Should Braemar Home Owners Have Earthquake Insurance?

Should Braemar Home Owners Have Earthquake Insurance?

Seems everyone is still talking about yesterday’s 5.9 earthquake.  That was certainly an unusual occurence for Braemar residents and the rest of Northern Virginia, but does that mean you should discount the idea of buying earthquake insurance?  I don’t think so.

As a home owner in Braemar, I know the first thought on my mind was wondering if my home would sustain damage as I stood in a door frame, white knuckled and waiting for the shaking to stop.  We were really fortunate to not see damage in our area. 

Scientists will tell you that our earthquake was a once in a 100 year occurrence.  Well, that may be, but after calling my home owners insurance company today, I am not taking any chances.  Turns out that my standard insurance policy does not cover earthquake damage.  So if yesterday’s quake had been a bit stronger and done damage, well, it’s out of pocket expenses to fix whatever needs repair.

Turns out the replacement cost of my home is about $620,000.  For the cost of $186 per year I can have earthquake insurance.  What that means is if my home ever gets damaged by an earthquake, I will have to come out of pocket 2% of the replacement value of my home in a deductible before the insurance kicks in.  That’s $12,400. 

While the odds are against having another major quake in my lifetime, the odds of my having the money to replace my home are slim to none as well.  I’ll go with the low cost of the insurance and pray it never is used.  There will definitely be piece of mind if the earth ever starts moving and my house starts rattling again.

And as an FYI, insurance carriers are not issuing earthquake insurance in our area until we get two weeks past yesterday’s event.  If you think you want the same piece of mind, put a note on the calendar to call after the kids go back to school. 

Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker-Licensed in VA, Long & Foster REALTORS®


Was That an Earthquake We Just Felt in Braemar?

Was That an Earthquake We Just Felt in Braemar?

Yes it was.  I was on the upper level of my Braemar home when it happened at 1:51pm.  At first I thought it was a rock quarry shake, then it didn’t stop and got worse.  Definitely a surreal experience.

WTOP was reporting that quake was a magnitude 5.8 centered in Mineral, VA right after it happened.  I think news reports are now reporting a 5.9 or 6.0.  The worst anyone in our neighborhood would have to deal with is rearranged wall hangings and possibly items that jumped off table tops or bookshelves.

Looks like life in Braemar and the surrounding Northern Virginia area just got a bit more interesting.  Hope this isn’t a normal occurence, though we did have a smaller earthquake last year out of Germantown, MD.

Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker-Licensed in VA, Long & Foster REALTORS®