Yesterday, just before 2:00pm, I was startled by what sounded like my washing machine going totally haywire. Oh, and I wasn't even doing a load of laundry at the time!
The house was shaking like crazy, and the charger for my camera battery danced to the edge of my dresser and jumped down to the floor. What was happening here?
After about 30 seconds, all was calm, and there didn't seem to be any damage. But what just happened? I called my neighbor who had her TV set turned on. And I gotta say, earthquake just had not occurred to me.
As the dust settled, I started to read through all of the messages from colleagues on our company list serve. And one of them caught my attention. We had a small quake last year that was barely felt in DC. In his message, my co-worker said that soon afterwords, he got earthquake insurance added to his homeowner policy, and that his wife laughed her head off, saying that it was a total waste of money.
But was it?
To get more information on earthquake insurance, I called my State Farm Insurance office. They are getting a ton of calls about quake damage to some of the homes they insure, and without a special endorsement, similar to what you get for flood insurance, earthquake damage is not covered by the normal policy.
Right now, of course, there is a moratorium on new applications. But after the earth settles down, they will reopen sales of this coverage.
How much does it cost? She estimated that for my house, which is covered for something around $700,000, it would cost an additional $350 to $500 per year.
This time I was lucky. There does not appear to be any damage at all. But this quake was a bit unsettling, and I'm starting to wonder if, once the moratorium is over, will it be worth it to increase my current premium by about 40 percent.
What a crap shoot!
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