OKLAHOMA CITY — The magnitude 5.0 earthquake that struck Cushing, Oklahoma is a reminder for homeowners, renters, and businesses to consider purchasing earthquake insurance coverage, says the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).
“The threat of earthquakes should not be ignored,” said Joe Woods, PCI’s vice president of state government relations. “While the standard homeowners insurance policy covers a wide range of losses, it does not cover earthquake damage. However, earthquake coverage can be purchased as a separate policy, and we encourage residents to talk with your agent or company about earthquake insurance and assess your financial risk.”
Earthquake insurance is designed to provide coverage for catastrophe losses. Consumers are protected from the damage caused by the shaking that results from the movement of the earth. The deductible for earthquake insurance varies based on the policy and the insurer. These deductibles are generally based on a percentage of the replacement value of the home. The deductible can range from two to 25 percent of the home's replacement value.
FEMA offers some tips on how to prepare for an Earthquake:
•To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
•Fasten shelves securely to walls.
•Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves.
•Store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass, and china in low, closed cabinets with latches.
•Fasten heavy items such as pictures and mirrors securely to walls and away from beds, couches and anywhere people sit.
•Brace overhead light fixtures and top heavy objects.
•Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. These are potential fire risks. Get appropriate professional help. Do not work with gas or electrical lines yourself.
•Install flexible pipe fittings to avoid gas or water leaks. Flexible fittings are more resistant to breakage.
•Secure your water heater, refrigerator, furnace and gas appliances by strapping them to the wall studs and bolting to the floor. If recommended by your gas company, have an automatic gas shut-off valve installed that is triggered by strong vibrations.
•Repair any deep cracks in ceilings or foundations. Get expert advice if there are signs of structural defects.
•Be sure the residence is firmly anchored to its foundation.
•Store weed killers, pesticides, and flammable products securely in closed cabinets with latches and on bottom shelves.
•Locate safe spots in each room under a sturdy table or against an inside wall. Reinforce this information by moving to these places during each drill.
•Hold earthquake drills with your family members: Drop, cover and hold on.
For more information you can visit PCI’s Earthquake Headquarters.