires; however earthquakes are excluded and require a separate policy. It is safe to say that most business and homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover the risks associated with disasters. The only exception would be damage caused by wildfires. Let’s look at how personal insurance might apply to other disasters.

  1. Floods— Only 13% of U.S. homeowners had flood-insurance policies last year according to the Insurance Information Institute, a trade group. Flood insurance must be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program. We can help you if you need the coverage.
  2. Earthquake—Every North Bay homeowner and business needs earthquake insurance. Earthquake insurance also must be added or purchased under a separate policy.
  3. High Winds— Damage from high winds typically is covered under most insurance policies.
  4. Mudslides— A standard home insurance policy does not protect your home against damage caused by a mudslide. Mudslides are usually defined as ground movement. Heavy rains that cause a mudflow would typically be covered.
  5. Heavy Rain and Winter Storms— Winter storms and rain damage is covered under a typical homeowner’s policy. If flooding occurs, then the flood damage would be covered.
  6. Hail— Most homeowner’s insurance policies provide coverage for losses resulting from hail.
  7. Wildfires— It can be safe to say that all homeowner’s insurance covers loss resulting from a fire. Wildfires are considered a fire and would be covered.

Coverage disclaimer–the information provided here is for general purposes only. It is not our intent to change or modify insurance coverage. Each insurance policy is different and your individual coverage will be determined by the terms of your insurance policy.

As a locally owned and operated insurance agency in Sonoma, California, North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc. is committed to providing quality insurance products for individuals and businesses. We combine our strong insurance background and product knowledge to assist both current and future clients in managing and planning for all types of risk.

Earthquake Information… Gas Shut Off

Gas Service Shutoff ValvesEarthquake1 bf6

Manually turning off the gas service shutoff valve is the most common method to stop the flow of gas serving a building, or part of a building, in case of an emergency. Gas service shutoff valves are installed by PG&E at all gas meter locations or outside locations if the meter is not accessible from the outside.

Keep a 12 to 15-inch adjustable pipe wrench or Crescent-type wrench available to close the valve in case of an emergency. Earthquake wrenches with fixed openings may not fit a particular valve, so an adjustable type is best. To minimize the possibility of unauthorized operation of the valve, wrenches should be located nearby, but not at the gas meter location.

Shut off the gas service shutoff valve only if you smell gas, hear gas escaping, see a broken gas line, or if you suspect a gas leak.

To shut off the gas, rotate the valve a quarter turn in either direction; the valve is closed when the tang (the part you put the wrench on) is crosswise to the pipe.

In addition, most gas appliances have a gas shutoff valve located near the appliance that lets you turn off the gas to that appliance only. Know which of your appliances use gas, and where the appliance gas shutoff valves are located. In some cases, turning off the gas at the appliances shutoff valve will suffice.

Check out this You Tube video

 

Earthquake Update

 

gas34223

Important earthquake safety information:

Did you know you can have an earthquake actuated gas shutoff device installed? Some cities and counties require these already and more are expected to do so.

The State of California is required to approve all earthquake actuated gas shutoff valves used in the State of California. A list of approved valves is available on the DSA Gas Shut-off Valves Certification Program webpage:
http://www.dgs.ca.gov/dsa/Programs/programCert/gasshutoff.aspx
If you are not the do it yourself type, check out a recommended vendor:http://www.homesafety1st.com/