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Updated maps from the
"Standard homeowners, renters and business insurance policies do not cover damage from earthquakes," says
Unfortunately, a 2014 I.I.I. survey reveals that only 7 percent of homeowners nationwide report having earthquake coverage, down from 10 percent last year. In the West, 10 percent have earthquake coverage, down from 22 percent in 2013. Seven percent have coverage in the Midwest, and in the South the proportion of homeowners with earthquake coverage stood firm at 6 percent. Only 2 percent of homeowners in the Northeast had coverage.
Even in California—where nine of the most costly earthquakes in the last century occurred—only 12 percent of residents purchased coverage. This is down from 30 percent in 1996, two years after the 1994
Earthquake insurance provides protection from the shaking and cracking that can destroy buildings and personal possessions. Coverage for other kinds of damage that may result from earthquakes, such as fire and water damage due to burst gas and water pipes, is generally provided by standard homeowners and renters insurance policies. Earthquake coverage is available from private insurance companies. In
The cost of earthquake coverage varies depending on the location of the property, how it was built and the terms of the insurance policy. For example, a CEA policy for a typical
Earthquake insurance carries a deductible, generally in the form of a percentage rather than a dollar amount. Deductibles can range anywhere from 2 percent to 20 percent of the replacement value of the structure. This means that if it would cost
Cars and other vehicles are covered for earthquake damage under the optional comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy.
"Everyone should contact their insurance professional to make sure that they understand their coverage and that they have the appropriate amount and type of coverage for the risks where they live," points out Salvatore. "The time to find out what is in your insurance policy is before you have a loss. It is also very important to understand the deductibles in your policy and how they will affect your claim."
THE I.I.I. IS A NONPROFIT, COMMUNICATIONS ORGANIZATION SUPPORTED BY THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY.