4.8 magnitude earthquake hits Northeast

April 8, 2024

On Friday, many Northeasterners felt the effects of a 4.8 magnitude earthquake, which rocked our world with shaking buildings from Philadelphia to New Jersey to New York City to Connecticut to Westchester, N.Y. The earthquake was centered near Whitehouse Station, N.J., according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The thing that many do not realize is that major fault lines run through the Northeast. The most active fault lines run through New York City into New Jersey and from the northern end of the Adirondacks into Quebec and Ontario. There are also fault lines in western New York and in the southern Adirondacks that run north of Schenectady into the Mohawk Valley.

With any event like this comes the insurance questions

Now that your clients—both personal and commercial insureds—just experienced the earth moving under their feet, you will be sure to receive this question: Can I purchase earthquake insurance coverage now?

If there’s been a recent earthquake, most insurers won’t sell any new earthquake insurance policies for 30 to 60 days since there may be damaging aftershocks within that period of time.

To assist you in educating your clients and potential clients about earthquake coverage, PIA offers two consumer flyers you can share with them:

  • Earthquake coverage not included in homeowners insurance policies; and
  • Earthquake coverage not included in business insurance policies.

For a copy of either of these resources, contact PIA’s Industry Resource Center at resourcecenter@pia.org.

Insureds who experienced damage

If your insureds received any damage to their home or business and they have earthquake coverage currently, encourage them to submit a claim—even if they don’t think the damage to their home or business is greater than their deductible. A qualified professional should inspect their home or building for both structural (hidden) and cosmetic damage. The inspection should include the attic, basement, walls, foundation and chimney.

Shirley Albright, CPIA, CISR
PIA Northeast | + posts

Shirley Albright, CPIA, CISR, joined PIA in 1983 and has worked in many facets of the association over the years. In 1995, she was an integral part of establishing the Industry Resource Center to include the development of the software system to record and track all incoming and outgoing inquiries. She quickly moved from industry resource representative to assistant director and eventually to her current position as director. Currently, Shirley oversees the daily operations of the Industry Resource Center to include the triage of thousands of incoming member inquiries. Her other accomplishments include obtaining her New York state property/casualty broker’s license, CPIA and CISR designations.

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