UPDATED JULY 6, 2019
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) urges residents impacted by this weekend's powerful 6.4 and 7.1 magnitude earthquakes near Ridgecrest to be watchful for signs of structural damage and if there is property damage, call their insurer as soon as possible to file a claim.
Experts from the insurance industry are available to explain how earthquake insurance works and what policyholders should do in order to file a claim. Reporters can contact Nicole Ganley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 916-616-5855 to ask insurance-related questions or set up interviews.
Insurers are ready to help policyholders rebound from this major earthquake and will move their catastrophe response teams into the area to start the recovery process. While the standard homeowners insurance policy does not cover earthquakes, it is available as a separate policy or through the California Earthquake Authority. Cars damaged by the earthquake are covered under comprehensive coverage.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) advises on its website that aftershocks could last for several days or even weeks after an earthquake. FEMA also advises the following:
Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can and call the gas company from a neighbor's home. If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional.
Look for electrical system damage. If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician first for advice.
Check for sewage and water lines damage. If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid using water from the tap. You can obtain safe water by melting ice cubes.
APCIA Earthquake Resources: