California is considered the state most at risk from earthquakes, but there are other regions of the U.S. where damaging shake-ups can occur. Like flooding, earthquakes are not covered by most residential insurance policies. Assessing your need for a special earthquake insurance policy should be high on your list of New Year's resolutions.
"An earthquake will happen in California, and we are seeing them in other states," says Pete Moraga, spokesman for the Insurance Information Network of California. "California is the epicenter of earthquake country, but just 11.3 percent of (the state's) homeowners have earthquake coverage. Businesses have 6.67 percent. When we have another earthquake, who is going to pay?"
A 2011 report from the Congressional Research Service warned about "potentially large losses" from earthquakes due to new development in seismically active areas and the inability of aging structures to withstand quakes.
Moraga worries that efforts to educate homeowners and businesses about the need for earthquake insurance are falling short nationwide. Nearly 75 million people in 39 states are at some risk from earthquakes, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.