earthquake and hurricane damage.

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Lothlorien, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    It seems that we are the only ones in my area that suffered damage from the earthquake. I think other people have damage, but just don't realize it. Our garage has a huge crack in it. The concrete pad outside the garage lifted up about 1 1/2 inches too, so we had to cut part of it out so we could close the garage.

    Then, a couple of days ago, I went to let the dog out and noticed this huge bulge on the back of the house. The siding is bowed. It's not soft and mushy, but is solid behind the bowing. My dad says it's water damage behind the wood. WTheck?

    Did any of you have any issues from the quake? What about the hurricane?
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Ugh! What a headache that must be. I imagine a lot of people really didn't have a chance to identify any earthquake damage before being impacted by Irene. Good thing your husband works in construction.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Sister in law (virginia) said their complex had some minor damage from the quake......a few cracks in masonry here and there, nothing structural. But it took some searching to actually find it, which the complex people did. Irene added to it, bringing some of the masonry down, again nothing major, but she said other places near by had much more damage than expected. I'm guessing probably due to quake damage that was missed maybe.
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    Nope, not likely. Unless this is new construction or new siding and never gone through NJ rains and snows before. AND I'm assuming your insurance will cover the earthquake damage. DO NOT MENTION water/hurricane damage to an insurance agent. They start blaming it on flooding which is NOT covered by even the best policies. You must have a separate flood insurance policy. Wind driven rain is an entirely different gray area as far as insurance goes. Logically it should be covered, but.......

    Anyway, I've never seen siding just bowing out from a house after a hurricane, but have seen bowing siding on many houses with cracked foundations. I say it's earthquake and am sending positive vibes that you can get it all covered and fixed.
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Bowing of wood siding... if it was water behind, there should be some kind of "mush" to it...
    I'm thinking more likely - subtle shifts to the property from the earthquake. This would put stress points into the structure, and the materials have to go somewhere when stressed... so you get a bulge or a bow.

    You probably don't know this but... was the structure square and true before the earthquake? That is, was the floor level, and the walls straight? If so, you could check now to see how square and true things are.

    Having said that... a bow in the siding is always a problem. The boards are not fitting together the way they should, so it becomes possible for water to get in behind the boards. Over time, this can rot the wall. (You already knew that, right?) This means... you probably need to pull that siding and see what's really going on. Of course - easier said than done.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Look for cracks in the ceiling or at the door frames. You will see them at any joints in the drywall where they taped the sheets but they normally show up first running either along a ceiling joist or from the corner of a window sill or a door frame.
  7. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Keisha, Earthquake is specifically excluded from insurance policies unless there is a fire following the quake. Flood coverage is also excluded - you have to buy a separate policy for these coverages

    Here on friday up by Newhall they had a 4.3 quake - gave me a hmmmmm moment - have been dithering about buying a quake policy but just for some reason had a hmmmmm kinda moment and went on line and bought the policy - finally. Pretty funny since I write earthquake and flood policies for a living LOL My deductible is 97,500.00 (15%) before anything would be paid out. Thankfully I can write myself a deductible buy back policy that would reduce that to 16,250.00 but would be hard pressed to even come up with that amount if the doo hit the fan. :(

  8. keista

    keista New Member

    WOW! That's a deductible? Sheesh!

    Marci, is that nationwide, or just in CA? The only two exclusions I have on my policy are flood and volcano. An interesting line on mine is "Sudden and Accidental Tearing Apart, Cracking, Burning or Bulging"

    It certainly depends on the insurance policy and the adjuster. Down here, the jury is still out on "wind driven rain". The second it puddles somewhere it becomes a "flood" condition. Have to prove that the wind created an opening for the rain to get in.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    That deductable kinda caught my eye too... first reaction is "what kind of house do you live in anyway!"... but at 15%... its nothing extravigant.
    And that will probably be house AND contents - right? I won't tell you what our deductable is (don't need envy).

    We can't get flood ins - OR earthquake ins - but for different reasons.
    Nobody knows what our earthquake risk is... so they won't insure it.
    Flood - happens far too often.
    Wind-driven rain = same as flood, unless you can prove the water damage is due to storm damage allowing water in (for example, storm snaps tree into house... even if it just breaks the window, any water damage as a result is storm damage - but forcing rain between the door and the jamb? "bad maintenance" - no coverage.
    Water in basement = flood. Unless it came in through the sewer system, in which case it is covered.
    Hail damage - is covered - shingles, for example, damaged siding, windows.
    Tornado - not covered. Can't get insurance for "acts of God". Which is why flood isn't covered either.

    Insurance is such a complicated business. We can't afford to not have it. But when insurance takes up the first 25% of your take-home pay... its not nice. And we're not even paying for basic medical ins! (this is Canada). House. Car. Life. Disability. Extended health care (medications etc.). Debt insurance.

    I'm going to bed before my head explodes just thinking about this stuff!
  10. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Marci, I'm not far from you and I chose to buy earthquake insurance about 10 years ago after we put on an addition because I figured that with property values being what they are, we did NOT want to just walk away from this place. And in the event of a quake like they had in Northridge, we would likely have significant damage (we're on the Whittier fault).

    My deductible is a lot less than yours -- I don't think it's anywhere near 15%... probably more like 10%. I should talk to you offline. When I bought the policy I was not given any option of different deductibles/premiums. Maybe I need to look at this again... Could sure use a lower premium, even if it means a higher deductible. And what's a deductible buyback policy? Never heard of that!
  11. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I live in NJ and our house is a mess from the hurricane. The ins. adjuster came out, we're covered for everything and we just have our homeowners ins. We do have a $500 deductible. We need a new roof, there's damage inside, flooding in the house, walls, carpets. The gutters are all bent and so are the screens, trees are down. It's all covererd from the hurricane.
  12. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Nothing of note from the quake, even though we are 30 minutes from the epicenter (but I live in a big old house with plaster walls so cracks are part of our character!).

    The hurricane we did have more. Tons and tons of debris, a tree down in our front yard, a leak in the flat roof section of my family room that came cascading out of one of the high-hat lights, and the parquet floor in the family room is bowed at the back door because the wind was directly blowing at my doors and I didn't notice it until late in the day....

  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Nothing that we can see yet ... and after the hurricane and tropical storm last night, we would have noticed new leaks.
    Doesn't mean there isn't something subtle.
    I'm so sorry Loth, what a mess. Fingers crossed for costs to be covered and repairs to go smoothly.
  14. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    We do have specific flood coverage - with a $5000 deductible. It costs us an extra $11 per year - not quite a dollar a month. We also have an "Act of God" clause in ours - the winds in 2008 from Ike were covered, though we had no damage. I also have a list of things considered "Acts of God" that my ins. co. sent, just in March. Earthquakes are listed. Amusing. Floods are not. Rain is...
  15. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    GCV, I don't deal with the general public - I only write for brokers and agents as I am a surplus lines broker, but you can call me and I can give you some help or point you in a direction. 909-396-9877 On the buy back policy, I write a policy covering just my earthquake deductible - in my case my regular earthquake policy has a deductible of $97,500.00 I would buy a policy for 81,250.00. which would reduce my deductible to 16,250.00. Once I pay my deductible of 16,250.00, I have coverage up to what my 15% deductible would be - anything after that my regular earthquake policy would pick it up. Buy Backs are expensive which is why I mainly write them for my entertainment driven clients.

    Insane and others, you can buy any kind of coverage you want no matter where you live, but probably would have to go thru Lloyds London or similar type company thru a specialty broker.