If you live in one of the many areas of the US with a high, moderate, or even low risk of an earthquake occurring, you may want to consider adding this coverage to your existing homeowner’s insurance protection as earthquake insurance is normally excluded from homeowner's policies.
While your homeowner’s policy provides a solid foundation of defense against most of the risks facing your home, earthquakes are often excluded. This means without earthquake insurance, your home and belongings could be lost in the event an earthquake strikes in your area.
Depending on the magnitude of the quake and your home itself, the damage from an earthquake can vary. Some people may escape an earthquake with very little damage, such as a few broken dishes and windows. Others, however, may experience severe structural damage or a complete loss to their home.
Since there is no way to tell when, where, or what size an earthquake may strike, earthquake insurance can provide peace-of-mind that your home and belongings are protected no matter what.
What Earthquake Insurance Covers
Earthquake insurance provides coverage for the following:
- Dwelling coverage for property damage to your home, although not other structures such as fences or other buildings.
- Personal property coverage for damage to your possessions inside the home, such as furniture, appliances, and electronics.
- Additional living expenses coverage, also known as loss of use, to help with the costs of living elsewhere while your home is repaired.
Depending on your needs, you may be able to upgrade your earthquake insurance coverage to includes things such as debris removal, land restoration, emergency repairs, and to increase your loss of use limits, as well.
How to Reinforce Your Earthquake Insurance Protection
Earthquake insurance is one part of a strong home insurance defenses strategy. However it does not take the place of a homeowner’s insurance policy. Some things are commonly excluded in earthquake coverage. Many of these exclusions can be covered by policies you may already have, or purchased as additional coverage options, such as:
- Fire: Homeowner’s policies typically cover any kind of fire, including those resulting from an earthquake.
- Land damage: Sinkholes or erosions caused by earthquakes are generally not covered, however you may choose to buy additional coverage for land stabilization.
- Floods: Water damage resulting from an earthquake is generally not covered. But flood insurance could protect you in the event a nearby body of water floods your home after an earthquake.
- Vehicles: Damage to vehicles, on your property or off, is typically not covered by your earthquake policy but may be covered by certain auto insurance policies.
Every state within in the US has recorded an earthquake at one time or another, although some states do have more earthquake activity than others. Whether your state has a high or low risk of earthquake activity, there is no denying the damage that a single quake can bring. You can’t predict when or where the next earthquake may hit, but you can protect your home and belongings in the event it happens to you.
You don’t have to live near a lake, river, or other body of water to benefit from the protection of flood insurance. Your homeowner’s insurance policy can protect you against many unexpected risks, but you may be surprised to find that flooding and many forms of water damage aren’t typically covered by your homeowner’s insurance. This means you could be left paying for the high-cost of repairs if your home and belongings are damaged by heavy rains, rising rivers, or many other causes of water damage.
If heavy rainfall, melting snow, severe weather, or broken water main brought water into your home, the damage could be extensive. The cost of replacing carpeting, hardwood flooring, and even furniture can add up fast. And that’s just the beginning. Even the smallest amount of moisture can lead to the biggest of problems. Mold can begin to spread in a moist environment in as little as 36 hours, and often requires professional removal and cleanup to protect your family’s health.
When you have flood insurance, you won’t have to worry about the high costs of cleanup, repairs, and replacement if your home is damaged by water.
What Flood Insurance Covers
Flood insurance protects your home and belongings from physical water damage. Flood insurance coverage typically includes:
- Physical structure and foundation of your home
- HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems installed in your home
- Hardwood, carpeting, and other flooring
- Bookcases, cabinets, and other built-in furniture
- Personal property such as clothing, electronics, and furniture
- Furs, original artwork, and other valuables
Flood Insurance: An Affordable Option
The benefits of flood insurance are so widespread, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides flood insurance policies with nationally set rates to ensure this important coverage is affordable for everyone. Your rates will remain consistent, no matter who your insurance provider may be.
Flood insurance is the perfect addition to your homeowner’s insurance coverage. While flood protection won’t take the place of adequate homeowner’s insurance, together the two policies offer a strong defense against the most common risks facing your home, belongings, and family.