Earthquake Damage Insurance Claims

Earthquakes are mainly caused by movement of huge blocks of the earth’s crust. California is located in a seismically active zone. Occasionally, strong earthquakes cause serious structural damage to commercial buildings, residential dwellings and personal property.

Most insurance policies do not cover earthquake damage. Coverage for earthquake damage may be purchased separately. The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) provides majority of earthquake insurance coverage in this state. The property owners may purchase the insurance for earthquake damage directly from CEA or they may purchase it from the insurance companies who are members of CEA. The earthquake insurance is sold as an additional insurance to the main property policy. The property owner must have an active building, dwelling or renter’s policy in order to be able to purchase the additional earthquake damage coverage. Additional information regarding the earthquake insurance may be found on California Department of Insurance website.

In the event of a major earthquake (if the property owner has earthquake coverage) a claim with the insurance carrier may need to be filed. Filing an insurance claim for earthquake damage may be the first step to recovery. Documenting and properly reporting the claim related earthquake damage to the carrier is critical for a quick and fair claim settlement.

In the event of an earthquake damage:

  • Turn off the gas line and main electrical if you feel that there may be damage to utility lines and contact your local utility companies;
  • Contact your local authorities to be informed about possible evacuations or other safety precautions;
  • Make sure to secure your property by boarding up broken windows or doors.

The property owner should hire a licensed contractor to perform earthquake damage repairs. During the claim related repairs, some additional code upgrade related repairs may be needed. Most policies have code upgrade coverage or Ordinance and Law Coverage. This coverage is very important for older buildings. The older buildings may need to upgrade the damaged items to comply with the most recent codes

A public insurance adjuster may assist the policyholder in dealing with their insurance company and any other parties involved in the insurance claim process and the repairs.

CALL OR E-MAIL US TODAY FOR A FREE CONSULTATION (even if you have already filed a claim with your insurance company and received a settlement or a denial).