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Selling Earthquake Insurance in Lower Risk Areas

We are frequently asked by agents how to sell earthquake policies to clients who live in areas with lower earthquake risk.

Here are some important points you can make to inform them that earthquake risk is real for them, too – even if they don’t reside in a higher risk area:

Point 1

Earthquakes damage radiates outward from its epicenter like the ripples in a pond – sometimes hundreds of miles. So even if you live in a lower-hazard zone, that doesn’t mean your house won’t be damaged.

Point 2

Even minor earthquakes can inflict significant property damage. Factors that affect the severity of the damage include your proximity to the epicenter, the depth of the epicenter and the duration of the shaking.

Point 3

There is virtually no region of California that has been untouched by earthquakes. Some regions are hit more frequently, but there are literally thousands of faults beneath the state – and some of them are unknown until an event occurs.

Point 4

California is located on the juncture of two enormous continental plates: the North American plate and the Pacific plates. In accordance with plate tectonic theories, these plates are slowly migrating. As they do, they are continually creating heat and energy, and sudden releases of energy can create earthquakes virtually anywhere in the state.

Point 5

Earthquake insurance is much more affordable in lower-risk areas. Your clients can get peace of mind at a relatively low cost – and they can lower those costs further by selecting deductibles and other options that make sense for them. Some of them can get policies for just pennies a day.

In summary …

The main reason all California clients should consider adding an earthquake policy is this: The Risk is Real. Nearly everyone in California lives within 30 miles of an active fault. Yet earthquakes can create major damage many miles away. For instance, the Loma Prieta event, which was centered 10 miles northeast of Santa Cruz, heavily damaged parts of the Bay Area that are more than 70 miles away.