Seismic Activity in the Evergreen State
While many people think earthquakes are a problem confined to places like San Francisco and Southern California, Washington state is actually at a very high risk of significant seismic activity. In fact, the Evergreen State is at the second highest risk in the entire country for damaging earthquakes.
Historically, Washington has experienced multiple serious earthquakes, including tsunamis and quakes causing fatalities. Damages for some of these events have been in the billions of dollars, and they’ve caused great disruption to daily life and businesses in affected areas.
Small earthquakes occur every day in Washington. You can track these using maps from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) or the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN). Most of these earthquakes are harmless, although small and mid-level quakes can still cause damage.
Furthermore, Washington state has many active fault lines where seismic activity occurs regularly. This includes the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ), which is a megathrust fault 1,000 km long off the coast of British Columbia and Washington. This fault has already produced some of the world’s largest magnitude earthquakes. While they can’t predict when, seismologists expect the CSZ to produce another major earthquake in the future—one that could devastate Washington even worse than previous events.
Earthquake Insurance: Coverage for the Inevitable
Although not even the world’s greatest earthquake experts can predict or prevent seismic events, you can protect yourself from their catastrophic consequences. Earthquake insurance, just like home and auto insurance, provides coverage for property loss resulting from what scientists say is an inevitable event for the Pacific Northwest.
Earthquake coverage is not part of a homeowner or renter’s insurance policy, but it’s easy and affordable to add this coverage to protect your home and/or business. The cost of losing your property to an earthquake is far greater than the small price you pay for the insurance. Some mortgage lenders even require them.
What does earthquake insurance cover?
- The cost of renovating or rebuilding the insured structure
- Personal property inside the building, such as clothing, electronics, and furnishings
- Cracked driveways and sidewalks that impede access or that you, the property owner, are responsible for
- Land repair necessary to stabilize the structure
- The cost of stabilizing the structure against further damage from aftershocks
- Building code and energy efficiency upgrades
- Loss-of-use coverage if the building is uninhabitable and you need to live elsewhere
If you are considering an earthquake insurance policy for your business, we’ll talk about special coverage you may need, such as for equipment or inventory. You may also want a rider or endorsement that gives you additional coverage for things like valuables (jewelry, antiques, and collectibles) and landscaping. If your property is built of brick or masonry, it may also need special protection.
Washington is a fantastic place to live, but we can’t ignore the fact that it’s at risk for devastating earthquakes. Don’t wait until disaster happens to you. Call Davidson & Associates Insurance at 360-514-9550 or get an earthquake insurance quote today to learn more about how earthquake insurance can give you peace of mind.