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Rare East Coast earthquake provides property insurance reminders

Posted On Wed, August 24, 2011

The 5.8-magnitude earthquake centered in Virginia was felt from Atlanta to Canada on Tuesday, and may have shaken many more consumers elsewhere about their insurance needs.

The Insurance Information Institute reminds consumers shopping for cheap insurance quotes that damage from earthquakes is not included in standard home insurance rates. Instead, residents need to purchase it separately as an add-on.

"Everyone, no matter where they live, should contact their agent or company representative to make sure that they have the right type and amount of insurance," said Jeanne M. Salvatore, senior vice president of Public Affairs and consumer spokesperson for the III.

The Washington Post said the main earthquake, along with its several aftershocks, damaged many older buildings and forced many to be evacuated. A number of government buildings were undergoing inspections. So far, no serious injuries have been reported.

The U.S. Geological Survey says this week's quake was the strongest ever for that seismic zone in Central Virginia, eclipsing the previous record set in 1875. That earthquake, which took place before effective measurement was possible, is estimated to have had a magnitude of 4.8.

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