HOW MUCH? - earthquake insurance

An introduction to earthquake insurance.


What is earthquake insurance?

Earthquake insurance is typically available to homeowners as an additional rider to their standard policy. What most people don't necessarily know is that even if you don't live in an area that has earthquakes you may still need this insurance added to your current policy.

How many people are impacted by earthquakes?

The fact of the matter is that 90% of all Americans are living in areas that are considered to be potential locations for earthquakes. Very few people in fact are covered by earthquake insurance. It is also very important to note that 39 states have had earthquakes since 1900.

What about my vehicle?

Most automobiles are covered in the event that there is an earthquake that causes damage. What is most intimidating is even if your home or your business does not have earthquake coverage, damages from earthquakes affect your standard policies through claims of loss of use, business interruption and more.

I have renter's insurance - is earthquake insurance included?

Chances are that if you have standard renter's insurance you are not covered in the event that an earthquake impacts you. What you should do is check with your insurance agent and find out if in fact you are covered and ask about additional coverage and the associated costs.

What about condominium insurance?

Like most homeowner's policies, condominium policies do not generally include earthquake insurance. You'll want to carefully review your policy and find out if you are covered or not. With the Earthquake Education Center (Charleston Southern University) claiming that there is a 40 - 60 percent chance of a major earthquake on the east coast, you may want to consider purchasing a policy.

Things to consider

If you're considering earthquake insurance there are considerations you should find out about before you agree to the extra fee.

  • What's covered? - Does your policy cover such things as garages, sheds etc., or just your main home?
  • What about the contents of your home? - In the event you're a victim of earthquake are your belongings covered?
  • What if my home is destroyed? - Does your policy offer coverage for additional living expenses?
  • How much is the deductible? - If you're considering an earthquake policy how much do you have to pay out of pocket before you can collect on insurance?

Earthquake Insurance
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How much do I need?

You should carefully discuss your individual earthquake insurance needs with your insurance agent. You'll want to make sure that you've addressed all of the items we listed above with your agent and find out what coverage works best for you. What you'll want to ensure is that your coverage includes cost of rebuilding/replacing your home and replacing damaged belongings. Remember that all costs should be based on replacement costs and not market value.

How much will it cost?

Earthquake insurance is priced depending on a number of factors including where you live. Before you sign any documents make sure you understand fully what your rights and your obligations are. It's important to keep in mind that not all damage from earthquakes is readily identified, you may have cracks in your foundation that create water leaks later than the time of the actual event and you will want to find out if you will be covered at discovery.

See also: FEMA Earthquake Insurance Info

Related topics: choosing home insurance companies, homeowner insurance premiums, renter's insurance




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