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Does my policy cover earthquake damage?

Earthquakes happen in the Northwest. Are you insured?Q. Does my policy cover earthquake damage?

A. Like many others in the Northwest and around the world, I read Kathryn Schultz's excellent piece in The New Yorker about the impact "the really big one" will have on our region. It's a great read with a wealth of information about the science and history of our tremors, and if you haven't read it I recommend doing so.

The predictions certainly instill a bit of fear, and we've fielded many customer questions about earthquake coverage. Whether you own or rent, there's reason to be concerned. A house might slide off its foundation, valuable objects could break when falling from shelves, and residents can lose electricity or water.

So does your PEMCO policy protect you for earthquake damage? I won't beat around the bush: the answer is no. Apart from a few ensuing loss exceptions, your renter, condo, or homeowner policy does not cover damage caused by earthquakes. Earthquake is a unique risk that stands apart from other types of losses. They happen infrequently and can vary greatly in severity.

We understand the need for this important coverage, which is why our brokerage professionals at PEMCO Agency can help you secure a quote with a specialized earthquake insurance carrier. Companies that deal primarily or solely with earthquake losses are experts in the subject. They best understand the risks and can suggest options tailored for your situation and needs.

It's hard to imagine rebuilding after a megaquake as described in the article, but it certainly will be easier with the right insurance protection in place beforehand. If you'd like more information or a quote for earthquake insurance, please call 1-800-GO-PEMCO to speak with PEMCO Agency today.

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