Your California Auto Insurance and Earthquake Damage – What Would Be Covered?
If you live in California, earthquakes are just a part of life. They can strike without warning and cause untold damage, or just annoyance. But, amid all the reports of structural damage and closed roads, what about your car?
Earthquakes and Your Vehicle
Although the words “earthquake damage” create an image of the Earth opening up and swallowing your car, in truth, this rarely happens. If it did happen, your car would most likely be totaled and, well, what happens next in terms of covering the loss would be determined by the policy coverage you had at the time.
But you should really be far more concerned about the earthquake damage you could be stuck paying for without the right insurance.
In most cases, earthquake damage strikes not from below but from above, in the form of objects falling on to your car. This can cause anything from chipped paint and broken glass to your car being completely destroyed if the falling object is big and heavy enough. If a tree falls on most cars, it’s unlikely to be repairable.
How Much Will It Cost?
The problem with this type of damage, especially with older cars, is that the damage often comes in at a total cost of repairs that’s only a bit more than your deductible, while well under your car’s total value. For example, if some falling debris hits your hood, it’ll likely ding the hood and chip the paint… and then may promptly bounce off into your windshield. This kind of damage will mean a pretty penny at the auto shop, and most of it will likely be coming out of your pocket, depending on your deductible amount.
Protecting Your Car (and Your Wallet)
The first is fairly simple, surprisingly enough. All you need to do is obtain comprehensive insurance. “Comprehensive” coverage, as you may have guessed, covers a wide variety of scenarios involving damage to your car that aren’t covered under standard collision insurance. Important here is that comprehensive coverage usually covers damage to your car’s glass and paint, as well as fire, flood, vandalism, and impact with an animal.
You have heard that comprehensive insurance on a used car isn’t worth it, but take a second look before agreeing: It may protect you from a surprising degree of earthquake damage, and peace of mind may be worth the money.
As for reducing the risk of earthquake damage to your car, make sure and clean up objects near where you park, especially ones that may be above your car. Check to make sure items are secured and won’t fall off roofs or balconies. And, if possible, park as far away from buildings as you can.
If you want to make sure you’ve got insurance to cover many of the possibilities California may throw at you, contact AIS Insurance. For nearly half a century, we’ve been working with Californians to protect their cars, homes, businesses, watercraft and even weddings. AIS can help you find the best price on the best insurance for your needs.
This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements. The definitions, terms and coverage’s in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.