Barker Martin

Condo-HOA Blog

Shake, Rattle, and Roll

You are sitting comfortably when out of the blue, the floor starts to shake and pictures fall from the wall. One of two things is happening: you are at my house for Thanksgiving and I’ve just ambled toward a third plate or you are experiencing an earthquake. In the last week alone, Oregon has experienced more than 30 small earthquakes. Washington has had 33. A recent NBA summer league basketball game had to be evacuated when a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit Southern California. Most experts believe the “big one” in the Northwest is a question of when, not if.

If and when the big one hits (or even the medium, small, grande, or plus-sized one hits), are you covered? Industry experts and agents estimate that only 20-30% of people carry earthquake insurance. The cost of earthquake insurance varies, depending on the age, size, location, and value of your property. Deductibles also vary greatly and can run from 2.5% to 25%. In addition to cost, it is worth discussing the coverage itself with a qualified agent or broker. Some resulting casualties may not be covered. For instance, a landslide caused by an earthquake might not be covered. Depending on the topography of your property, it is worth exploring these issues. You may also get a reduced rate if you undertake seismic retrofitting or other precautions.   

Is earthquake insurance worth it? That is for you to decide. I am here to make sure you understand your insurance risks, so you can make an informed decision. My advice? Explore your options to make sure you are comfortable with your protection. And DEFINITELY stay away from that third serving…