This page is specific to the Alaska Earthquake that occurred in November 30, 2018. It is current as of January 9, 2019, and will be updated as necessary.

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Alaska Earthquake Frequently Asked Questions

Is damage from an earthquake covered under my State Farm homeowners policy?

  • No, damage from an earthquake is not covered under a standard State Farm homeowner insurance policy in Alaska. However, State Farm will pay for any accidental direct physical loss by fire resulting from earth movement, provided the resulting fire loss is itself a loss insured.
  • If the risk is eligible, insurance coverage for earthquake damage can be purchased as an endorsement to your State Farm homeowners insurance policy. Customers with questions about the earthquake endorsement can contact their local State Farm agent.

What are my first steps?

  • After a claim has been filed, a State Farm claims specialist will contact you to discuss the extent of damage and review what is covered under your policy.
  • If at any time during the claims process, you have questions, do not hesitate to ask your claims specialist. We know this can be a difficult and confusing time. We are here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Who is going to help me with my claim?

  • State Farm is here to support you from the beginning until the very end.
  • The claims process can be complex and it is often necessary to involve multiple claim specialists. This approach to enhanced customer service allows State Farm to provide quality and efficient claim service, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. Our customers should have confidence that State Farm will bring the necessary people resources to handle our customers’ claims.
  • State Farm has catastrophe claim teams in the area. Our claims operation includes a dedicated, mobile workforce, specially trained to handle catastrophe claims and prepared to go anywhere in the country within hours of being notified.

Does the State Farm earthquake endorsement provide coverage for debris removal?

  • A State Farm earthquake endorsement may provide coverage, subject to policy terms and limits, to remove debris from the residence premises. We recommend you contact your claim specialist, as they will be able to determine if coverage applies and how much State Farm will pay.
  • The choice of who to hire to remove debris from your property is yours. Make sure any removal company is licensed and bonded. Some cities, counties or governmental agencies may offer debris removal in exchange for an agreement that you pay all the money your insurance company pays you for this service.
  • State Farm does NOT negotiate debris removal expenses with the county, vendor, or any other entity. It is understood that the county, vendor or other entity is hired by you, our insured, and that they work for you – not State Farm.
  • If you receive invoices, estimates or other documentation for debris removal, contact your claim specialist.
  • Your claim specialist is available to assist you with any questions you may have and help facilitate the process with you and the other party.

Who pays for my living expenses?

  • If a covered loss occurs and damage is so extensive that your residence is uninhabitable, then Additional Living Expenses (ALE) may be available. Generally, ALE reimburses you for increased living expenses you incur as a result of your home being uninhabitable and is subject to the deductible and the terms and conditions of the policy. ALE is available to you while your home is being repaired or replaced, whichever is shorter.

How do I replace everything I have lost?

  • For personal contents (the Coverage B portion of your policy), typically, you are paid actual cash value upfront. Then, when you actually replace the damaged personal contents, you will receive the difference as a replacement cost benefit. This assumes the replacements occur within the designated time frame of the contract (up to two years).

How do I complete a personal contents inventory?

  • Claim resources are available to provide a personalized experience with customers by offering a face-to-face meeting with the customers to assist them with completing their inventory. Customers who do not need a face-to-face meeting can provide their inventory to their claim handler for processing or submit them electronically directly to their claim file 24/7.
  • Customers do not have to wait until their entire inventory is completed to submit to their claim. We encourage submitting inventories by rooms to make it easier for our customers to compile.
  • Again, if you need any assistance with the contents inventory process, all you have to do is ask your claim representative for in-person support. We will be there for you for this and all other aspects of your claim.

Do I get an advance on my personal contents so I can begin replacing items?

  • State Farm provides advances to address the immediate needs of our customers.
  • The advances are designed to provide you flexibility to begin the recovery process.
  • We are committed to provide every benefit you are entitled to within the policy contract. This includes payment for items you have lost, subject to the terms and conditions of the policy, up to the policy limits.
  • We have claim representatives that are committed to personalizing your claim experience and supporting you throughout the claim process.

Do I have enough insurance to cover the value of my home?

  • This tragic earthquake is an important reminder to meet with an agent at least annually to review policies and coverage.
  • It’s critical to understand that market value ‚Äčis different than the replacement cost to rebuild your home. Market value is the amount a buyer would pay for a home, including the land, regardless of how much it would cost to rebuild the home. Replacement cost for this purpose is the rebuilding cost necessary to replace your entire home.
  • We recommend that you purchase an amount of coverage at least equal to the estimated replacement cost. But the choice is yours. Since it is impossible to predict today what the exact cost will be to replace your home in the future, it's important to have enough coverage to account for unforeseen circumstances.

How can I figure out the replacement cost of my home?

  • The amount of insurance coverage selected is up to the customer.
  • Building contractors or professional replacement cost appraisers are a good source for obtaining an estimated replacement cost of your home. Estimates from these sources should reflect your home's features. When you upgrade or improve your home, you may increase your home's estimated replacement cost.
  • Ask if a replacement cost estimate is available when you have the home appraised or consult with your local builders association or a reputable builder for an estimate. If you are unable to obtain a detailed estimate from these sources, a third-party estimating tool is made available to your State Farm agent to assist you with estimating the replacement cost of your home.
  • Be sure to inform your agent about any changes to your home that may impact your insurance coverage needs.
  • Replacement cost estimates are influenced by supply of labor, demand for labor, and the cost of construction materials. Keeping up with the current market conditions in your area and changing your home insurance coverage amount accordingly, will help you maintain coverage at least equal to 100 percent of the estimated replacement cost coverage for your home.

How long does coverage last for a typical insurance policy?  

  • An insurance policy is a contract. You pay for coverage for a specified amount of time defined as the policy period (for example six months or a year). The contract protects you for that specified amount of time and for losses you incur under that contract.
  • Coverage is not cumulative year to year, meaning your premiums do not add up like a savings account to be used when there is a claim.

Does State Farm have the resources to pay all of these claims?

  • Disasters like these are a reminder that our business is highly volatile. Despite that volatility, our long history of financial strength is what allows us to keep the commitments we have made to our customers, helping to remove some of the uncertainty from their lives during times of significant loss.
  • We have faced countless significant weather and other major disasters over our 96-year history, and we stand ready for countless more as we help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams.

Will my insurance policy be non-renewed?

  • Many factors are considered when underwriting a homeowner’s insurance policy because each customer’s circumstances are unique. We look at each customer’s situation on a case-by-case basis to make sure we treat similar cases fairly and in a consistent manner.
  • Losses resulting from weather events or catastrophes may be included when re-underwriting a policy for continued insurance coverage. Depending on numerous characteristics that are specific to each policy, State Farm may elect to simply renew the policy, send a caution letter regarding overall claim activity, recommend or require repairs/loss mitigation measures or non-renew the risk.
  • Our customers are our top priority, and we want to be able to meet their needs. It is our intent and obligation to fairly and responsibly manage our business, provide the best possible service, and provide homeowners insurance for all of our customers over the long term.

Will rates go up for my homeowners insurance?

  • Rates are determined based on our anticipated need to pay future claims, not to make up for past losses. It is important to note that many factors are considered when underwriting and pricing a homeowners insurance policy because each customer’s circumstances are unique.
  • We encourage all of our customers to have a conversation with their agent to make sure they are comfortable with the appropriate coverage for their unique situations, including reviewing discounts available to them that could decrease their premiums.