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Re: Earthquake Risk
Old 02-06-2007, 10:51 AM   #21
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Re: Earthquake Risk

wab, think about a propane powered generator and tank (securly anchored ) for wind storms, earthquakes and the occasional snow storm.
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Re: Earthquake Risk
Old 02-06-2007, 11:10 AM   #22
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Re: Earthquake Risk

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Wouldn't earthquake insurance premiums be so high that you'd buy the house every 5-10 years anyway?
I haven't gotten an earthquake insurance quote for a couple of years, but as I recall the premium was more like 1% of the full replacement cost of the house, with about a 10% deductible. I think a homeowner would be much better off spending that money to bolt down the house to the foundation and install any needed additional shear panels. You'd be investing your money in home improvements that would increase your chance of survivability rather than in insurance to pick up the fallen pieces afterward.
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Re: Earthquake Risk
Old 02-06-2007, 11:13 AM   #23
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Re: Earthquake Risk

An ex-girlfriend works at FEMA and looks to be in line to lead up the tsunami task force for the west coast...is that a great job or what? If we dont get one, she's done great! If we do, all plaintiffs will be washed out to sea!

Anyhow, she lives about 2 miles from the hayward fault, which is supposed to go and go big anytime now.

'Nuff said?

I think the short answer is that we might see a huge quake on the west coast.

Tsunami possibilities are certainly in existence. California has been struck by dozens of them over the past 150 years, with waves as high as 60'. Just 50 years ago a pretty nice sized 1720 foot wave hit just a few hundred miles north of you Wab.

But we might not.

As a point of reference, I live 150 feet from the ocean, nowhere near any active faults, although theres a volcano thats been dormant for some millions of years so close I could hit it with a rock.

I'm keeping and eye on that volcano.

Earthquake insurance is a crock. Unless your house is sitting on the fault line (in which case you might not get insurance at all or pay through the nose for it), your chances of having more than 10% of the home value in damage is about nil. As Scrinch says, spend the money making your house less susceptible to damage.
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Re: Earthquake Risk
Old 02-06-2007, 11:15 AM   #24
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Re: Earthquake Risk

We live in SoCal and our earthquake insurance is around $400/year with a 15% deductible. Every year I go back and forth on whether it is worth it and then just end up renewing it. It seems like we heard a lot more about earthquakes about a decade back but that might be because of Northridge happening.
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Re: Earthquake Risk
Old 02-06-2007, 11:21 AM   #25
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Re: Earthquake Risk

Make an informed decision...have a structural engineer/earthquake report done to show what threats are in your area and what the weak points in your home might be, and get costs to do some upgrades.

Of course, like northridge, you might have some microfaults in your area that arent known about.

Off the top of my head, a $400 premium sounds pretty cheap so odds are you arent that close to a major threat. If your house was built in the last 15 years or so, it should have the latest building codes applied and not have any major weaknesses.

I never investigated it, but if the insurers offered a very cheap 50% deductible policy, I'd take one of those just to cover my ass a little bit. Never saw one that varied far from the mandated 10/15% levels though.
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Re: Earthquake Risk
Old 02-06-2007, 01:22 PM   #26
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Re: Earthquake Risk

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
Make an informed decision...have a structural engineer/earthquake report done to show what threats are in your area and what the weak points in your home might be, and get costs to do some upgrades.
Hmm, that shoulds like a good idea. My EQ insurance comes up for renewal in May, so maybe I call up a structural guy around here and see what they have to say.

Quote:
Off the top of my head, a $400 premium sounds pretty cheap so odds are you arent that close to a major threat. If your house was built in the last 15 years or so, it should have the latest building codes applied and not have any major weaknesses.
The house is a track house in Orange County built in 1985. Not exactly synonymous with "well-built".

Yeah, that did seem like a relatively cheap insurance. What makes me nervous is the earthquake insurance in CA is composed of two options. You either go with the quasi-state agency, California Earthquake Authority, or you go with GeoVera. GeoVera seems to have better coverage for the same and they seem to be financially stable. The house is "worth" 600k here, but the policy covers the house for around 180k, so with 180k - 15% would be around 150k. Additionally, I'm not sure how this policy compares with my regular HO for replacement coverage and building code upgrades. On the other hand 150k, while not painless, is definitely something we could self-insure for.

It's just really confusing which is why I feel like I'll get the insurance, since it's relatively cheap, and hope for the best.
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Re: Earthquake Risk
Old 02-06-2007, 03:12 PM   #27
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Re: Earthquake Risk

FWIW, I lived at the epicenter of the Northridge Earthquake, not a 9 mind you, but it felt pretty crazy. I say you could get more bang for your buck getting an automatic gas shut off valve, the homes around me that were lost were due to fire afterwards. A couple other things, like bolting the house to the foundation, are big bang for your buck, too. Also, our house suffered something like 20k in damage, we were on a hill on bedrock, those below us that were built on sandy soil/old riverbeds etc. were written off by insurance companies as total losses. So rather than move away from the area altogether, finding a location within the area with better sub-earth composition might be a better bet.
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