So, everyone probably remembers the 5.8 magnitude earthquake we had in the Northern Virginia area back in August this year. Even though the National Cathedral and the Washington Monument were somewhat damaged, the overall damage was limited. On the personal side, I heard of many people having drywall cracks and also a few having their water heaters shook loose or tip over with subsequent water damage (teachable moment: do not balance your water heater on a couple of bricks…)
Now, you may think to yourself that even if the quake had severly damaged your home, the homeowners insurance would cover the material damage and all would be good?
The answer may surprise you – but your homeowners insurance may not protect you against earthquake damage. Many insurers cover their homeowner policies up to a level H03. While it includes common hazards such as theft, fire, water, building collapse, trees hitting your home and such, it does NOT include things like flooding, earthquakes and jewelery above $2,000. Geico, among others, offer this level of insurance.
So, if you are worried about the next big quake hitting – or have a lot of gold in your home (in some cultures it is not unheard of to store $100’s of thousands worth of “family jewels” in their home) you may want to check with your insurance company and look into supplemental insurance.