Home » Reducing Fire Risks from Earthquakes
March 23, 2017

Reducing Fire Risks from Earthquakes

Most Californians know that earthquakes can strike at any time, without warning. If a major quake hits, it brings with it a high likelihood of damages and injuries.

Earthquakes can cause much more than a chipped mug or a broken picture frame. If a quake hits the right place at the right time, it could severely damage your home and your personal property. Quakes can cause many home damages like cracked foundations and burst pipes. Among these risks comes the chances of a fire.

Earthquakes can trigger house fires. Structure fires following quakes could lead to severe home damages or even a total loss. Homeowners will likely turn to their insurance if they experience an earthquake-related fire.

Earthquakes, Insurance and Fires

California is at a high risk for earthquakes, due to the presence of several major fault lines in the state. Therefore, the state has special regulations regarding earthquake insurance and fire coverage.

The standard home insurance policy typically does not offer earthquake coverage. Homeowners’ policies in California are no exception.

However, California law requires standard home insurance policies to cover fire damages, including fires from quakes.

If an earthquake causes a fire in your home, the California Department of Insurance and state laws require your standard home insurance to cover the damages. Therefore, most California earthquake insurance policies do not cover fire damages.

Ways to Prevent Earthquake-related Fires

Your home insurance will likely cover quake-related fire damages. But, you don’t want to face fire damages just the same. If you live in a quake-prone area, take steps to reduce the risk of earthquake-related fires.

  • When building a home, consider adding quake-resistant architectural and structural reinforcements. These can help reduce the severity of earthquake damages and thus reduce the risk of fires.
  • Keep your home’s vital systems in good working order. Gas, electricity and heating systems can trigger fires if an earthquake damages them. Have these systems inspected annually.
  • Look into fire suppression systems for your home. Keep fire extinguishers or other suppression methods on hand. These systems can help you isolate fires and possibly contain damages.
  • Keep flammable materials in secure areas.

California requires standard home insurance to provide earthquake fire coverage. But, don’t forego a full earthquake insurance policy. Earthquake insurance will help cover many different damages not related to fires.

If you need earthquake insurance, give us a call today at 925.737.1560. We can help you get the appropriate California earthquake insurance coverage.

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