If you live in one of the many areas of the US with a high, moderate, or even low risk of an earthquake occurring, you may want to consider adding this coverage to your existing homeowner’s insurance protection.
While your homeowner’s policy provides a solid foundation of defense against most of the risks facing your home, earthquakes are often excluded. This means without earthquake insurance, your home and belongings could be lost in the event an earthquake strikes in your area.
Depending on the magnitude of the quake and your home itself, the damage from an earthquake can vary. Some people may escape an earthquake with very little damage, such as a few broken dishes and windows. Others, however, may experience severe structural damage or a complete loss to their home.
Since there is no way to tell when, where, or what size an earthquake may strike, earthquake insurance can provide peace-of-mind that your home and belongings are protected no matter what.
What Earthquake Insurance Covers
Earthquake insurance provides coverage for the following:
- Dwelling coverage for property damage to your home, although not other structures such as fences or other buildings.
- Personal property coverage for damage to your possessions inside the home, such as furniture, appliances, and electronics.
- Additional living expenses coverage, also known as loss of use, to help with the costs of living elsewhere while your home is repaired.
Depending on your needs, you may be able to upgrade your earthquake insurance coverage to includes things such as debris removal, land restoration, emergency repairs, and to increase your loss of use limits, as well.
How to Reinforce Your Earthquake Insurance Protection
Earthquake insurance is one part of a strong home insurance defenses strategy. However it does not take the place of a homeowner’s insurance policy. Some things are commonly excluded in earthquake coverage. Many of these exclusions can be covered by policies you may already have, or purchased as additional coverage options, such as:
- Fire: Homeowner’s policies typically cover any kind of fire, including those resulting from an earthquake.
- Land damage: Sinkholes or erosions caused by earthquakes are generally not covered, however you may choose to buy additional coverage for land stabilization.
- Floods: Water damage resulting from an earthquake is generally not covered. But flood insurance could protect you in the event a nearby body of water floods your home after an earthquake.
- Vehicles: Damage to vehicles, on your property or off, is typically not covered by your earthquake policy but may be covered by certain auto insurance policies.
Every state within in the US has recorded an earthquake at one time or another, although some states do have more earthquake activity than others. Whether your state has a high or low risk of earthquake activity, there is no denying the damage that a single quake can bring. You can’t predict when or where the next earthquake may hit, but you can protect your home and belongings in the event it happens to you.