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Navigating Earthquake Property Damage Coverage in the Wake of Recent Tremors

The recent 4.8 magnitude earthquake near Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, felt across the Tri-State area, has thrust earthquake property damage coverage into the spotlight for property owners in New York and New Jersey. In the aftermath, many are left wondering about the efficacy of their policies and the future implications on both coverage and premiums.

A review of various carriers’ policies reveals significant variances in earthquake coverage and deductibles. For instance, a Manhattan condo master policy carries a $100k deductible for earthquakes under the “Earth Movement” definition, without explicitly excluding earthquake property damages. This indicates a substantial deductible but no outright exclusion. Conversely, policies for cooperative units and commercial buildings may include specific exclusions or endorsements for earthquake damage, often with significant deductibles relative to the property’s value.

The aftermath of this unexpected seismic event is a wake-up call to policyholders, especially as the property damage coverage landscape in NYC and NJ has been grappling with rising premiums. The potential for increased premiums or stricter policy terms post-earthquake is a real concern, particularly for condo and cooperative boards that must balance budget constraints with the need for adequate coverage.

This event raises several critical questions for property owners and boards:

  • How will increased premiums or higher deductibles for earthquake coverage affect the affordability of collective living?
  • What strategies can boards employ to manage potential increases in policy costs?
  • How will these changes impact the real estate market values in affected areas?

At United Public Adjusters & Appraisers, Inc., our team is dedicated to guiding policyholders through the complexities of their property damage coverage, including assessments of post-natural disasters like earthquakes. Our expertise in policy review and claims management can help ensure that you are adequately protected and fairly compensated for any damages incurred.

As we navigate this changing landscape together, it’s crucial for property owners and boards to review and understand their current policies and to consider the long-term implications of their policies and coverage on their properties and communities.

Should there be a need, now or in the future, to document and submit an earthquake damage claim, United Public Adjusters & Appraisers will capably assist your management team? We will guide the preparation and submission of all earthquake damage claims as well as oversee the entire claims process to its satisfactory conclusion with a just settlement offer.


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