Earthquake insurance

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

Updated 03/27/2014

See also

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