Earthquake Insurance

Earthquake insurance is designed to mitigate the financial impact of earthquake-related losses and damages to your property, including your home, belongings, and other structures on your premises.


Standard homeowners, renters, and condominium insurance policies do not cover damage resulting from natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, or landslides.

If you have homeowners insurance in California, your insurance company is obligated to offer earthquake insurance every two years. This offer is presented in writing, clearly specifying coverage limits, deductibles, and premiums. You have 30 days to accept the offer, starting from the date of receipt, or you can choose to decline it.

Earthquake insurance does have limitations. Its primary purpose is to help you get back on your feet by covering essential expenses. However, it does not replace everything you may lose in an earthquake.

Tailored Protection for Different Situations

Whether you own a property, rent, or have a condominium, earthquake insurance can be customized to suit your specific circumstances. Here's a breakdown:

Homeowners: Earthquake insurance can protect your dwelling, personal property, and additional living expenses while your home is being repaired. Coverage limits and deductibles can vary.

Renters: If you rent a property, earthquake insurance can cover your belongings and the costs of temporary housing while your rented home is being restored.

Condominium Owners: Condo owners can secure coverage for their belongings and also get protection for condo association assessments, which may be imposed to fund building repairs.

Mobile Home Owners: Earthquake insurance is available to safeguard your mobile home and its contents. It also covers temporary housing expenses during the repair process.

The California Earthquake Authority (CEA)

CEA offers earthquake policies for homeowners, mobile homeowners, condo unit owners, and renters. However, you cannot purchase earthquake insurance directly from CEA; it's available through insurance companies that are members of CEA.

To be eligible for a CEA earthquake policy, you must have a residential property insurance policy in place with the same insurance company. The CEA policy must be obtained from the same insurer where you have your residential policy. The CEA website,, offers further information on their services.

Components of Earthquake Insurance

Earthquake insurance typically comprises three main parts:

Dwelling Coverage (Coverage A): This component covers your home up to a specified limit, often aligning with your homeowners insurance limit. Deductibles typically range from 5% to 25%, with exceptions for high-value homes or older structures.

Personal Property Coverage (Coverage C): This part extends protection to your personal belongings within your home. Coverage usually starts at $5,000 but can be increased up to $25,000.

Additional Living Expenses (ALE) or Loss of Use (Coverage D): ALE coverage covers the temporary and extra costs incurred if you need to live elsewhere during evacuation or while your home is being repaired. These costs can include temporary rental housing, meals, temporary telephone lines, moving, and storage.

Additional Earthquake Insurance Coverage Options

Beyond the fundamental components, earthquake insurance offers various additional coverage options that you can consider to enhance your protection:

Building Code Upgrade Coverage: This coverage is designed to provide financial support for the necessary building code upgrades when you rebuild your home following earthquake damage. It can be particularly beneficial if your property doesn't meet current building code standards. This coverage offers up to $30,000.

Retrofitting for Earthquake Safety: Retrofitting involves making structural changes to your home to increase its earthquake resistance. By taking steps to retrofit your property, you not only reduce the risk of earthquake damage but can also potentially lower your insurance premiums or deductibles. Measures like bolting your house to the foundation, bracing the chimney, securing the water heater, and installing automatic gas shut-off valves can significantly bolster your home's seismic resilience.

How Earthquake Insurance Premiums Vary

The cost of earthquake insurance depends on several factors:

Location: The geographical location of your property plays a significant role in determining your premium. Areas with a higher risk of earthquakes may have higher premiums.

Reconstruction Cost: The cost to rebuild your home, the type of construction, and the coverages you select all influence your premium.

Deductible: Your choice of deductible—typically 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, or 25%—can impact your premium.

Discounts for Retrofitting: If your home has been properly retrofitted to meet safety standards, you may be eligible for discounts on your premium, potentially up to 25%.

What Earthquake Insurance Doesn't Cover

Like any insurance policy, earthquake insurance has its exclusions. It's essential to understand what earthquake insurance typically does not cover:

Fire Damage: Fire damage caused by an earthquake is usually covered by your standard homeowners insurance, even if you don't have earthquake insurance. Therefore, earthquake insurance doesn't provide additional coverage for fire.

Land Damage: Earthquake insurance doesn't typically cover damage to the land itself, such as sinkholes or erosion-related issues. Additional coverage may be available for land stabilization.

Vehicle Damage: Damage to your vehicles is not covered by earthquake insurance. You should check your auto insurance policy to determine if it includes coverage for earthquake-related damage.

Flood-Related Damage: Earthquake insurance does not cover water damage from sources external to your home, such as sewer or drain backups, floods, or tsunamis. For protection against such events, you would need a separate flood insurance policy.

Do Homeowners and Renters Insurance cover Earthquakes?

In general, homeowners and renters insurance policies do not protect your property from earthquake damage, except in the case of fire resulting from an earthquake. It's crucial to read your policy and consult your insurance company if you have any doubts about the extent of your coverage.

Contact Us

Don't wait until after an earthquake to address your insurance needs, as coverage may be limited or more expensive in the aftermath of seismic events. It's always a good practice to discuss your specific requirements with your insurance agent and make informed decisions regarding earthquake insurance.

For further information or to explore earthquake insurance options tailored to your needs, don't hesitate to contact us. or Call +18888626750

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