Do I need Earthquake Insurance in California?

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Earthquake insurance in California

If you live in California, then the possibility of another earthquake is pretty much guaranteed. If your home is an investment that you can’t afford to lose, then not getting earthquake insurance in California is like rolling the dice. How comfortable are you with those odds?

Certain properties are at a higher risk for earthquake damage.

  • Of course, if you live on or very near to a fault line, your property will most likely be damaged if there is a significant earthquake.
  • If you live on or near a mountain side, cliff or embankment, then you are at a higher risk.
  • If you live on or near the beach, then you are at higher risk because the foundation is built on a surface that is susceptible to soil liquefaction. Soil liquefaction occurs when the ground loses stability when it has to bear too much stress, such as shaking or other movements. This usually occurs when the soil is saturated or partially saturated. If an earthquake occurs after recent rain, the damage will be greater.

Does my homeowner’s policy cover earthquake damage?

No. Many people incorrectly assume that their homeowner’s insurance policy will cover earthquake damage. It does not. If you have valuable items in your home, such as fine art, jewelry or antique furniture pieces, those items can easily be damaged in an earthquake. In order to protect your assets, an earthquake insurance policy is required.

What does earthquake insurance cover?

Most policies cover damage to the property up to about $100,000 and approximately $5,000 for fine art. However, additional coverage can be purchased to cover belongings, such as fine art.

In addition, extra coverage for displacement costs can be purchased. Chances are that if you have any sort of structural damage to your property, you will have to live off the premises until it can be fixed. If another significant earthquake occurs, like the Northridge quake, and a similar number of claims are made, it could take a year before the property is fixed. Having additional coverage to cover those costs can provide piece of mind. Without the coverage, many homeowners find themselves in the position of having to pay a mortgage AND rent!

If you’re interested in learning more about the type of coverage you can get to reduce your risk from an earthquake, we can help answer your questions.


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