Posted on May 19, 2014
Four years ago the United States Geological Survey updated earthquake hazard maps and revealed that Washington faces a serious threat of seismic activity that will possibly be stronger than usually expected. Using data from seismic, land and geological surveys, the USGS developed ground motion models showing these increased earthquake hazards to Washington and Oregon. Their hazard maps also revised fault sources and added new ones for California and the Pacific Northwest.
While new fault lines and potential earthquakes are outside of anyone's control, Washington residents and business owners can protect themselves from the devastating effects of earthquake or volcano eruption damage by purchasing the appropriate property insurance policies. Commercial property insurance does not typically cover earthquake or volcano activity so business owners will need to have endorsements added to existing policies or obtain separate insurance policies to cover these risks.
Because damage caused by seismic activity can be very expensive, it is important for companies to not only have the right type of insurance but the correct amount as well. Business property owners need to review their assets and determine how much everything is worth - including buildings, structures, furniture, equipment, computers and records. When purchasing commercial property insurance with earthquake/volcano coverage, it is important to know the value of replacing that property so that adequate policy limits are established at the time policies are purchased.
Earthquake insurance has deductibles based on a percentage of the property value instead of a set dollar amount like other commercial policies. Deductibles can range anywhere from 5 to 20 percent so business owners may want to establish a savings account to put aside deductible amounts for all lines of insurance. That way when catastrophe strikes the deductible is ready and available to get repairs or replacements started quickly.