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Earthquake Insurance

Frequently Asked Questions About Earthquake Insurance

Does My Homeowners Insurance Cover Earthquake Damage?

Standard homeowners and renters insurance do not cover earthquake damage. Earthquake coverage is available in the form
of a separate policy or an endorsement from most private insurers. In California, it is also available through the California
Earthquake Authority (CEA).

However, a homeowners or renters policy will generally cover losses from fire following a quake. If the fire makes your home unlivable, there may also be coverage for additional living expenses should it be necessary to live away from your home while it is being repaired.

Is Earthquake Insurance Necessary?

The Insurance Information Institute recommends asking yourself the following questions when considering whether you need
earthquake coverage:

Can I afford the cost of rebuilding or repairing my home if it is damaged as the result of an earthquake?

Can I replace my personal belongings if they are damaged as the result of an earthquake?

Can I pay for temporary housing and other expenses if an earthquake causes structural damage to my home or makes it
uninhabitable?

If the answer to any of those questions is “No,” then you may want to consider getting earthquake insurance. To find out
whether earthquake insurance is available in your area, contact us and we will let you know.

Earthquake insurance is, of course, important to have if you live near a fault line. But keep in mind that earthquakes can
also have widespread impact, affecting areas far from major faults.

If your house is at any risk from quake-related shaking, damage to foundations, wall collapses, and damage or destruction
of contents – you may want to consider buying an earthquake insurance policy.

Cars and other vehicles are covered for earthquake damage under the optional comprehensive part of an auto insurance
policy.

How Expensive Is Earthquake Insurance?

We work with several insurance companies that specialize in Earthquake Insurance, and they offer very competitive rates.
There are several deductible options we can discuss with you. Some of those companies offer pooled coverage and
limits similar to your Homeowners Policy.

However, rates can vary significantly — from relatively high in earthquake-prone areas to fairly inexpensive in lower risk
areas. Many earthquake insurance plans have higher deductibles than standard homeowners or renters insurance. Earthquake
deductibles usually run from 5 to 15 percent of the policy limit.

In California, one option for earthquake insurance is the not-for-profit California Earthquake Authority (CEA). It insures about
10 percent of the homes in California. The CEA offers coverage for the structure of the house, building code upgrades and
emergency repairs. Coverage through the CEA generally includes lower deductibles and somewhat higher premiums.

As an example, the CEA also provides separate coverages for belongings (with a separate, lower deductible) and additional
living expense coverage (with no deductible).  Policyholders can choose the additional coverages and deductibles they want.

If you are thinking about buying a home in an earthquake-prone location, first look into the cost of insurance coverage as this
will provide a broader financial picture of the true cost of owning that home.

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