Although a large portion of earthquakes occur in the West, many happen in other parts of the country. Are you protected? Typical homeowner policies don’t cover earthquake damage so understanding your risk potential is an important factor in figuring out whether you really need earthquake insurance. If you live in California, yes, absolutely, you need earthquake insurance. But what about other parts of the country? Earthquakes have occurred in 39 states and caused damage in all 50 states. Remember, when an earthquake occurs, the damage can extend over several states because the physical ground is moving. Check your local earthquake history, which can be a good predictor of future earthquakes. Also, if you have an older home, which typically doesn’t meet modern constructions developed to deal with earthquakes, you may need earthquake insurance. The cost of an earthquake policy will depend on several things like when your home was constructed, the materials it’s built out of, and how close your home is to an earthquake zone.
It’s easy to think that an earthquake will never affect you, but that’s not true. Just recently, a large earthquake in Virginia affected several states. While most earthquakes are never felt by humans, it’s hard to predict when the next large earthquake will hit. The whole purpose of insurance is to protect you from the unknown. Unfortunately, many people opt out of earthquake insurance because of expense. If you live in an area that is known for earthquakes, coverage is going to be more expensive because the insurance company suffers more losses. But, if you live in an area where earthquakes rarely occur, is the extra cost worth the peace of mind? That’s a personal question that you must contemplate, but in the meantime, reinforced your house and belongings just in case the ground starts shaking.