SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) – Last week’s small earthquake in Linn County is a good reminder to review your homeowners and renters insurance policies and consider purchasing earthquake insurance. If you already have earthquake insurance, this is also a good time to review what it does and does not cover.
Earthquake insurance is not a standard part of homeowners or renters policies. Some insurance companies will allow you to add earthquake coverage as an endorsement, while others will require you to purchase a separate policy. Also, most insurance companies put a moratorium on buying earthquake insurance after an event that scores as low as 4.5 on the Richter scale.
“Waiting until after an earthquake to buy insurance is never a good idea,” said Insurance Commissioner Andrew Stolfi, who is also the director of the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services. “First, you can’t buy insurance to cover damage that’s already happened. Second, after an earthquake, insurers likely won’t sell coverage for some period of time.”
Most earthquakes in Oregon are too small to feel and the greatest seismic activity in recent history has occurred in the Portland metro and Klamath Falls areas.
The Division of Financial Regulation has resources available for consumers on earthquake insurance. The division also has a guide to help walk you through what steps to take before and after an earthquake.
As always, it is best to check with your insurance company or agent to see what fits best for you and your home.
About Oregon DFR: The Division of Financial Regulation is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov and dfr.oregon.gov.