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Earthquake Insurance

  • 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 renters policy.
  • You can also buy a stand-alone policy separate from your homeowner policy.
  • Generally, this coverage isn't available for a period of time after an earthquake.
What it May or May Not Cover
It could cover damage caused by:
  • Landslides
  • Settlements
  • Mudflows
  • Rising, sinking and contracting of earth
It generally doesn't include damage caused by floods, tidal waves or tsunamis – even when caused by an earthquake.

How Earthquake Insurance Works
  • 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.
  • Some policies treat contents and structure separately. You may have a separate deductible for: a) the contents, b) the structure, c) unattached structures like garages, sheds, driveways or retaining walls.

Not all policies are alike. Compare companies to get the coverage that fits your needs.

What to Expect From Insurers
Some earthquake insurers may require an inspection of your property before they'll agree to issue you a policy. They could consider: 

  • Whether or not your home's bolted to its foundation
  • The location and bracing of your home's interior walls
  • If you have strapping guards to secure fixtures, such as water heaters

Be aware, insurers may have different coverage requirements.