American Property Casualty Insurance Association
  • Staff Contact: Nicole Mahrt-Ganley     
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  • January 24, 2018
  • Alaska Earthquake Wake Up Call to Get Prepared
  • SACREMENTO, Calif. - Yesterday's 7.9 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Alaska's Kodiak Island highlights the unpredictable nature of these events and serves as a reminder of the major catastrophic damage that can occur. As a result, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) urges homeowners to evaluate their risk and consider adding earthquake insurance coverage for their property.

    While states like Alaska, California, and Oklahoma have a history of earthquakes, other states are not precluded from the threat. However, only a small percentage of people actually purchase earthquake coverage. Though earthquake and tsunamis are not typically covered in a standard policy, coverage is generally available as an endorsement to the homeowners policy or under a separate policy. Homeowner insurance companies work to inform consumers regarding their coverage options.

    “The size of today’s earthquake and the accompanying tsunami warning serves as a reality check for all of us that we live with the risk of earthquakes and there are simple things we can do to be prepared,” said Armand Feliciano, PCI vice president. “We need to mitigate against the physical damage of an earthquake and prepare financially by purchasing earthquake coverage. Be sure to have a three-day supply of water, food and medicine on hand. Also keep a battery-operated radio available. It is also a good opportunity to make sure children know what to do in an earthquake — Drop, Cover, and Hold. Other steps include moving into a doorway or under a desk, avoiding windows or bookshelves that could come down on top of you, then remain there until the shaking stops. If you are outside, move away from buildings.”

    A critical component of preparedness is understanding your insurance policy and knowing what is and what is not covered. It is vital residents be aware that earthquake damage is not covered in a standard homeowners insurance policy and must be purchased as a separate policy. Use PCI’s Earthquake Preparedness Toolkit and learn the steps to take before, during, and after an earthquake.

  • PCI promotes and protects the viability of a competitive private insurance market for the benefit of consumers and insurers. PCI is composed of nearly 1,000 member companies, representing the broadest cross section of insurers of any national trade association. PCI members write $220 billion in annual premium, 37 percent of the nation's property casualty insurance. Member companies write 44 percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 30 percent of the homeowners market, 35 percent of the commercial property and liability market and 37 percent of the private workers compensation market.
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