As homeowners put plans in place to prepare for an earthquake as part of the Great Washington Shake Out, they should also take time to consider how insurance factors into overall preparedness.
“Earthquake insurance is an important consideration for all homeowners,” Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said. “But when buying or renewing a homeowner’s policy, be sure you know what you’re getting with quake coverage.”
Earthquakes are not covered by your homeowner policy. You must either add this coverage to your homeowner policy or buy earthquake insurance.
Today, most deductibles for earthquake policies range from 10 percent to 25 percent of the structure’s limit. For example, if your earthquake policy or endorsement covers your house up to $250,000, you might pay $25,000- $62,500 before your coverage kicks in.
Key things to consider before buying earthquake insurance:
What to expect from insurers
Some earthquake insurers might require an inspection of your property or have other considerations before they’ll offer you coverage, such as:
You must have strapping guards to secure fixtures, such as hot-water heaters.
What damage it may cover
What damage it may not cover
“If you don’t think you could afford to rebuild you house if it’s completely destroyed by an earthquake, you should seriously consider earthquake insurance,” said Kreidler. “But do your research and ask the insurer plenty of questions about this type of coverage.”