Insured homeowners, renters, business owners, and motorists should contact their insurance company or agent immediately if damage is sustained
ANCHORAGE, AK. — In the wake of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in the Anchorage area today, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) urges area residents to be watchful for signs of structural damage and call your insurer as soon as possible to file a claim.
It’s still too early for loss assessments, but there have been reports of extensive power outages and building damage. Experts from the insurance industry are available to explain how earthquake insurance works and what policyholders should do in order to file a claim. Reporters can contact Nicole Ganley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 916-616-5855 to ask insurance-related questions or set up interviews.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) advises on its website http://www.ready.gov/earthquakes that aftershocks could be possible after an earthquake. FEMA also advises the following:
• Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can and call the gas company from a neighbor's home. If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional.
• Look for electrical system damage. If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician first for advice.
• Check for sewage and water lines damage. If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid using water from the tap. You can obtain safe water by melting ice cubes.
“Insurers are ready to help policyholders rebound from this major earthquake,” says Armand Feliciano, PCI’s vice president for state government relations.
“Policyholders should continue listening to authorities and evacuate when asked. Contact your insurer as soon as possible through the toll-free phone number, app, or website,” said Feliciano. “Insurers will move their cat teams into the area and immediately start working with policyholders. Cars damaged by the earthquake will be covered under the comprehensive coverage.”
PCI Earthquake Resources: