What You Should Know About Earthquake Coverage
- Damage from earthquakes is not covered by a standard homeowners policy. Similar to flood insurance, earthquake insurance must be purchased separately.
- Earthquake coverage can be added as an endorsement on your homeowners policy or purchased as a separate policy.
- Many insurance companies have specific enrollment periods for earthquake coverage. If you choose not to add the coverage when you purchase a homeowners policy, you may need to wait until your policy renews to add the coverage.
- If the insurance company has specific enrollment periods for earthquake coverage, you may receive an offer for the coverage with your renewal policy. This coverage is typically offered every other year.
How Will Earthquake Coverage Help?
If you have a typical home loan and deed of trust, you will remain responsible for the loan balance even if your home is damaged or destroyed by an earthquake. The deductible and amount of coverage available for earthquake damage vary by state.
Earthquake coverage can help towards the costs associated with earthquake damage, such as:
- Replacing the contents of your home.
- Temporary accommodations.
- Repairing or replacing your home.
- Paying a mortgage, second mortgage, or line of credit on your home if your home is destroyed.
Mitigate Damages and Risk of Injury
Earthquakes can cause devastation any time of the year and without warning. Taking steps to secure the furnishings in your home may help prevent injuries and mitigate damages should an earthquake occur. Here are some steps you can take to protect your family and your home:
- Secure bookcases and shelves to prevent them from toppling over and causing injury or damage.
- Attach cabinets to the walls and floors to prevent them from falling over and to keep their contents safe.
- Securely anchor large appliances to the wall and brace your water heater.
- Consider using shatter-resistant Teflon fluorescent lights or install plastic sleeves over the light tubes to keep glass from scattering if they break.
- Secure heavy equipment such as televisions and computers to the furniture on which they are placed.
- Use closed screw eyes instead of traditional picture hangers to secure pictures and other valuable artwork to the walls.