Earthquake Recovery: What's Covered for My Home?

Earthquake Recovery: What's Covered for My Home?

Earthquake Recovery: What's Covered for My Home?

According to FEMA and the United States Geological Survey, earthquakes cause an estimated $14.7 billion in damage every year in the United States. Given the destructive potential of these seismic events, ensuring that your home and property are covered against earthquake damage is important for anyone who lives in a quake-prone area.

To help you choose a policy that will provide ample coverage for your home and belongings, here is what you need to know about insurance coverage for earthquake damage.

Does Homeowner's Insurance Cover Earthquake Damage?

First, it's important to mention that what is and isn't covered by homeowner's insurance will vary from policy to policy. With that said, most homeowner's insurance policies do not provide coverage for damage caused by earthquakes. Hazard insurance is included as a part of homeowner's insurance, and this covers a range of perils such as fire, vandalism, falling objects, and even volcanic eruptions. However, damage resulting from land movement—including landslides and earthquakes—is not covered by hazard insurance.

Purchasing Earthquake Insurance

While earthquake damage may not be covered by a standard homeowner's insurance policy, there are still options available for protecting your home against these natural disasters. Earthquake insurance is a type of policy specifically designed to provide coverage for damage caused by earthquakes and related events (such as fires, flooding, tsunamis, or other disasters directly caused by the quake).

Like homeowner's insurance, earthquake insurance typically provides dwelling coverage, personal property coverage, and coverage for additional living expenses. Dwelling coverage compensates for damage to the structure of your home and provides reimbursement if your home needs to be repaired or rebuilt following an earthquake. Personal property coverage pays to repair or replace belongings in your home, such as appliances, electronics, and furniture. Lastly, coverage for additional living expenses generally means that earthquake insurance will cover temporary living costs if your home is left uninhabitable by an earthquake.

Is Earthquake Insurance Worth It?

Most homeowners in the United States face a fairly low risk of incurring damage to their homes or belongings due to an earthquake. For those who live near a fault line, however, this risk is much more pronounced.

The damage that an earthquake will cause to a home and its contents can vary dramatically depending on the strength of the quake. A small quake might cause mild shaking that only damages the items in your home that happen to fall over and break. A powerful earthquake, however, can easily destroy entire homes. Either way, it's better to be safe than sorry if you live in an area that is prone to seismic activity.

Earthquake insurance provides peace of mind that your home and property are covered in the event of a quake that causes significant damage. To learn more about the benefits of earthquake insurance, feel free to contact your local National General agent today.