Your Homeowners insurance policy does not include coverage for damages caused by an Earthquake. Some insurance companies may allow you to add this coverage to your existing homeowners or renters’ insurance policy. However, if your insurance company does not offer such extended coverage, you will need a separate earthquake insurance coverage to protect your home against earthquake-related damages.
An Earthquake insurance policy will cover damage to your home and to the contents of your home. It will also provide for you if you cannot reside in your home due to damages caused by an earthquake.
In California the risk of Earthquake-related damage is quite significant. Can you afford to rebuild or repair your home if it is damaged or destroyed? Can you afford to live in a temporary residence while your home is being rebuilt or repaired? If your home is labeled as “Red Tagged” after an Earthquake, it means that the structure of your home is damaged to such an extent that entering it would be unsafe.
The inspectors in your city or county will determine the safety of your home post-earthquake. Once your residence is Red Tagged you have no choice but to seek living accommodations elsewhere. If you have a proper Earthquake insurance coverage, it will pay for your temporary residence. This section of coverage is called Additional Living Expenses.
Your Earthquake policy will have a deductible of 10% to 15% of the coverage limits that you have on your policy. Premiums will vary depending on the location of your home. Homes that are situated closer to a designated fault line will have a higher cost. It does pay to have your independent insurance agent shop earthquake insurance coverage for you so you can review all available options.