What is Earthquake Insurance?
Earthquake insurance protects your home, goods, and other structures on your property from some of the losses and damage that earthquakes can bring. You must obtain homeowners insurance if you have a mortgage. You do not, however, need to purchase earthquake insurance.
The US Geological Survey has made some significant modifications to its list of seismically active areas.
They have clearly identified 16 states that will be vulnerable to catastrophic earthquake damage in the next 50 years. Alaska, Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming are among the states involved.
What Does Earthquake Insurance Cover For US Residents?
The Earthquake Insurance policy will protect your home or property up to a specific point. External personal property such as pools, fences, separate buildings, and garages are not covered by the insurance.
Your earthquake insurance will, on average, only cover the structure of your home.
You can extend the coverage amount as needed, and personal property such as furniture, electronics, and other breakable objects and utensils can be included.
The three primary components of the California Earthquake Authority’s basic earthquake coverage (CEA).
Part 1: Coverage for your home. This is also known as Coverage A, and it protects your home up to a set amount, known as the limit.
Your earthquake insurance limit is the same as your homes insurance limit (dwelling coverage).
Deductibles of 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, and 25% are available through CEA.
To get a claim check, you do not need to pay your CEA deductible up advance; it is merely the amount subtracted from your total covered losses. CEA insurance does not cover landscaping, pools, fences, masonry, or separate buildings, as do most earthquake policies.
Unless you add exterior masonry veneer coverage to your CEA policy, it is not protected.
You don’t need this coverage if you rent from someone else or own a condo.
Part 2: Coverage for your personal belongings. This is also known as Coverage C, and it covers items in your house such as furniture, televisions, and laptops.
The limit starts at $5,000 and can be increased to $200,000 if necessary.
If you have optional breakables coverage, things like china and crystal are covered.
Part 3: Loss of usage or additional living expenses (ALE). This is also known as Coverage D, and it pays for temporary and additional living expenses while your region is evacuated or your property is repaired.
It can cover the cost of renting a house, an apartment, or a hotel room for a short period of time; restaurant meals; a temporary phone line; moving and storage; furniture rental; and laundry.
It must take a reasonable amount of time to restore the house or relocate to a new permanent residence.
The amount you can spend varies between $1,500 and $100,000.
Under CEA, there is never a deductible for this coverage.
What Earthquake Insurance Does Not Cover
Earthquake Insurance does not cover a list of occurrences which will be listed below;
Earthquake insurance often does not cover anything that is already covered by your homeowner’s policy. Your homeowners coverage, for example, covers fire damage, even if the fire is caused by an earthquake. As a result, fire damage is not covered by your earthquake policy.
Typically, earthquake insurance does not cover land damage, such as sinkholes caused by erosion or other concealed openings beneath your land. You may be able to purchase limited supplemental coverage to help restore or stabilize your property.
Vehicle damage is not covered by earthquake insurance. Check your motor insurance coverage to see if that type of damage is covered.
Water damage from outside your property, such as sewer or drain backup, flood, or wave, is not covered by earthquake insurance. For example, if you live near a lake and your home floods as a result of an earthquake, earthquake insurance will not cover the cost of repairs. You’ll be covered if you have flood insurance.
Should You Buy An Earthquake Insurance?
Deciding whether to buy an earthquake insurance can become a dicey question especially if you live around an earthquake prone area; however, some questions need to be answered and critically looked into for you to make up your mind if you should go ahead and get an earthquake insurance.
Is earthquake insurance something I can afford?
To estimate your premium, go to www.earthquakeauthority.com and use the Premium Calculator.
Do I live in an earthquake-prone area?
It’s possible that you’ll need to do some research on neighboring fault lines and the soil type in your neighborhood. On the U.S. Geological Survey’s website, https://earthquake.usgs.gov, you may look for fault lines.
Is my home a high-risk property?
If a house is older, made of brick or masonry, or has more than one storey, it is more likely to sustain damage.
Is it possible for me to go without earthquake insurance?
Could you afford to repair or rebuild your home after a major earthquake?
Will you be able to pay your mortgage and taxes while you rebuild?
Will the government assist me if there is a major earthquake?
Maybe. The low-interest loan is the most common type of federal disaster relief. You must demonstrate your ability to repay the loan. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers grants for emergency home repairs and interim rent assistance to those who do not qualify for loans.
I’m afraid I won’t be able to afford earthquake insurance. Is there anything else I can do to keep my house safe?
Yes. There are several things you can do to secure your house and minimize earthquake damage. Whether or not you get earthquake insurance, you should do all possible to protect your home, your possessions, and your family.