Is Earthquake Insurance Really Worth It?

earthquake insurance

Unless you live on the West Coast, you probably aren’t even aware of or worried about having earthquake insurance. In all actuality, according to the California Earthquake Authority, only 10% of Californians even have earthquake insurance! If you’re wondering why this statistic is so low, continue reading for more information.

42 States Are At Risk

While California is synonymous with earthquakes and earthquake insurance, the US Geological Survey says that 42 states are considered at risk for earthquake damage.┬áDon’t believe it? Here is a map for the frequency of damaging seismic activity throughout the US.

Of course, California shows a high frequency of earthquake activity, but there are also other locations such as Phoenix, Denver, Oklahoma City, and even Boston.

Buying It Separately

The primary reason that so few homeowners, property managers, and businesses lack earthquake insurance is that it’s not included in a standard insurance package. Most often, earthquake insurance is a separate add-on representing an expense that most people don’t want to deal with.

Pros of Earthquake Insurance

  • If damaged by an earthquake you’ll be covered for repairs or even reconstruction if you have earthquake insurance.
  • In lower risk states, the earthquake insurance is cheaper. In fact, looking across the board at earthquake insurance, some people are paying less than $60 a month for earthquake insurance.
  • If your home is left uninhabitable your benefits will also cover additional living expenses.

Cons of Earthquake Insurance

  • In the high-risk states, like California, earthquake insurance premiums can get extremely high! This is the #1 reason most people have chosen not to get earthquake insurance.
  • Earthquake insurance still has limitations, and can include a high deductible, and costs that you’ll still have to anticipate absorbing in the case on an earthquake.

Seismic Retrofits Are a Different Kind of Earthquake Insurance

If you can prevent an earthquake from doing as much to your property before it even happens, then you’re several steps ahead of earthquake insurance. No seismic retrofit is going to come with a guarantee of earthquake damage prevention. However, it can make a huge difference, and many studies have backed up the theory that an earthquake retrofit is a highly cost-efficient investment in your property.┬áSome insurance companies will require a retrofit before they even will cover the structure.

If you need to hire a seismic retrofit for your building, contact Saunders Seismic today for more information.