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Earthquakes: Insurance

What is earthquake insurance?

Earthquake insurance is a specialized form of coverage that protects your property against damages caused by an earthquake. Unlike standard homeowners or renters insurance, which typically won't cover seismic events, earthquake insurance steps in to fill that coverage gap. Primarily, earthquake insurance covers direct damage to your property resulting from the shaking of an earthquake. This can include structural damage to your home, such as cracks in the walls or foundation, and even complete collapse.

Additionally, earthquake insurance typically extends to personal belongings inside your home. If an earthquake causes your furniture, electronics, or other possessions to be damaged or destroyed, your policy can help cover the replacement costs.

Is earthquake insurance worth it?

Earthquakes can occur at any time and may cause a great deal of damage to your home. If your homeowners insurance doesn't cover earthquake damages, then you will have to pay the repair costs as well as the cost of living elsewhere while rebuilding your home. These costs can be significant and a financial burden to your family. Don't wait until after an earthquake to buy insurance - get a quote for earthquake insurance now!

How much does earthquake insurance cost?

The cost of the policy depends on many factors such as the location of your home, the cost to rebuild, type of construction, the coverage selected, and the deductible.

Earthquake Focus

The focus of an earthquake is where pressure builds along a fault line which fails deep underneath the crust of the Earth. The point directly above the focus is termed the epicenter.

What does earthquake insurance cover?

Earthquake insurance can be tailored and purchased to meet your specified needs! The common coverages available include: ,
Dwelling and other structures (driveways, walkways, retaining walls, swimming pools, etc.)
Personal property
Loss of use (which are additional living expenses if you must live elsewhere while your home is being repaired/rebuilt)
Loss assessment from a community association.

Why do I need earthquake insurance if I don't live near a fault line?

Earthquakes can have an impact far beyond major fault lines. According to the Insurance Information Institute, there are 42 states considered at-risk for earthquakes. While it is uncertain if or when an earthquake will occur, consider your financial ability to pay for the cost of rebuilding your home and replacing your belongings without insurance. Is the risk worth the investment you have made in your home and personal belongings?

How much coverage do I need?

This is an individual choice based on your risk tolerance, budget, and other considerations. Coverages can be tailored and purchased to meet your specific needs. At a minimum, you should consider coverage to rebuild your home/dwelling structure at full replacement/rebuilding cost. This amount will vary by location, building features, and materials of your home. Typically, earthquake coverage should match the dwelling limit in your homeowners/fire insurance policy or be higher to account for any increases in building costs after a catastrophic earthquake event

How does earthquake insurance work?

Earthquake insurance typically insures "pure loss." This means that the value of items lost will be assessed and reimbursed for that specific amount, rather than a set value of reimbursement for all earthquake events.

Should I get earthquake insurance if I am renting?

Earthquakes and other kinds of damage related to "earth movement" are generally not covered by a regular renters insurance policy. Earthquake insurance for renters is a safe way to protect your belongings and cover the cost of living elsewhere if your rental is damaged and needs repairs after an earthquake.

How Do I Get Earthquake Insurance?

Getting earthquake insurance is a straightforward process. There are two main ways to purchase coverage: as an endorsement to your existing homeowner's policy or as a separate, standalone policy.
Endorsement to homeowner's policy. Many insurance companies offer earthquake coverage as an endorsement to your existing homeowner's or renter's insurance policy. This means you can add it to your current policy.
Separate earthquake policy. If your current insurer doesn't offer earthquake coverage, or if you prefer a specialized policy, you can purchase standalone earthquake insurance from a different provider.

What doesn’t earthquake insurance cover?

While earthquake insurance can provide crucial financial protection, it's essential to understand what it doesn't cover. Primarily, earthquake insurance only covers direct damage caused by the seismic event.
This means secondary perils often associated with earthquakes, like floods or fire, are not typically included in coverage. In some cases, specific types of property damage, such as masonry veneer — the brick, rock, or stone that covers your home's exterior, may also be excluded. Your car or other vehicles will also not be covered by earthquake insurance.
Moreover, other types of damage that an earthquake indirectly causes might require separate coverage. For instance, a landslide or mudflow triggered by an earthquake may not be covered.
Understanding these limitations can help you plan for comprehensive protection.

For You and Your Loved Ones

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