Preparedness and Attentiveness Key to Handling EQ Claims
by Bryan Harrison
All Californians live with the clear knowledge that, one day, the earth will shake mightily again. Still, that reality tends to lurk far away from day-to-day activities for most of us. That is not the case for Dan Dyce.
Response Manager for the California Earthquake Authority, Dyce is very well versed in resources for dealing with EQ related insurance claims. He shared a tremendous amount of that information, and numerous invaluable online resources, with the October 12, 2006 luncheon gathering of the Sacramento Claims Association.
"Bay Area residents under the age of 40," he stated, "have a high likelihood of experiencing a large earthquake in their lifetimes."
Choices for earthquake coverage have improved dramatically since the Loma Prieta and Northridge quakes. Dyce directed that you may choose to self-insure, and hope that FEMA will bail you out. Maximum such benefit is now $26,500. As a business owner, you could get an SBA loan up to $240,000; you may choose to establish a credit line, which you would then diligently NOT use; and/or purchase earthquake insurance for around $250. Two thirds of Californians with earthquake insurance, he stated, have it through the California Earthquake Authority (CEA).
Dan addressed the commonly held conception that earthquake insurance doesn't have much value. In the event of a catastrophic loss, he said, your coverage will be quite good. He did suggest that having a credit line available will effectively ease the burden of meeting deductibles.
He cautioned adjusters to never have a contractor go out and scope an earthquake loss on their own. They, as is their nature, "will write everything," he said.
He covered a lot of ground in a very brief presentation. He provided hand-outs from the USGS, as well as an overview of his PowerPoint presentation. For a more extensive presentation, you may catch Dan Dyce as the keynote speaker for the upcoming PLRB Regional Conference in the south bay Nov. 14-15th.
Earthquake-Related Links provided include:
Shake Maps (cell phone notification)
Shake Cast (good tool for public feedback)
Earthquake Data - historic
Information by Region
Earthquake Notification Service (ENS)
Did you feel it?
CISN Display of activity worldwide
Aftershock Forecast Map
Longitude and Latitude mapping (a very cool resource)
Northern California Earthquake Data