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The SHOCKING TRUTH About Earthquake Insurance

Kris Bowen

A native of the Salt Lake Valley, I have worked as a licensed Real Estate professional in Utah since 2003...

A native of the Salt Lake Valley, I have worked as a licensed Real Estate professional in Utah since 2003...

Mar 20 5 minutes read

If you haven’t noticed yet, some parts of Utah have been shaking a little. Yes, there are earthquakes occurring within Utah causing many people to worry about their homes and consider getting Earthquake Coverage. 

The Bowen Adams Team has done some research on this and want to educate you on what we've learned. Keep in mind, however, that you should still talk with your Homeowners Insurance Agent to see what kind of coverage you can get, as all rates and coverages differ between companies.

So before you consider getting Earthquake Coverage there are some thing you might want to know. 


1. The Basics

  • Landslides or earth movement is NOT covered on a standard home policy but is covered by Earthquake Coverage.
  • Because Earthquake Coverage (EQ coverage) is NOT a standard coverage on any home insurance policy it will need to be purchased separately.
  • There may be certain waiting periods from when EQ coverage is purchased until the coverage actually begins. This can be anywhere from 10-30 days.


2. What’s covered?

  • EQ coverage covers the entire house, property, structure, and personal belongings inside.


3. What’s NOT covered?

  • EQ coverage does not cover any brick or stone that is damaged (so the value of the brick or stone wouldn’t be covered.)
  • Art, jewelry, firearms, and collectibles are also not covered.


4. How does the Deductible work?

  • An EQ policy deductible is very unique because it’s based on the percentage of the home value around 10 or 15%.
  • For example, if your home is valued at $300,000, your EQ deductible is $30,000 (if the company uses a 10% deductible) or $45,000 (at 15% deductible).
  • If there isn’t much damage to the property except maybe a crack in the wall or a broken TV then this insurance probably won’t help you. 
  • However, if the damage to the home is quite severe then this deductible is reasonable when you think about how much it costs to rebuild a home.


5. The PRICE

How much does it cost? There are several factors to consider, construction makeup, age of home, coverage amount (cost to rebuild home), etc. A ballpark that we have seen is that it normally doubles your home insurance premium. If you are paying $500 a year in home insurance, the EQ may be an additional $500, for example.


6. Flood Coverage

Another coverage that is commonly excluded from a standard home insurance policy is flood coverage. Typically flood coverage, as defined from an insurance perspective, is “rising groundwater”. So the common water claims we see on a home that are covered could include: broken pipe that causes flooding, washer/dishwasher/fridge leaking that causes water damage, sink/bathtub/shower that overspills and does damage, water leaking in from the roof, etc. Those are covered under the standard home policy.

What would be excluded would be rising groundwater from a river or stream, or heavy rain downpouring that causes groundwater to accumulate in a window well that then leaks inside. This would typically be excluded. A flood policy is available and could also double your home insurance premium.


So...

Ultimately you as a homeowner will need to make a decision on whether or not you feel you should have Earthquake Coverage or not. Make sure to talk with your Homeowners Insurance Agent to see what rates you can get, as well as what is covered in YOUR particular plan as these vary. 

If you are looking for a reliable Homeowners Insurance Agent, the Bowen Adams Team would be happy to recommend an insurance agent for you that services earthquake coverage.

Give us a call at: 801-999-8005!

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