Monday, August 29, 2011
Homeowners insurance policies don't cover earthquakes, but you can generally buy a rider to add the coverage to your policy. And in areas that rarely experience major earthquakes, like Colorado, the coverage is relatively inexpensive. You can add a rider to your home insurance policy for around $150 per year to make sure your insurance company would help you repair or rebuild after an earthquake.
When can you - and can't you - buy earthquake insurance? Most insurance companies will not allow you to add the earthquake coverage to your policy within 30 days of an earthquake that measures 5.0 or higher if you live within 100 miles of the epicenter. The residents of Trinidad would have to wait an entire month from the date of the quake in order to get coverage, which means they're on their own for any damage from after shocks or additional quakes.
What about getting help from the state? Colorado officials say they have no money to help earthquake victims in southern Colorado. Department of Local Affairs spokeswoman Linda Rice says the state is providing technical assistance, including geological analysis, aerial photography and water quality testing but there is not money available to help with the costs of damage.
No insurance and no help from the state means you're on your own! Although Colorado earthquakes are rarely felt, they are happening at a surprising pace. A complete history of Colorado earthquakes can be found at http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/states/colorado/history.php. Colorado has had a 6.6 quake and a 4 year period that recorded over 1300 quakes. If you find your property damaged, expect to pay for all repairs out of your own pocket.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Summer is not quite over yet, and if you're thinking about renting a camper or RV for one last warm weather getaway, there are a few insurance things you should know before heading out for that family vacation.
RV's and campers are NOT covered automatically! While most insurance companies will extend coverage to a rental car (check your policy to find out if your policy does), the same cannot be said for motorhomes and campers. They're in a completely different class than that Ford Taurus you rented from the airport on your last vacation and they need their own insurance in place BEFORE you get behind the wheel!
As you might imagine, the RV rental companies are more than happy to sell you some insurance to cover that big fancy rig you're driving off in at a pretty hefty daily rate. It's a great money maker for the rental companies and can come in very handy if you crash their RV. But did you know there is another, much more affordable, option available to you? Some insurance companies (like American National) can add a special endorsement to your auto policy to cover that motorhome or camper for up to 15 days! What's the price, you ask? A one time charge of $15!
For $15, ANPAC will extend comprehensive coverage ($100 deductible) for non-accident related claims, as well as collision coverage ($250 deductible) for any accidents that may happen. Plus, it even comes with $50 towing and emergency road side service in case you need it!
The big advice here is to make sure ANY vehicle that you rent or borrow has some form of insurance coverage. You can buy it from your insurance company or the rental company. If you don't, you may find yourself at the bad end of a really big repair bill!