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Earthquakes and Earthquake Insurance Cover

On June 11, 2023, at the inconvenient hour of 2:38 a.m., the land beneath Johannesburg, South Africa shook dramatically. A magnitude 5.0 earthquake, centered just 6 kilometers from the southeastern town of Alberton, rippled through the Gauteng province. While there were no immediate reports of significant damage or casualties, the tremors were undeniably felt by many South Africans.

Earthquakes in South Africa are far from common, the last seismic event of similar magnitude was recorded in 2014. This rarity, however, does not detract from the potential destruction that an earthquake can wreak on property and infrastructure. As with any unexpected and disruptive natural event, this situation underscores the importance of having comprehensive insurance coverage to protect against potential damages.

Many people might assume that their insurance policies automatically cover all forms of disasters, including earthquakes. However, this is not always the case. Various forms of insurance policies provide for different types of risks, and some, including certain property insurance policies, may not inherently include earthquake coverage.

To understand your coverage better, let's dissect a typical insurance policy wording: "Loss or destruction of or damage to the insured property by fire, explosion, lightning, earthquake or by the special perils ..."

This clause indicates that damage from earthquakes is not excluded from the general policy coverage, along with other hazards like fire, explosion, and lightning. It also introduces "special perils," which are specific circumstances that are covered under the policy. The clause continues to provide a detailed list of what these special perils are, including damage caused by storm, wind, water, hail, or snow.

However, the policy also outlines exceptions to these special perils—situations where the coverage would not apply. These can include damage to property caused by a tidal wave originating from an earthquake or volcanic eruption, damage occurring in the underground workings of any mine, or damage to property in open areas or unroofed structures.

Given the complex and specific nature of insurance policies, it is highly recommended to consult with an experienced insurance broker. For those residing in areas prone to natural disasters, whether they be rare earthquakes or common storms, having the correct coverage could mean the difference between financial ruin and resilience.

Deo Gratia insurance brokers can provide such expertise. Our team of qualified brokers can help navigate the often confusing language of insurance policies and work with you to ensure that your property, business, and assets are adequately protected from all manner of calamities, including earthquakes.

Don't wait for the ground to shake again. Protect your investments and future by contacting Deo Gratia insurance brokers today. You can reach us through our website, via email, or by phone. Our dedicated team is ready to help you understand your coverage needs and assist you in making informed decisions about your insurance.

Earthquakes, like many natural disasters, are unpredictable. While we cannot prevent them, we can prepare for them. With the right insurance protection, you can have peace of mind knowing that should another quake strike, your financial well-being won't crumble.


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