Mansell, Engel & Cole

Did you ever think you might need earthquake insurance?

After living in Oklahoma for years, it probably surprised you when earthquakes began happening on a somewhat regular basis. Oklahomans know how to deal with tornadoes, hailstorms and other violent weather, but when it comes to the ground shaking without warning, it's still a new concept.

You probably never thought you would be in the market for earthquake insurance. Now that you are, it may help to gain an understanding of what it covers and does not cover.

It usually covers...

This type of insurance ordinarily provides coverage for the following:

  • Your home and the other structures on your property
  • The removal of any debris on your property
  • Any damaged personal property on the premises
  • Your expenses while you cannot inhabit your home due to the damage
  • The cost associated with bringing the structures up to code during repairs and reconstruction
  • Any loss assessments you must pay to your homeowners' association

The funds you receive for the above often cover the lion's share of the damages done to your property.

It usually doesn't cover...

While earthquake insurance covers quite a bit of the damage to your property, it probably won't cover the following:

  • The value of your land
  • Any boats, motor vehicles or other watercraft you own
  • Your landscaping
  • Any property you don't own on your land
  • Rental or business structures on your land
  • Property you failed to keep in good working condition
  • Property you failed to maintain
  • Cables, pipes, drains and other underground structures
  • Your stamp or coin collections
  • Equipment sheds, gazebos, playground equipment or other outdoor structures
  • Fish, birds and other animals
  • Satellite dishes and awnings
  • Any loss of market value due to damage

You may find that your policy includes limits on other items on your property such as swimming pools, chimneys and much more. As long as you understand what insurance doesn't cover, and the insurance company honors its agreements with you regarding what it does cover, all should be well as long as you make timely premium payments.

However, if the insurance company attempts to delay or deny your claim, or outright delays or denies it, you do not have to accept this decision. You also do not necessarily have to accept the first settlement the company offers you. Instead, you could take the time to find out what your rights and legal options are and fight for what you deserve.

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