Earthquake coverage readily available in Ohio

OHIO (WOIO) - Tuesday's earthquake in Virginia and Monday's surpriser in Colorado may have some Ohioans thinking about the risk and need for earthquake coverage.

Besides being readily available, it's relatively affordable in the Buckeye state. Most companies offer it by endorsement, as add-on coverage to an existing policy or through an arrangement with another carrier.

Coverage costs

Premiums differ widely by location, insurer and the type of structure that is covered. Generally, older buildings cost more to insure than new ones. Wood frame structures generally benefit from lower rates than brick buildings because they tend to withstand quake stresses better. Regions are graded on a scale of 1 to 5 for likelihood of quakes, and this may be reflected in insurance rates offered in those areas.

Companies continually analyze loss exposure and risk associated with all types of natural disasters. Although earthquake risk in Ohio isn't as significant as California, related costs increase. According to Marshall & Swift/Boeckh, Ohio home construction costs increased 25.7% between 2001-2006. A home built in 2001 for $200,000 would run $225,700 to build in 2006.

The cost of earthquake insurance is calculated on "per $1,000 basis."  For instance, a frame house in the Pacific Northwest might cost between one to three dollars per $1,000 worth of coverage, while it may cost less than fifty cents per $1,000 on the East coast.

A brick home would cost approximately $3 to $15 dollars per $1,000 in the Pacific Northwest, while it would cost between 60 to 90 cents in New York.

For some, the potential for a total loss makes earthquake coverage a worthwhile investment. A $150,000 frame home with a $500 deductible (other companies offer it with a 2-10% deductible) can run as little as $30. The same coverage for a brick structure is about $70, since it typically doesn't withstand quake stress as well as frame.

If you want earthquake coverage, it's available and affordable in Ohio.

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