The greatest natural threat to the state of Oregon is considered a Cascadia earthquake in the Pacific Northwest. Earthquake experts and the government of Oregon have said it’s not a matter of “if” but “when” Oregon faces a major seismic event.
While such a catastrophe could occur in 100 years, it could also take place tomorrow. Meanwhile, hundreds of small earthquakes occur in Oregon every month, some of which cause local damage. That’s why we recommend earthquake insurance for our clients in places like Portland, Beaverton, and Gresham.
Earthquakes Aren’t Covered by Property Insurance
Unfortunately, homeowner and business property policies don’t cover earthquakes. Instead, you must purchase earthquake insurance as a separate policy or endorsement.
The good news is this is quite easy to do. You add an earthquake policy at any time, although it’s easiest when you’re renewing your property insurance and looking at other related coverage areas, like liability and flood insurance.
Protect Your Property in Case of Seismic Events
Earthquake insurance has three elements for you to use when filing a claim after a seismic event:
All seismic activity within 72 hours of an earthquake, such as aftershocks, is considered part of one event and is covered under one claim.
Earthquake policies typically offer different levels of coverage, which we’re happy to discuss with you. Some policies cover landscaping, hardscaping, swimming pools, and vehicles, for example. Water damage and fire resulting from an earthquake are covered, but floods are not (however, flood insurance could be used for that).
Understand How Your Earthquake Insurance Deductible Is Calculated
Earthquake policies do not use a flat fee deductible. Instead, the deductible is calculated as a percentage of the property value, usually between 10 and 20 percent.
For example, your policy caps value at $750,000, and you have a 15 percent deductible. If you file an earthquake claim, you will pay $112,500, and your insurance would cover $637,500.
For convenience and cost savings, most earthquake policies offer different deductibles for each element of your property. That way, if only your garage is damaged, you only pay the deductible for that claim, not for the entire property value that includes a house.
Call Our Independent Agents to Learn More About Earthquake Insurance
If you own a home or business in Oregon, it’s smart to consider protecting it with earthquake insurance, so you know your investment is covered if the worst happens. Our independent agents at Chamberlain Insurance Agency can help you get the right earthquake policy for your needs, with a personalized touch you won’t find elsewhere.
Simply give us a call at 503-256-1448, or reach out online with your questions or request for a quote.