HomeRenters InsuranceQuake Shakes Millions In Northeast; Region’s Largest In 40 Years – Forbes...

Quake Shakes Millions In Northeast; Region’s Largest In 40 Years – Forbes Advisor

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A magnitude 4.8 earthquake rattled the Northeast Friday, sending startled residents into the streets and temporarily halting air traffic—but so far there have been no reports of serious damage or injuries.

The epicenter of the quake was in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, about 40 miles west of New York City, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. USGS data showed it was the largest quake in the area since 1983.

The earthquake shook the New York City and Philadelphia areas but was felt as far away as Boston and Baltimore.  The USGS says earthquakes on the East Coast tend to be felt across a wider area because underground sediment amplifies the rumbling.

Local officials are warning residents to be on alert for potential aftershocks in the coming days.

Most of U.S. at Risk for Damaging Earthquakes

While earthquakes are relatively rare on the East Coast, damaging temblors can occur there and in other parts of the country not known for earthquakes. In fact, in the latest National Seismic Model announced in January, USGS scientists said almost 75% of the U.S. could experience damaging earthquake shaking.

“New tools and technology identified nearly 500 additional faults that could produce a damaging quake,” the USGS said in a news release. Earthquakes of magnitude 5 or above have been recorded in 37 states over the past 200 years.

Do You Need Earthquake Insurance Coverage?

Homeowners insurance policies and renters insurance typically do not cover damage caused by an earthquake. If you want earthquake coverage, you’ll need to purchase a separate earthquake insurance policy.

Earthquake insurance policies typically cover damage to your home and other structures, your personal property and living expenses if a quake forces you to live elsewhere temporarily. But they have a number of exclusions, so read your policy carefully.

Items typically not covered by earthquake insurance include:

  • Water supply systems
  • Underground pipes
  • Landscaping
  • Satellite dishes and antennas
  • Other property outside your home

However, if an earthquake causes a fire that damages your home, you should be covered under your regular homeowners policy.

Shop around to find the best policy at the best price. In the Golden State, homeowners and renters can buy a policy through the California Earthquake Authority.

Experts suggest evaluating your earthquake risk to determine whether it’s worth it to buy a policy. As with most insurance, homeowners and renters in lower-risk areas will pay less for coverage than those in higher-risk regions.

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