February marks Earthquake Awareness Month


RALEIGH

North Carolina is not known for its earthquakes.  Hurricanes, yes – but, the natural disaster that shakes the ground due to seismic waves coursing through earth’s rocks below is more prevalent on the West Coast – until recently.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there were two quakes in or near North Carolina in the past seven days.  In December 2021, a small earthquake struck Henderson County in the western part of the state.  A month before in November, six small earthquakes struck Forsyth County near Winston-Salem and a larger one, a 5.1 magnitude earthquake, was recorded in Sparta in Alleghany County in August 2020.

With all of this shaking going on, North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey wants consumers to know there is an easy way to protect your property.

“Earthquake damage is not covered by a Homeowners, Dwelling, Renters or Condominium policy,” he said. “Residents should contact their insurance agent and request an earthquake endorsement or rider – and depending on where you live, it’ll be fairly inexpensive.”

An earthquake endorsement or rider defines a single earthquake as one or more earthquake shocks that occur within a 72-hour period. The endorsement covers repairs needed because of  damage to your dwelling and may cover other structures not attached to your house, such as a garage or shed.  It does not increase the limits of liability stated in the homeowners or dwelling policy. 

The cost of the endorsement varies according to where you live and the construction type of your home.  Also, your deductible plays a role in determining the premium.  The higher the deductible, the lower the premium. 

For more information on how to protect your property from earthquake damage, talk to your agent or visit the NCDOI website.  

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Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.