Earthquake insurance: Protecting your home and assets

By Allstate

Last updated: October 2023

In most homeowners policies, earth movement is an excluded type of loss for both dwelling/structures and personal property. To obtain earthquake-specific protection for your property and belongings, you will likely need to purchase a separate earthquake insurance policy.

Earthquake insurance is a specialized form of protection that provides protection for property damage, structural repairs and personal belongings damaged by earth movements. This type of protection can be especially beneficial for anyone residing in earthquake-prone regions.

Earthquake coverage can offer peace of mind in the face of a potentially catastrophic natural disaster and help rebuild your life faster and with fewer financial hurdles. If your property suffers earthquake damage without earthquake insurance, you may have to pay for repairs or replacement out of pocket.

get a personalized insurance quote today

A great rate is just a few clicks away.

What is earthquake insurance?

Earthquake insurance helps protect your property and personal belongings if they’re damaged by an earthquake, covering the costs of repairs and replacements.

Is earthquake damage covered by your homeowners insurance?

Homeowners insurance is designed to cover your property and possessions if they’re damaged by any number of hazards, including fires, hail damage, theft, vandalism and more. But it typically doesn’t cover any earth movement damage, such as earthquakes or mudslides. However, if an earthquake causes a fire that damages your property, then your home insurance may cover that fire damage.

Is earthquake damage covered by your renters insurance?

Renters insurance covers your personal property from many of the same causes as homeowners insurance – theft, vandalism, fires and weather-related damage. But it generally doesn’t guard against earthquake damage, unless the earthquake causes a fire or explosion, in which case renters insurance may cover the damage.

What is typically covered by earthquake insurance?

Earthquake insurance typically covers the costs of repairing or replacing your damaged home or belongings after an earthquake. This includes structural damage to your house, like cracked walls or a damaged roof, as well as personal property inside your home, such as furniture and appliances. It can also help with additional living expenses if you need to temporarily stay somewhere else while your home is being fixed. However, not all policies are the same, so it's important to understand what your specific earthquake insurance covers.

The financial impact of earthquakes can be severe. When an earthquake strikes, it can cause extensive damage to homes, businesses and city infrastructure, leading to substantial repair costs. Without the right insurance coverage, individuals and families may find themselves struggling to pay for these repairs, which can result in financial hardship. This is why being prepared for natural disasters, like earthquakes, is crucial. It means not only having the right insurance but also creating an emergency plan, assembling a disaster kit, and knowing what to do during and after an earthquake. Being prepared can help protect your family, home and finances during challenging times and ensure a quicker and smoother recovery process.

Earthquake preparedness tips

Getting ready for an earthquake is essential, and it doesn't have to be complicated. Here are some simple tips to help you prepare:

Build an emergency kit

Create a kit with important things like water, non-perishable food, flashlights, batteries and a first-aid kit. Keep it in an easy-to-reach place and make sure to check it from time to time.

Plan with your family

Talk to your family about what to do during an earthquake, advises Ready. Decide on a meeting spot and how to reach each other if you're not together when it happens. Practice your plan so everyone knows what to do.

Find safe spots

In every room, figure out the best places to hide during an earthquake, says the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Look for spots under strong tables or desks, or against walls away from windows.

Stay updated

Keep yourself informed about earthquake alerts and news. You can use local news, emergency apps or a battery-powered radio to stay in the loop. You can also use the ShakeAlert System managed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Remember: drop, cover, and hold on

When the ground starts moving, drop to the ground, says the Red Cross. Find cover under something sturdy (like a table) and hold on until the shaking stops. This helps protect you from falling things and keeps you safe.

These tips are easy to follow and will help you and your family be ready for earthquakes. Being prepared can make a big difference in staying safe when an earthquake hits.

Earthquake insurance frequently asked questions