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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Earthquakes? Policies, Reasons, & FAQ


As a homeowner, it’s common to worry about things that can happen and damage your home. Fires, weather-related damages, and even smoke damage are common occurrences we all think about when choosing a policy. But what about earthquakes? Does homeowner’s insurance cover earthquakes?

Unfortunately, although most people expect complete peace of mind from their homeowner’s policy, earthquakes simply aren’t covered by normal coverage. Let’s learn a bit more about why earthquakes aren’t part of normal homeowners’ policies and whether you should consider taking out a more extensive policy to protect your home.

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Your Homeowner’s Policy

If we’re being honest, most homeowners’ policies are relatively similar, minus the costs. These policies cover damages to your dwelling and property. You’ll notice that issues like fire and potential smoke damage are covered by most policies. Hail damage, lightning, other types of exposure issues, and theft are normally covered.

Unfortunately, if you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes and the serious damage they can cause, you’ll find that your policy doesn’t cover those or the other catastrophic events such as fire and flood that can be caused when one of these natural disasters takes place. This is why it’s so important to know exactly what your policy covers, your deductibles, and what you must do in the event of damage to your home.

home insurance form
Image By: Vitalii Vodolazskyi, Shutterstock

What Is an Earthquake?

Before you can understand the destruction an earthquake can cause to your home, you should know what one of these natural disasters is. The definition of an earthquake is the sudden shaking of the ground due to the movement of the earth’s crust or volcanic activity. Why do these destructive acts of nature happen? It’s thanks to the earth’s tectonic plates. These plates are constantly moving. This movement can cause a build-up of stress beneath the earth’s surface which results in fault lines. When the earth moves at one of these fault lines, an earthquake is a result.

Unfortunately, when it comes to an earthquake, the aftermath can be devastating. Falling buildings and the destruction of roads are often shown on the news. The damage done to homes is sometimes neglected from their coverage. Homes can crumble or be taken completely off their foundations. Often, the damage is completely destructive, leaving homeowners with no other choice than to rebuild.

cracked road due to earthquake
Image By: marcellomigliosi1956, Pixabay

Do You Need an Earthquake Policy?

Honestly, the answer to this question depends solely on your location and personal choice. If you live near an active fault line, or an area prone to earthquakes, you should speak to your insurance company about purchasing an earthquake policy. This type of coverage can be expensive but will help you in the event an earthquake takes place and damages your home.

If you aren’t in an area that is prone to earthquakes, this type of additional coverage may not seem like a big deal to you. Keep in mind that the earth is constantly shifting. A fault line can develop over time and in places where you wouldn’t expect it. Speak with your agent to better determine whether one of these policies is right for you.

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With most homeowner’s insurance policies not covering earthquakes, you need to take matters into your own hands. Knowing what’s in your policy can help you determine any additional coverages you may need. Understanding earthquakes and whether they are a concern in your area can also help you decide whether or not you need to add this type of policy to your home’s coverage.

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Featured Image Credit: cobain86, Pixabay


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