Don't count yourself among the thousand of homeowners each year who sadly discover - too late - that their personal home insurance policy does not cover earthquake damage.
With recent earthquakes in Chile, Japan and elsewhere around the world, more homeowners everywhere are thinking about insuring against a similar disaster.
In the U.S., government aid is available for earthquake victims through FEMA, but
only in the form of low-interest loans that must be paid back. As recently evidenced with Hurricane Katrina, government agencies on every level may also be notoriously slow in their response time.
As with all insurance policies, it pays to shop around for earthquake insurance as costs vary greatly depending both on your locationand the insurance carrier. In California, for example, rates may range from $200 and $2,000 a year depending on location
and type of home. However, note that retrofitting your home to guard against earthquakes will undoubtedly reduce the chance of damage and therefore lower your insurance premiums.
Every offer of earthquake insurance should include coverage for your home, personal property, and for any additional living expenses you may incur, such as hotel bills if you and your family need to relocate for any length of time.
Since policies only cover damage directly related to the earthquake, (including damage caused by aftershocks, landslides, settlement, or mudflow) be sure your homeowners policy includes fire insurance to protect against fires that invariably break out as a result of earthquake damage to fuel lines or gas mains.
On the Web, find out more about your chances of becoming an earthquake victim, and how to protect yourself against loss with expert tips and advice, news and information, along with fact sheets and consumer guides on buying insurance against earthquakes before they happen...
More facts & information about earthquake insurance around the Web:
Risk and Insurance Issues - Comprehensive overview with facts and information on earthquake probability by U.S. region,
related news and legislation, typical insurance costs and deductibles.