For Consumers

Earthquake insurance

What is earthquake insurance?

Earthquake insurance is an added endorsement to your existing homeowner or renter’s policy, or a separate earthquake policy you buy.

  • Provides coverage if your home is destroyed by an earthquake
  • Usually sold with deductibles equaling 10 to 25 percent of the structure’s policy limit
  • Only pays for damages that exceed the deductible
  • May have a separate deductible for contents, structure and unattached structures like garages, sheds, driveways or retaining walls

 

What it coversWhat it might coverWhat it doesn't coverWhat it might not cover

Repairs to your home

Insures your personal property against earthquake damage

Covers the cost to remove debris

Extra living expenses you might have while your home is repaired or rebuilt

Increased costs to meet current building codes and costs to stabilize the land under your home

Other structures not attached to your house

Fire

Land

Vehicles

Pre-existing damage

External water damage

Brick veneer

Damage due to:

Landslides

Settlements

Mudflows

Earth rising, sinking and contracting

Floods

Tidal waves or tsunamis - even when caused by an earthquake

How earthquake insurance works

  • It provides coverage if your home is destroyed by an earthquake.
  • It's a separate endorsement you must buy and add to your homeowner or renter policy.
  • You can also buy a stand-alone policy separate from your homeowner policy.
  • It's usually sold with deductibles equaling 10 to 25 percent of the structure’s policy limit.
  • It only pays for damages that exceed the deductible.
  • There may be a separate deductible for contents, structure and unattached structures like garages, sheds, driveways, or retaining walls.
  • Generally, this coverage isn't available to buy for a period of time after an earthquake.

What to expect from insurers

Some earthquake insurers may require an inspection of your property before they'll issue you a policy. They may even have different coverage requirements, such as:

  • The location of your home
  • Your home must be bolted to its foundation
  • The location and bracing of your home's interior walls
  • You must have strapping guards to secure fixtures, such as hot-water heaters

What damage it may cover

  • Landslides
  • Settlements
  • Mudflows
  • Rising, sinking and contracting of earth

What damage it may not cover

  • Floods
  • Tidal waves or tsunamis - even when caused by an earthquake

 

To see if you're covered or not for these types of damages, talk to your agent or broker and be sure to read your policy.