As the odd earthquake still rattles us, these shakes serve as a timely reminder to carry out an inspection of our homes to consider what, if any, damage exists.
Your policy of insurance provides cover for natural disaster damage but not for damage that was pre-existing. To avoid having to have this discussion with your insurance company, we recommend that you carry out a yearly inspection of your home so you know what damage exists.
Take photos of each room – the door frames, window frames, any crack that already exists. Check every window and door opens and closes easily. Consider the levelness of the floors. If your home has a number of cracks, make a crack map so you can monitor the cracks and if and how they change year to year.
Cracks can be caused by shrinkage, settlement and a host of other reasons. Pre-existing cracks can be exacerbated by an earthquake event. The question then will be whether the exacerbation is de minimis or material, and the decision on what category the damage falls into may affect your entitlement under your policy. Your inspection records will constitute evidence that provides a good starting point for this conversation. Having records that show from year to year what damage exists could be of great assistance to you if there is another earthquake event.
If you still have unresolved earthquake issues please contact Sarah Manning, Partner (DDI 03 343 8456 /email@example.com).