Do I Need Earthquake Insurance?

Earthquake house

In the United States, earthquakes are often most associated with California and Alaska. The reality is many areas across the country are susceptible to earthquake activity. Recently, we have seen earthquakes in areas thought to be “low risk,” such as the 2011 Virginia earthquake that damaged the Washington Monument. In some areas, such as Oklahoma, there has been a marked increase in seismic activity just in the past year.

The seismic activity taking place across Oklahoma has many residents beginning to consider the importance of earthquake insurance. Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak recently mentioned that homeowners should begin to protect themselves by learning more about earthquake insurance. He recommended homeowners become familiar with the available insurance options and particularly how the deductible works. Some things to consider.

Does My Homeowners Insurance Cover Earthquake Damage?

Most homeowners’ policies do not cover earthquake damage to your home or possessions. When considering adding earthquake coverage to your home, it’s important to assess your individual situation:

  • Is my home in an area of increased earthquake activity?
  • What exactly does my homeowners’ policy cover?
  • When was the last seismic activity in my area? (Many times you cannot purchase new coverage until 30 to 60 days after the last seismic activity.)

How Do I Buy Earthquake Insurance?

Earthquake coverage is offered in two ways. Most often, it is purchased as an endorsement to your existing homeowners’ policy, but it is also possible to buy a separate earthquake policy.

How Much Does Earthquake Insurance Cost?

The cost of the coverage is going to vary on a number of factors including:

  • location
  • construction materials used to build your home
  • amount of coverage
  • likelihood of an earthquake

What Makes Earthquake Insurance Deductibles Different?

In the event of earthquake damage, a specific earthquake deductible will apply. The deductible for earthquake insurance is a percentage of the home’s value. For example if your home is insured for $300,000 and you have a 5% earthquake deductible, your share of an earthquake loss would be $15,000.

The answers to the questions above will always vary depending on your personal situation.

About Kevin O’Brien

Kevin O’Brien is Client Services Coordinator for Willis Personal Lines, responsible for that practice's marketing…
Categories: Natural Catastrophe, Property

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