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Sounding Off in the San Francisco Chronicle

This weekend's Sound Off asks what are the pros and cons of earthquake insurance. Here's a peek of what I had to say before you can read it on SFGate or in the Sunday paper...

The largest benefit of earthquake insurance is peace of mind. The primary function of earthquake insurance is to put a roof back over your head, not to replace all that you lost. Typically the coverage for personal property is low, though it can be increased. If your home is damaged beyond habitability, you can be covered for additional living expenses like a rental home, hotel, meals, temporary storage, even the cost of doing laundry while your home is being rebuilt or repaired. You can rest assured that you will not be homeless if an earthquake shakes your home to the ground. But for the typically high premiums and deductibles you’ll pay for that peace of mind, you will not be covered for fire (your regular insurance covers fires, even those resulting from an earthquake); damage to your land isn’t covered (think erosion, cracks in the earth, or sinkholes), your vehicles aren’t covered by earthquake insurance (check your auto insurance for coverage), nor is water damage from outside your home (think sewer or drain backup or a flood). Can you put a price tag on your peace of mind? Do your own research to determine how the pros and cons weigh out for you, and remember to check your existing coverages to see if your largest concerns may already be covered.

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