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In wake of earthquake, people wonder is damage covered under insurance?


Mon, Feb 6th 2023 02:25 pm

AAA offers advice and assistance

By AAA of Western and Central New York

A 3.8 magnitude earthquake hit the Buffalo area today, at about 6:15 a.m. AAA Western and Central New York is offering advice to area residents who might be surprised that earthquake insurance coverage is not automatically included in homeowners policies in New York.

AAA Insurance offers this advice and information:

√ In many other states, earthquake insurance is offered, but in New York, it’s an optional endorsement that home owners can add to their homeowners policy – though the majority of area residents don’t opt for it.

√ A typical homeowners policy in New York will cover a fire or explosion caused by an earthquake, but collapse or other damage is not covered without the optional endorsement.

√ AAA took an average homeowners policy and checked to see how much an endorsement would cost. An endorsement for a typical home with a brick portion costs $115 per year, and there is a 5% deductible for damage to the brick.

√ The endorsement is costly enough that most people don’t opt for it, but after today’s quake, some residents may consider it affordable for peace of mind.

√ The City of Buffalo reported damage from a brick structure hitting a car. According to AAA Insurance, comprehensive automotive coverage would cover damage from fallen bricks. Comprehensive coverage is optional, though it is included for leases or loans for new cars that are not yet paid off. Some drivers with older cars that are paid off opt out of it.

√ If bricks fell from a home in New York following an earthquake, the homeowner would need an earthquake endorsement on their insurance in order for the damage to be covered.

√ AAA Insurance customers who have suffered damage to their homes or vehicles can begin filing claims immediately. Customers are encouraged to contact AAA with any coverage questions.

Insurance is provided by AAA Members Insurance Agency of Western and Central New York Inc. Additional details on claims and quotes can be found at www.AAA.com/Insurance.

As upstate New York’s largest member services organization, AAA Western and Central New York provides more than 862,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.

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