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Earthquakes Not Covered in Standard Homeowners' Policy

Contact: Ragan Ingram/Steve Holmes

334-241-4146

4/21/2008

Recent earthquakes that have originated in the Midwest have prompted the Alabama Department of Insurance to remind citizens that earthquake damages are not covered in the standard homeowners’ insurance policy, Commissioner Walter A. Bell said Monday.

“People think of earthquakes as a California-only concern,” Commissioner Bell said. “The reality is that the New Madrid Fault, which could affect northern parts of our state, can generate serious earthquakes.

“No standard insurance policy, including the homeowner's policy, covers catastrophic damage that is caused by an earthquake. For an additional premium, companies offer an earthquake endorsement with your homeowner's policy that will protect you in case your home suffers earthquake damage. This coverage is typically inexpensive and should be considered.”

Approximately 20 earthquakes have occurred in the Midwestern U.S. beginning Friday, on which an earthquake that was 5.4 on the Richter scale struck.

“If you have concerns regarding earthquake coverage, I advise you to contact your insurance agent to inquire about an earthquake endorsement if you live in an area where an earthquake is possible to occur,” Commissioner Bell said. “If you have any questions beyond that, please contact the Alabama Department of Insurance.”

The Department’s website is www.aldoi.gov. The toll-free number to the Department is 800-433-3966.

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