Earthquake Insurance 101 for West Coasters
Every year, about 10,000 earthquakes shake up southern California alone. Of course, most are too gentle for just to feel them. But every once in a while, there’s a big one — and, as a West Coast resident, you have to be prepared.
You want to learn how to protect your home against an earthquake, of course. And there are plenty of safety tips out there to help you get ready for a natural disaster. But, first and foremost, you should be looking into earthquake insurance to protect your property and livelihood in the case of such an event.
Here’s what you need to know.
Earthquake Insurance is Separate to Your Home Insurance
You might think that you already have coverage in case of an earthquake because you have home insurance. But for West Coast residents, who are more likely to deal with an earthquake, you often need supplementary coverage to protect you. Most policies only cover fire — you need additional plans to protect you from floods, earthquakes, and other major disasters.
Now, once you have earthquake insurance, the most important areas of your home will be protected. Plus, you will be reimbursed for hotel stays if you have to evacuate. Most coverage will cover your personal property loss and out-of-home property, such as swimming pools or garages.
Earthquake Insurance Comes at a Reasonable Cost
You’ll want to research this so you find figures specific to your area. Your insurance agent can probably give you more information about earthquake coverage and costs, too.
But most of the time, earthquake insurance doesn’t cost more than $800 per year. In California, where there are more earthquakes, it costs more money — most plans range between $1,200 and $2,700.
The cost will vary depending on where you live and the size of your home. A massive property next to a fault line will need lots of coverage since the chances are higher that an earthquake would happen there.
Do I Need Earthquake Insurance?
You aren’t required to have earthquake insurance. And, surprisingly, less than 15 percent of Californians have it for their homes.
Many people think the deductible for the insurance is a bit high. It’s true that your $800-per-year doesn’t mean you pay anything if your house is, indeed, destroyed by an earthquake. There will be a capped out-of-pocket payment, but you will still need additional funds to rebuild.
However, for many people, it’s worth it to have earthquake insurance. It provides peace of mind that, no matter what, you will be able to rebuild your home and your life if a major natural disaster takes place.
Protect Yourself and Your Family
No matter what you decide regarding earthquake insurance, you should brush up on earthquake safety tips to keep yourself and your family safe in case of an emergency. At the end of the day, though, that may not be enough — and insurance can bolster you through the storm.
Don’t forget to check back with us for more home-related advice.