We know that earthquake insurance covers homes, but will it cover your commercial building?
Catastrophic earthquake disasters happen only in select regions of the country, which are located by the faults–most notably the San Andreas fault. If your business lies around this area, any earthquake may crumple it to the ground. Earthquake insurance will financially protect your business from the full damages of an earthquake. This brief Q&A will help you weigh your risks and help determine if you need earthquake insurance.
Q: Do I actually need earthquake insurance?
A: According to the U.S. Geological Survey, 20,000 earthquakes strike the U.S. every single year. A large majority of them are small and can only be detected by the most sensitive of seismographs, but it’s the one that we can feel we have to worry about. Earthquakes have no warning and cannot be predicted, which makes them all the more dangerous.
Q: What does earthquake insurance cover?
A: Your business earthquake insurance will cover damages to your business property like your inventory and the building itself. Depending on the policy, lost business income that is caused by an earthquake may also be covered. Coverage only begins when the damage exceeds your policy’s deductible (the amount you pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in). Earthquake insurance policies typically have high deductibles and depend on the location, age, and condition.
Q: Are there special requirements to qualify for this coverage?
A: Your property may have to undergo an inspection and upgrades before you qualify for earthquake insurance. Insurance companies want to make sure that the slightest shake won’t destroy your building. You may also be required to brace chimneys and walls, as well as make other improvements.