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Earthquake Insurance

from Escueta Insurance Services

Earthquake Insurance

Standard Homeowner Policies Do Not Cover Earthquakes

You may not be aware that your homeowner insurance policy covers you for a wide range of emergencies but not earthquakes. Earthquake insurance requires a separate policy, which can be added via an endorsement to your homeowner coverage.

We nearly always recommend earthquake coverage for our homeowner clients in Burbank, CA and the San Fernando Valley area, as the risk of seismic events is higher here. This is based on past earthquake history as well as on evidence gathered by scientists who are experts in the field.

It’s highly likely that Southern California will experience a major earthquake in the next decade or two. There are multiple fault lines that run through the region, including the well-known San Andreas Fault. These are fractures below the earth’s surface that are particularly vulnerable to shifting and displacement.

Without this special insurance, you would be responsible for any earthquake damage to your property, which could be catastrophically expensive.

How Does Earthquake Insurance Work?

Earthquake insurance is a little different than regular homeowner insurance. Here are the most important facts to know:

  • Your dwelling and personal property are covered.
  • You can get earthquake insurance for just the contents of your home if you are a renter and don’t need your structure covered (that’s the landlord’s responsibility).
  • Most policies also provide alternative living expenses if your home is considered uninhabitable after an earthquake (AKA loss of use insurance).
  • Fire caused by an earthquake, as well as water damage from broken water mains, would be covered under your homeowner policy.
  • Tsunamis and floods resulting from earthquakes are not covered but can be covered by separate flood insurance.
  • Policies differ when it comes to landscaping, swimming pools, and vehicles, so it’s best to inquire about those with your policy.
  • All seismic events that occur inside three (3) days or 72 hours are covered under one earthquake, and this includes foreshocks and aftershocks.

The deductible is calculated a bit differently too. It’s usually a percentage of the cap on your homeowner coverage, typically in the range of 10 to 20 percent. So, if your policy covers up to $500,000, and your earthquake deductible is 10 percent of that, you would pay $50,000 in the event of a major earthquake claim, and your insurance would pay the rest.

You can usually have separate deductibles for parts of your property, which helps reduce costs after an emergency if the damage is limited to small areas. For example, you may have different deductibles for your detached garage, guest house, and main house. If only the garage is damaged, you don’t have to pay the larger deductible for your primary residence.

Our Agents Can Easily Add Earthquake Coverage for Your Home

Earthquake insurance can be confusing at first, but it’s essential for the Los Angeles area. Our independent agents can explain everything to you and help you find a level of coverage you’re comfortable with. We offer stellar personalized service that is hard to find these days.

Call Escueta Insurance Services at 818-840-8010 with your questions about earthquake insurance, or reach out online to get your quote started today.