East Coast Homeowners Urged to Consider Earthquake Insurance

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Some homeowners affected by the 5.8 earthquake which struck the Washington, D.C. area Aug. 23 found out the unusual incident was not covered by their insurance policies.

In a press release issued by AAA, Nicholas J. Eppinger, senior vice present of insurance sales at AAA Mid-Atlantic, said homeowners may want to rethink and expand their insurance policies.

“While East Coast hurricanes happen more often than you think, few people on the Eastern Seaboard and Mid-Atlantic States ever think to buy earthquake insurance,” Eppinger said in the release. “In the light of the recent event, it is now the time to reconsider that approach. It behooves us to purchase an endorsement to homeowners, renters or business policy, or a separate policy, to cover your losses from earthquakes.”

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the Aug. 23 earthquake may have caused $200 million to $300 million in damage across the East Coast. The institute also said the earthquake showed the lack of preparedness in the region for such a disaster.

AAA advised homeowners to purchase an additional policy to make sure their house is covered.

“No acts of God are covered by a standard homeowner’s policy, that includes earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, or any other natural disaster,” said Heather Foti, an insurance counselor with AAA Mid-Atlantic. “For these events to be covered, the homeowners have to purchase an additional policy or an endorsement to a standard homeowner’s policy.”

According to the AAA, the potential cost of earthquakes will grow due to the “vulnerability of older buildings,” which may not meet building codes.

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