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Use this list to help protect your home.


In a major earthquake, the risk of damage from shaking, falling debris and aftershocks can be great. Use this checklist to help you protect your home and belongings:

House frame securely bolted to the foundation and chimneys, roofs and walls checked for stability.

Cabinets, bookcases and mirrors secured to wall studs, and gas hot water heater strapped to the wall.

Strong latches on all cabinet doors.

Hazardous or flammable materials stored safely.

Survival kit with food, water to last at least three days.

Family informed on “what to do in an earthquake.”


Steps to Follow After an Earthquake:

After tremors stop, vacate premises immediately.

When it is safe to do so, eliminate fire hazards which can cause further damage.

Check the building for cracks and structural damage, including the roof, chimney and foundation. Record the damage (pictures, video, etc.)

Move valuables to a safe, weatherproof location.

Review your insurance coverage and promptly report claims to your agent.

Collect records of appraisals and inventory to help document loss. Use licensed professionals to conduct inspections and repair your home.


What is guaranteed replacement cost insurance?


Guaranteed replacement insurance is a more comprehensive policy. It tends to cost more, but it promises to cover the complete costs — less deductible — of replacing a destroyed house. With these sorts of policies, limits on the policies are not as common, because complete coverage is more explicit.


What kind of home insurance should I get?


A standard homeowners policy protects against fire, lightning, wind, storms, hail, explosions, riots, aircraft wrecks, vehicle crashes, smoke, vandalism, theft, breaking glass, falling objects, weight of snow or sleet, collapsing buildings, freezing of plumbing fixtures, electrical damage and water damage from plumbing, heating or air conditioning systems, according to the Insurance Information Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group for the insurance industry.


Such policies are “all-risk” policies, which cover everything except earthquakes, floods, war and nuclear accidents.


A basic policy can be expanded to include additional coverage, such as for floods and earthquakes and even workers’ compensation for servants or contractors. Home-based business-coverage, an increasingly popular rider, does not cover liability associated with the business.


Insurance experts recommend that Completely Online Title Loans No Inspection homeowners obtain insurance equal to the full replacement value of the home. On a 2,000-square-foot home,for example, if the replacement cost is $80 per square foot, the house should be insured for at least $160,000.


For personal items, homeowners can increase their coverage beyond the depreciated value of items such as televisions or furniture by purchasing a “replacement-cost endorsement” on personal property.


Some experts recommend an inflation rider, which increases coverage as the home increases in value.


Personal Umbrella Liability Insurance


We all understand the general need for insurance, which protects you and your property from damage, theft and even natural disaster. But what happens when an accident occurs that exceeds the coverage these policies provide? Or what if you’re sued for something that falls outside of the scope of your insurance?


Many situations are likely to result in settlements that exceed whatever coverage you may have. If you want to fully protect the assets belonging to you and your family, extra coverage is not just a luxury; it’s a necessity.


An “Umbrella” of Liability Protection

A personal umbrella policy coverage “kicks in” where your existing coverage ends. It can provide additional liability protection at $1 million to $5 million above the limits noted in basic auto and homeowners policies.

Personal umbrella protection can cover:

Operating most motor vehicles, including cars, RVs, motorcycles, pickup trucks, and most watercraft

Incidents involving any property covered by your basic homeowners policy

Incidents alleging slander, libel, defamation of character, invasion of privacy, even false arrest

Business liability coverage, if covered by your basic homeowners policy


A Relative Bargain

For the amount of protection you get, umbrella liability coverage is not very expensive. Premiums can be as low $100 to $300 a year for $1 million worth of coverage. Many situations are likely to result in settlements that exceed whatever coverage you may have. If you want to fully protect the assets belonging to you and your family, extra coverage is not just a luxury; it’s a necessity.