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Earthquake Insurance?

By Chad Canady

Did anyone wake up to a shaky start this past Saturday?

I did for a lot of reasons. However, one of them was because of an Earthquake near Reedy Creek and Hwy 23 N in Metter, Georgia at 4 A.M. I immediately started looking at the trees off in the distance to see if this thing was going to be bigger than it was. I waited around for something else to happen because you always hear about the aftershock, but I never felt one. Maybe I’ve watched too many movies. I’m certainly thankful that it didn’t create the damage that we generally associate with earthquakes.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) initially estimated a magnitude 4.9 in its preliminary assessment, but soon revised it to an official magnitude 3.9

This got me thinking about insurance. Well, because that’s what I do and I generally overthink things anyway. Does your Homeowners Insurance policy cover an Earthquake? The short answer is no, no it doesn’t. It doesn’t cover a flood either. Your typical homeowners insurance policy protects your dwelling from damages due to fire, smoke, lightening, hail, theft and a list of other exposures listed in your policy. Earthquake damage as well as flood damage are generally excluded from coverage.

We don’t think the unthinkable will happen to us until it does. That in itself is the basic reason and principle behind insurance. To prepare for the unthinkable and lower our financial burden in case of a loss. Earthquake coverage can sometimes be added to your current policy as an endorsement. Most companies are quoting around $100 to $300 a year for the added coverage. The scary part about all of this is what if it did happen. What if your home was destroyed? The answer is not a good one. The mortgage company would still require you to pay the mortgage even if the house is in shambles, your insurance company will hold their hands up and back away. The only things fit to live in it are the varmints that you’ve been trying to evict for years and ironically, you’re now paying their mortgage.

The question is should I buy this insurance? Well, I can say that I have not. As an agent, I should only give you my informed thoughts and let you decide for yourself. It is tough to live in absolutes and strange things can happen at any point. I mean, we just had an earthquake in Metter, Ga. Kaitlyn Jenner was woman of the year. I wouldn’t have bet on either of those happening.

The probabilities are low. The state of Georgia does have a fault line but the activity level is on the lower end of the scale. We can insurance ourselves to death and we still won’t be able to protect ourselves from every possible event. However, at the moment, that’s only one tank of gas for my truck. I do need to get to work this week though.

The Crossroads Chronicle reached out to officials in Metter. As of press time there have been no reports of damage in the area.

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