Earthquakes can occur and cause damage to your property in almost any state. When you hear the word earthquake the first thing that pops into your mind may be California. However, all 50 states and 5 US territories are at some risk for earthquakes. The 2011 East Coast earthquake, centered in Mineral, Virginia, illustrated the fact that it is impossible to predict when or where an earthquake will occur, so it is important that you and your family are prepared ahead of time.*
Who Needs Earthquake Insurance?
Earthquake damage is not covered under a standard homeowners, condo or renters insurance policy. Even if you live in an area where earthquakes are not common, you may still need earthquake insurance.
Whether or not you should buy earthquake insurance may depend on a number of factors, including:
- The frequency and severity of earthquakes in your area
- The likelihood an earthquake would cause considerable damage to your home
- Whether your home is constructed to withstand an earthquake of moderate strength
- Whether you could absorb the cost of replacing your residential and personal property
What Earthquake Insurance Covers
Typically, earthquake insurance covers damage to your home and your possessions. Most policies also cover costs incurred to minimize further damage after the earthquake, and costs for additional living expenses. The cost of earthquake insurance varies, depending on the scope of coverage, type of structure, and your location (e.g., in an earthquake zone). Coverage can be purchased as an endorsement to your existing homeowners insurance, or as a separate policy.
Common Earthquake Insurance Exclusions
All insurance policies have exclusions. Some of the most common exclusions in earthquake insurance are:
Fire. Earthquake insurance doesn’t protect your home against fire, even if the blaze was caused by the earthquake. Your standard homeowners policy covers that.
Lot or Land. An earthquake policy typically does not cover damage to your lot or land, such as sinkholes from erosion or other hidden openings under your land.
Vehicles.Vehicles are not covered under homeowners or earthquake insurance policies. Cars and other vehicles are covered for earthquake damage under the comprehensive part of the auto insurance policy.
Flood.Earthquake insurance does not cover external water damage, such as sewer or drain back-up, flood, or tsunami. You will need flood insurance for that.
Exterior Siding. Some earthquake insurance companies do not cover the replacement of masonry veneer – brick, rock or stone that covers the outside of your home.
Ultimately, the decision to purchase earthquake insurance belongs to you. Our insurance consultants can assist you in assessing your need for earthquake insurance. Contact HomeServices Insurance MARYLAND at 800.333.3690.