East Coast earthquake: Are you covered?

By Insurance.com Posted : 08/23/2011

The 5.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the East Coast on Aug. 23 likely jolted millions of homeowners into asking themselves whether their home insurance would cover quake damages.

Such a question is second nature to folks in California, but less likely to come to mind in Virginia – the epicenter of the recent quake – or even southern Colorado, which experienced a 5.3-magnitude temblor just hours before the East Coast event.

The hard truth is that damages associated with earthquakes are not covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy.

Shaky insurance plan

As the Insurance.com story "Earthquake insurance can put you on solid ground" points out, "shaking movement of the earth is not covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy, although some subsequent damage may be eligible for coverage."

If the East Coast and Colorado earthquakes shook your insurance faith, don't worry: you can still purchase a separate earthquake insurance policy. Such insurance covers both the structure and the contents of a home.

Some insurance companies offer an earthquake endorsement to standard home insurance policies. Ask your insurance agent if such endorsements are available.

Before you sign up for earthquake insurance, make sure you understand what is and isn't covered – and what your deductible will be. Today, insurance deductibles generally range from 1 percent to 10 percent of your home's replacement value. 

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