What Is Earthquake Insurance?

Earthquake insurance helps pay to repair or replace your home and your belongings in the event of an earthquake.

Most standard home insurance policies do not include earthquake coverage. In these cases, you must purchase as a separate policy.

Earthquake insurance typically consists of the following coverages:

  • Dwelling coverage:  This covers any physical damage to the structure of your home.
  • Personal property coverage:  This covers your personal items, such as electronics, clothing, and furniture.
  • Loss of use or additional living expenses (ALE) coverage:  This covers the costs associated with needing to stay at a hotel or rental while your home is being repaired after an earthquake.

Besides the coverage types listed here, your provider may also offer additional “riders,” or added coverage, with their earthquake policies.

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Do I Need Earthquake Insurance?

Depending on where you live, it can be financially risky to not invest in an earthquake policy. The repair costs to your home after a major earthquake can be significant. Consider the following risk factors when deciding if earthquake insurance is worth it for you or not:

  • The frequency of earthquakes in your area
  • Your proximity to fault lines
  • The value of your home
  • Your home’s construction. Is it up to code?
  • If other natural disasters, like heavy rain and mudslides, are common in your area

Whether it’s  flooding, tornadoes, or  wildfires, each state has their own risk of natural disasters. Similarly with earthquakes, you can check if you live in an earthquake zone. Though they are most common on the west coast, there have been earthquakes registered in other states. If the area you live in sees earthquakes of magnitudes greater than 4.0, it is strongly recommended that you purchase earthquake insurance.

In addition to location, consider your home’s construction. Is it a newer home that’s been built to resist earthquake damage? Or is it an older home that has never been updated to meet today’s building standards? If the latter is the case, your home is much more likely to be damaged in an earthquake, so don’t skimp on coverage. Similarly, if your home is in an area prone to mudslides or significant soil erosion due to heavy rains, an earthquake is more likely to cause major damage.

If in doubt, consider if you really could foot the bill to fix your home in the aftermath of an earthquake. Repair costs can quickly add up and easily exceed $50,000. If you would not be able to pay for such repairs yourself, earthquake insurance is your best bet.

How Can I Get Earthquake Insurance?

If you live in an earthquake zone, your state’s insurance department can guide you to purchasing a policy. Check their website for more information.

If you are shopping for home insurance, you could also ask your agent on how to best purchase earthquake insurance. Home insurance companies that serve your state can help point you towards earthquake coverage.

Now that you have learned about earthquake insurance, shop home insurance quotes from top companies with CompareHomeInsuranceQuotes.com!