Thursday, 8 November 2012

Do you have Earthquake Insurance?

Living in beautiful British Columbia we are always complaining about the rain, but we do know we are lucky because we don't have weather that can kill us. (Like tornados, hurricanes etc.)  I don't think earthquakes count as weather, but it is the one thing that might get us here on the west coast.

There have been 2 rather large earthquakes on the west coast in the past 2 weeks, luckily these were not centered near major population centers, and no damage or injuries occurred.   On October 27th, a saturday night we were sitting on the couch watching TV, enjoying a glass of wine, when I noticed the chandeliers above us were swaying.....I am pretty sure it was only one glass of wine....but I pointed up so my spouse would confirm what I was seeing.....and sure enough the lights were swaying even more now.  We got up, could not feel the ground moving, but looked outside to the pool, turned those lights on and watched the waves form in the pool.  The motion lasted for 3 or 4 mins, with the lights swaying so much that the metal was clanging on the glass.  I wasn't scared because the ground was not moving, but it was amazing to see.
these are the chandeliers I am talking about
Too bad I didn't think to film the moving chandeliers, but I'm sure you get the idea.

Of course the next thing I did was look for some news of an earthquake, nothing on TV, and nothing on the internet for quite sometime.  I did find the earthquake Canada website, but it was almost 20 mins before they confirmed the 7.7 quake near Haida Qwaii.  I was glad to know we were not imaging things.  Also amazed at the size of the quake.  I took the time to fill in their questionnaire, titled "Did you feel it?"

Now, last night it happened again, the lights only swayed slightly this time, and only for 30 seconds or so, but I knew what was happening right away.  Again I checked the earthquake Canada website, and the site was already updated showing the 6.3 quake just off the west side of Vancouver Island.

I am glad to see that the experts at earthquake Canada were able to improve their notification times, they had said on the news after the Oct 27th quake that there were things they could improve on, and obviously they took that seriously.

Now what about us, are we ready when those lights start to sway again?  Well, we do have a large earthquake kit, it is on a shelf in the garage, I am thinking it is over 6 years old so I should probably check the contents and replace the old water bottles, and whatever food is in there.  (maybe today even)

We did not buy earthquake insurance this year, first year in a long time....(yes, probably why we are having these quakes now, the superstitious would say).  I admit to buying earthquake insurance for many years without really reading what it covers.  So this year I did read it, and calculated the deductible to be aprox $65,000.00.   Yes, read your policy, deductibles are usually 10% of the value of your home.  
The cost of earthquake insurance for us was aprox $800 more on our premium, you can reduce this a bit if you take the personal content insurance off or lower the amount on the earthquake portion.   We chose not to buy the earthquake coverage at all, because we built this house, we know the quality of construction, and believe the risk is low that our damage would be over $65,000.00.

Now that is our personal, informed decision we made after talking to our insurance agent about what is actually covered by earthquake insurance.  I recommend you have this discussion with your insurance agent.  I have heard you can even buy another policy that will cover the deductible amount, but that is another yearly cost to you.  Get all the information and make your own informed decision about earthquake insurance.  (NOW before our lights start to sway again!)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.