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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Earthquake Damage?

For California homeowners, a primary concern is the damage earthquakes can cause to their house and property. In fact, an earthquake occurs every three minutes in California. With the increase in seismic activity in the state, many people are wondering if their homeowner’s insurance will cover earthquake damage

Here is what you need to know about homeowners insurance, what it can cover, and what you can do if an earthquake damages your home.

What is Homeowners Insurance?

Homeowners insurance is a type of property insurance that covers losses and damage to an individual’s house and the belongings in it. Homeowners insurance also provides liability coverage against accidents in the home or on the property. 

Because homes are so expensive to replace, most mortgage companies require that borrowers have a homeowners insurance policy. Which is why it’s essential to understand how it works. Normally, a standard homeowners insurance policy costs anywhere from $300 to $1000 per year.

What Does it Normally Cover?

Most homeowners insurance policies cover the dwelling, or the house itself, for a set amount of time. They also cover other structures on the property, like sheds or detached garages. The policy will list how much coverage there is for each type of structure. 

Homeowner’s insurance typically covers personal belongings inside the home as well, but there may be limits on certain items like jewelry, furs, or silverware. Some policies require that these items be listed separately to receive full coverage. 

Basic homeowners insurance policies also provide liability coverage in case someone is injured while on your property. This can include medical expenses and legal fees if you are sued. Other things it may cover include:

  • Additional living expenses if you have to move out of your home while it is being repaired
  • Damage caused by vehicles, aircraft, or explosions
  • Fire or lightning
  • Smoke damage
  • Windstorm or hail

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Earthquakes?

Homeowner’s insurance policies exclude damage caused by earthquakes. This means that if your house is damaged or destroyed in an earthquake, your standard homeowner’s policy will not pay to repair or replace it. In order to be covered for earthquake damage, you must purchase a separate earthquake insurance policy

What Should You Do If Your Home is Damaged in an Earthquake?

If your home is damaged in an earthquake, the first thing to do is to get emergency instructions from a trusted source. Next take steps to prevent further damage. You should call your insurance company because while earthquakes are not normally covered by insurance, it’s important to check first. If your home is not covered, you should start making repairs as soon as possible. 

If you have earthquake insurance, your policy will likely have a deductible. This is the amount of money you will have to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance company starts to pay for repairs. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium will be. 

How Bethany Insurance Agency Can Help

At Bethany Insurance Agency, we understand that earthquake damage is a very real threat for California homeowners. That’s why we offer a chance to customize an insurance plan specific to your needs. We want you to be prepared for anything that comes your way. Contact us today to learn more about our insurance policies and how we can help you protect your home.