In the last article I explained some of the ways earthquake insurance differs from traditional homeowners insurance as well as explained that virtually any place in the U.S. can and do get earthquakes.
Now that you know the basics of earthquake insurance you can have the discussion with your insurance agent to decide whether or not earthquake insurance makes sense for you.
But even if you do decide to invest in earthquake insurance, remember there are many restrictions to what earthquake insurance will cover as well as significant out of pocket expenses you will have to cover.
So whether or not you do invest in earthquake insurance, it makes sense to do all you can to safeguard your home and belongings before an earthquake hits.
This article will cover some simple steps you can take now to protect your home and belongings if an earthquake ever strikes your area.
Use these simple tips to protect your home and belongings and make the recovery easier, whether you have earthquake insurance or not:
1. Protect your structure. You will likely need professional help for this step, but it is the foundation of all your earthquake preparedness. Strengthening your structure can involve things like bolting the walls to the foundation to prevent your home from shifting off the foundation during an earthquake. Also reinforcing your chimney and bracing your walls can help limit damage from an earthquake.
2. Make sure your big appliances are secured to the wall studs; This includes your furnace, hot water heater, refrigerator and stove. Also make sure all gas appliances are fitted with automatic gas shutoffs so they will shut off automatically at any strong vibrations. Use straps to secure big screen TV's and other expensive electronics to prevent damage.
3. Secure bookcases, mirrors, pictures and other large furniture to the wall studs too. Also, use putty to secure fragile items to the shelves so they don't fall off and break during a earthquake. Keep china and other fragile items in cases that have securely locking doors to help prevent them from falling out and breaking.
Now that you have some ideas of ways to make your home and belongings more secure in the event of an earthquake, take a few hours and go room to room to determine how to secure items in each space.
Most of these tips can be easily and inexpensively completed by the average homeowner. But just because they're easy don't make the mistake of thinking they aren't helpful.
As I pointed out before, earthquake insurance doesn't cover total replacement costs for your personal belongings and you will have to make up the difference out of your own pocket. Why not take a little time and be proactive so you can keep the damage to a minimum, and save some of your hard earned money in the process?