Insurance Decisions How Much Coverage is Enough?

Earthquake insurance is very common in California, for obvious reasons—but what about in New England? Tremors may be rare here, but nonetheless, they do happen. And they can cause damage to condominiums and other structures.

On October 16, 2012, for example, residents of Hollis Center, Maine reported that a magnitude 4.0 earthquake centered in southern Maine created the sensation of a train running through their homes. The earthquake was widely felt all across New England—and into New York, New Jersey and Canada.

In fact, earthquakes are nothing new in the Northeast. In November of 1755, a report in the Boston Weekly News-Letterdescribed “a most terrible Shock of an Earthquake: The conditions were so extreme as to wreck the Houses in this Town to such a degree that the Tops of many Chimnies, and some of them quite down to the Roofs, were thrown down.”

It’s likely that in the 1700s, the owners of those homes simply picked up the debris and rebuilt those roofs and chimneys. Today, though, homeowners—and condominium managers—facing such destruction would undoubtedly speed-dial their insurance agents to see how much of the damage is covered. And some just might find that they never did buy earthquake insurance—or coverage for a host of other potential problems.

As with anything else, there are some insurance policies you’ve just got to have, some it’s nice to have, and some you probably don’t need. The challenge is to know which policies fall into what categories.

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