RICHMOND — Earthquakes are probably not something most
Virginians think about when purchasing homeowners insurance. However, an earthquake
on August 23 in Central Virginia served as a reminder that they can, and do, happen
The State Corporation Commission’s (SCC) Bureau of Insurance reminds Virginians
that damage from earthquakes is excluded under homeowners’ policies unless coverage
for earthquake-related damage has been purchased as an addition to their homeowners’
insurance policy. Not every insurance company offers earthquake coverage, but many
of them do. Consumers should review their policies to determine if they want to
purchase this added protection.
Virginia Insurance Commissioner Jacqueline K. Cunningham encourages Virginia homeowners
to review their policies carefully to fully understand any coverage limitations
or exclusions, and to contact their insurance agents or companies for information
relating to earthquake coverage and the rates for specific policies. Earthquake
insurance rates are determined differently by each insurance company and vary depending
upon the home’s building construction.
Homeowners should review the coverage provisions and pay particular attention to
the way the earthquake deductible applies. Earthquake deductibles are usually expressed
as a percentage rather than a flat dollar amount, and many insurance companies use
a two percent deductible. Earthquake deductibles apply separately to each coverage
under the homeowners policy, so the Bureau urges consumers to make sure they understand
how their deductible works.
For more information, contact the Bureau of Insurance Property and Casualty Division
in Richmond at (804) 371-9185 or toll-free at 1-877-310-6560 or visit the Bureau’s
website at www.scc.virginia.gov/boi. Consumers who are deaf or who are
hearing or speech impaired may call through the SCC’s Telecommunications Device
for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (TDD) at (804) 371-9206.
The SCC is located in the Tyler Building at 1300 East Main Street in downtown Richmond.
Normal business hours are from 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. Correspondence may be mailed
to the Bureau of Insurance at P.O. Box 1157, Richmond, VA 23218..