Everything You Need to Know About Earthquake Insurance

Author Donald Gianassi

Posted Mar 7, 2023

Reads 13.1K

Black Smoke Coming From Fire

Earthquake insurance has become a popular way of protecting personal assets against the considerable destruction earthquakes can cause. Earthquakes can leave behind financial destruction and damage to foundations that consequently affects personal belongings, so buying earthquake insurance is an important step in protecting your home and other assets. An earthquake insurance policy is a standalone coverage that may not be included in existing standard homeowners or renters insurance policies, nor condo insurance policies.

Earthquake insurance coverage comes with high deductibles and premiums, but they considerably reduce the amount you will pay out-of-pocket when you make a claim payout. With that in mind, having an earthquake insurance policy can significantly help if your house faces any damages from an earthquake which would otherwise leave you to cover the entire repair costs on your own. Even though the premiums for an earthquake insurance policy are expensive, doing so helps guarantee the protection of your family’s finances if something happens to your home due to an earthquake.

Unearth the Benefits of Earthquake Insurance

Earthquake insurance isn't mandatory in the 50 states, but it is an important purchase to consider if you live in an area with frequent earthquakes. According to a US Geological Survey (USGS) report from 2014, magnitude 6.7 quakes in the greater California region have been occurring once every 30 years or so. Other western states, such as Missouri and Madrid Fault Line in southeastern Missouri have also seen earthquakes due to hydraulic fracturing.

The USGS website can help people decide if they should buy earthquake insurance by providing information on states' earthquake risk. For example, St Louis has a medium-to-high risk of suffering earthquake damage. Brick homes and wood frame houses with crawl spaces and multiple stories are at greater risk of destruction than single-story homes without crawl spaces. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources also offers helpful advice to people living in the region who are considering buying insurance.

People who don't buy earthquake insurance often assume that federal assistance will be available when a natural disaster upends their lives. However, federal assistance is not what you'd expect - individual grants are rare and loans offered by the Federal Emergency Management Administration and Small Business Administration are low-interest only, so even if your home survives a quake you may not get your money back. Earthquake insurance is a must for those living in high-risk areas - check out the USGS website for more information about which states have higher risks of earthquakes than others.

Not Covered - What You Should Know

Earthquake insurance policies are important for homeowners and renters to consider, especially for those who live in areas prone to earthquakes. Unfortunately, understanding what won’t be covered by an earthquake policy is just as important as understanding what it does cover.

Earthquake policies generally won't cover fires caused by a quake, vehicle damage, or preexisting damage that an earthquake insurance policy won't fix. Additionally, floods you'll typically need a separate flood insurance policy for floods caused by an earthquake. Further, a typical homeowners policy usually won’t cover damage to brick or stone homes with veneer walls; however, you can buy extra coverage for these types of homes.

In total, there are 10 kinds of damage that homeowners insurance won't cover—including earthquake damage—so it's important to know what your policies will and won't cover when considering earthquake protection.

Discovering the Basics of Earthquake Insurance

Earthquake insurance is a type of property insurance that isn't usually part of regular homeowners, condominium, or renters insurance policies. Insurance companies provide separate earthquake insurance policies, or it can be bundled with a homeowners insurance policy from an alternate provider. Earthquake insurance covers losses caused by earthquakes and other natural disasters such as fire, lightning, windstorms, hail, explosions, riot or civil commotion damage caused by aircraft or vehicles theft and volcanic eruption.

Surprisingly homeowners insurance doesn't cover disasters like floods, earthquakes and sewer backup as well as maintenance damage-meaning insect infestation. This is why it's important to have earthquake insurance if you live in a region where earthquakes are likely to occur. Earthquake insurance helps cover the costs for damages that are resulted directly from an earthquake.

In summary, earthquake insurance does not cover many things that regular homeowners policies do (like fire and theft), but instead has specific features designed to protect homes and their contents against damage caused by earthquakes. This type of coverage includes dwelling coverage which helps repair or rebuild physical structures on the property and attached structures such as garages. It also offers personal property protection which covers TVs, computers, tablets and furniture inside the home plus extra living expenses if you're unable to live inside your home due to the damages caused by an earthquake according to the insurance terms called loss of use.

1. What earthquake insurance covers:

Earthquake insurance is important for those living in areas prone to seismic activity. But what does earthquake insurance actually cover?

Earthquake insurance typically covers damage to the insured structure and any attached structures, such as a detached garage. It also may cover the cost of temporary housing if the home owner must move out while repairs are being made. Additionally, earthquake insurance can provide coverage for damaged personal property, additional living expenses, and liability protection.

2. What earthquake insurance may cover:

Earthquake insurance can provide a great deal of protection in the event of an earthquake. Depending on the policy, it can cover many aspects of rebuilding your home post-earthquake to meet current building codes and other expenses associated with damage caused by an earthquake.

In addition to covering property damage, some policies may also cover debris removal as well as living expenses if you're unable to live in your home after an earthquake occurs. With the right coverage, you'll be able to rebuild quickly and get back to your normal life faster.

3. What earthquake insurance doesn’t cover:

Earthquake insurance is a form of specialized coverage that provides financial protection for homeowners in the event their home is damaged by an earthquake. While it offers many benefits, there are several things that earthquake insurance doesn't cover that people should be aware of.

For starters, fire damage and losses due to floods are usually not covered by earthquake insurance and must be included in standard homeowners insurance or purchased as separate flood coverage. Land erosion and damage to vehicles located on the property also aren't typically covered by earthquake policies, so car insurance would need to be used for this type of protection.

4. Do I need Earthquake Insurance?

Do you need Earthquake Insurance? The answer is a resounding yes, especially if you live in one of the states with high earthquake probabilities. Disaster can strike at any time, and if your entire home is destroyed or damaged by an earthquake, the premiums you'll pay for earthquake insurance are worth it. Even in states with lesser probabilities of earthquakes, the highest history on record has been recorded—so it pays to be prepared.

Earthquakes premiums range from 0.2% to 4% of a property’s insured value; however, don't let that make buying earthquake insurance seem like a fruitless endeavor. Thankfully, there are ways to reduce premium costs – some states offer cheaper policies than others, so researching your options could save you money in the long run. Buying a separate policy from your homeowners insurance can also help to get a reduced quote; many insurers may not offer earthquake coverage but still offer nonetheless due to their lower premiums costs and potential savings from claims.

This shouldnt demotivate you from getting earthquake insurance if you live in an earthquake-prone state; after all, the end result of being unprepared when disaster strikes is much worse than spending money on peace of mind. According to the 2008 United States Geological Surveys (USGS) National Seismic Hazard Map which surveyed 50 states, 16 had higher probabilities than others – Alaska, Arkansas, California, Hawaii Idaho Illinois Kentucky Missouri Montana Nevada Oregon South Carolina Tennessee Utah Washington Wyoming – whereas other states had significantly lower chances such as Florida Iowa Kansas Louisiana Michigan Minnesota North Dakota etc.

Even though some places are naturally prone to earthquakes, recent studies have shown that increased number of induced earthquakes (often caused by human activities such as fracking) could potentially damage your property – this means higher chances for those living in Oklahoma due to its 58 magnitude Pawnee Earthquake back in 2016 that was likely induced seismicity caused by wastewater disposal from oil and gas exploration activities. As always be sure to stay vigilant and prepared for future disasters due to our ever changing climate!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is earthquake insurance worth it?

Yes, earthquake insurance is worth it, as it can help protect your home and belongings from expensive damages caused by a major earthquake. To learn more about earthquake insurance coverage, contact an insurance agent today.

What is the average cost of earthquake insurance?

The average cost of earthquake insurance can vary greatly depending on the area, coverage, and other factors. Generally, premiums for earthquake coverage range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand annually. For more information, get in touch with an experienced insurance provider today.

What does earthquake insurance cover?

Earthquake insurance typically covers the cost of repairs to a home or business damaged by an earthquake, as well as related costs like debris removal and temporary housing. Read on to learn more about what is covered under an earthquake insurance policy.

How do I Choose an earthquake insurance provider?

When choosing an earthquake insurance provider, it's important to compare policies and research the company reputation. Make sure you understand your coverage needs so you can pick a policy that meets your requirements and budget.

Can I get earthquake insurance?

Yes, you can get earthquake insurance. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find affordable coverage that can help protect your home, belongings and other structures from potential damage due to earthquakes.

Donald Gianassi

Donald Gianassi

Writer at CGAA

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Donald Gianassi is a renowned author and journalist based in San Francisco. He has been writing articles for several years, covering a wide range of topics from politics to health to lifestyle. Known for his engaging writing style and insightful commentary, he has earned the respect of both his peers and readers alike.

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