Jonathan Edewards

Making your home earthquake safe; Retrofitting

Earthquake Insurance for homes and condos typically carries a requirement that the dwelling be bolted to the foundation.  Many older homes were not built this way and require a specialized contractor to retrofit a home for earthquake safety. A recent article in the Pasadena Star News interviews one such contractor:

Highlights:

  • Typical cost to retrofit a home for earthquake safety is: $4,000
  • Many homes in San Marino and Beverly Hills already are bolted, but most other areas are not.
  • Bolts should be space 6ft apart for one-story dwellings, and 4ft apart for 2 story dwellings.
  • Foundations made of brick or river rock (as opposed to concrete) may require a new secondary foundation, which costs much more, ~$25,000.

Greg Sylvis retrofits homes to make them earthquake safe – SGVTribune.com.

Earthquake Insurance can be quite costly, often equal to or more than the homeowners policy, but some rates are decreasing.

The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) has announced that its statewide rates will decrease on average 12.5%, effective Jan. 1, 2012, for new and renewal CEA policies.

The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) is a publicly managed, largely privately funded organization that provides catastrophic residential earthquake insurance through private insurance companies, including to Safeco’s property insurance customers.

There are other alternatives to the CEA, including GeoVera Insurance Company, Travelers Insurance, and CIG Insurance companies, and rates vary widely between companies depending on the specific address of each home.

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Identity Theft: Who’s on Your Side?

A Case Manager In Your Corner

Maybe I fret too much, but as a consumer who uses credit cards for all my purchases and buys online from eBay, Groupon, Amazon, etc, I worry a lot about Identity Theft.  It’s relatively easy these days for crooks to get ahold of account information and open up new lines of credit in a victim’s name.  Those false unpaid accounts can swiftly wreck years of solid credit history, and undoing the damage isn’t easy.  It can take hours and hours of phone calls and letter-writing to the three credit bureaus and to creditors to clear your record.

That’s why I often recommend Safeco Insurance to my clients. As part of a standard homeowners or renter’s insurance policy, Safeco (and almost all other insurance companies) offers Identity Theft Coverage, to reimburse you for losses related to Identity Theft.

Safeco, however, I think is special, because Safeco provides a case manager who will assist you in clearing your record, and save you valuable time.

Safeco’s Identity Theft Coverage features:

  • Case manager – At no additional charge, a dedicated case management company works directly with your customer to work through the claim process.
  • High annual limit – Expense reimbursement up to $25,000 annually for expenses incurred after identity theft.
  • Lost wages and child or elder care expenses – Up to $250 per day up to a limit of $5,000.
  • No adverse premium impact – Any claims made under this coverage option will have no impact on future premiums.
  • Just $12 a year or $1 a month