Living in Florida and watching news reports of the devastation in Japan, you may be thinking about our approaching hurricane season. Thatâ€™s a good thing because you should be more prepared this year than you were last year and the year before that. But too many people may be less prepared, as we forget how vulnerable we are.
My colleague at the Insurance Information Institute, Claire Wilkinson, wrote on her insurance blog that most of the tab for losses from the earthquake will be paid for by the Japanese people themselves. Less than half the population carried earthquake insurance, which is optional coverage that must be purchased separately from the standard homeowners insurance policy. Californians have the option of buying earthquake insurance, too, and less than 12 percent have quake coverage.
This is not a time for lectures, so IÂ refrain. Japan has been touted as the most prepared nation. Its citizens know what to do in an earthquake emergency because they practice and plan. Some natural disasters are so immense that it may not be possible to withstand them. These are rare, but not rare enough. The next time someone says to you that â€śweâ€™ve never had flooding in my neighborhoodâ€ť or â€śIâ€™ve lived here my whole life and never had a bad storm strike,â€ť tell them that things that never happened before happen all the time. And, that four of the costliest earthquakes in history occurred in the past 13 months.
The I.I.I. provides a web page with information and statistics on the earthquake disaster in Japan.