Before moving into a home, you must purchase homeowners' insurance. You must get homeowners' insurance before you can even get a mortgage. However, just because you pay for a certain amount of coverage does not necessarily mean that you will be covered for anything that happens to your home or personal property.
Generally, such a policy will include the repair or replacement of your house and belongings. The policy also usually covers additional expenses if you are temporarily displaced. The policy will specify, however, which events trigger coverage.
It is unlikely that your basic homeowners' insurance policy will cover damage due to earthquake. In fact, even an all-risk policy may explicitly exclude earthquakes from coverage. Thus, if your home is destroyed or damaged by an earthquake, you are not necessarily covered.
Earthquakes and other natural disasters are treated differently due to the difference in their perils. However, that does not mean that earthquake insurance is not available. For example, in California, a high-risk earthquake state, insurance carriers are required to offer earthquake coverage to anyone who carries one of their policies. Usually, this involves paying an extra fee to expand the coverage – termed an "earthquake endorsement." These endorsements, however, are not inexpensive, and their price depends on the location of the house and the materials used in its construction.
In other states, earthquake endorsements can be very cheap, but most people do not buy them because they do not think they will need them.
If you want to be insured against property damage due to earthquakes, you should purchase additional insurance. This is especially true for those homeowners living in a high-risk area for earthquakes.
If you are looking to buy a policy to protect against earthquake damage, you probably do not need an attorney. However, if you have been denied a claim under your policy, an attorney can help you evaluate a possible lawsuit against your insurer.
Last Modified: 05-15-2018 07:11 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.