Financial tips and money-saving advice from Goldenwest Credit Union

Are you covered in the event of an earthquake?

April 28, 2020

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It’s a matter of when not if. You’ve probably heard it dozens of times already: Utah is due for a big one. The Utah Geological Survey determined that in the next 50 years there is a 43% probability of one or more magnitude 6.75 or greater earthquake, and a 57% probability of one or more magnitude 6.0 or greater earthquake. On March 18, 2020 Utah experienced a magnitude 5.7 with an epicenter near Magna. Utahns take emergency preparedness pretty seriously, yet when it comes to insuring homes in the event of an earthquake, only 14% of homeowners carry earthquake insurance. Emergency plans and 72-hour kits are important in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, but insurance is just as important to protect you financially in the long term.

Understanding Earthquake Insurance

Earthquake damage is not covered as part of a standard homeowners’ policy and works a little differently than most insurance coverages. Rather than a flat rate deductible, your insurance provider will likely require a deductible of 5% - 25% of your home value. For example, if your home is worth $300,000 and you have a 10% deductible (most common), you would be required to pay $30,000 towards construction of a new home in the event an earthquake destroys your home.

In the event you need to file a claim after an earthquake, your claim will cover aftershocks for 72 hours after the initial shock. Any damage resulting from aftershocks after 72 hours will result in a separate claim.

Along with earthquake insurance, ask your insurance agent about personal property claims and additional living expenses (ALE). Personal property claims cover your belongings besides your home such as electronics and furniture affected by the earthquake. Additional living expenses covers the cost of living elsewhere while your home is under repair.

Get Protected

Even though it’s impossible to know when an earthquake will strike, you can protect your home and your finances now. Talk with an independent Goldenwest Insurance Expert to determine cost and protect yourself for the long term.

*All coverage is subject to each individual carrier’s underwriting guidelines.


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