With the recent earthquakes in Tennessee, many of our clients are wondering what that means for them. You may be surprised to learn that damage to your home caused by an earthquake is not covered by a standard homeowner’s policy. After learning that, you may find yourself asking, what can I do to make sure I’m covered in the event of an earthquake?
What does it cover?
Many companies in Tennessee offer an earthquake endorsement. This endorsement typically covers any damage that is done to your home or any other structure on your property. But even earthquake coverage has its exclusions. According to Trusted Choice, most policies exclude coverage for structures such as swimming pools, fences, and some may not even cover some fragile items inside your home.
What doesn’t it cover?
Earthquake coverage doesn’t cover anything your homeowner’s insurance policy already covers even if it’s caused by an earthquake. For example, if you experience an earthquake and it causes a fire in your home, the earthquake policy or endorsement will not cover the fire. Damage to your land isn’t typically something that is covered. If there are any holes or cracks that need to be repaired in the land, earthquake coverage will not pay to repair that. Some earthquake policies do not even cover brick. It’s important to review any earthquake policy you may consider purchasing before you do so.
Why would I need earthquake coverage?
You may not be aware of it, but Tennessee is one state that is home to the New Madrid Fault line and is also in the Southern Appalachian Seismic Zone. So what does that mean? The New Madrid Fault line passes from Cairo, Illinois all the way into the northwestern Tennessee border. This puts much of western and central Tennessee at risk for an earthquake. The Southern Appalachian Seismic Zone is the second most active seismic zone in the U.S. Thankfully, quakes in this area are usually low in magnitude, not causing much damage. (https://www.trustedchoice.com/l/tennessee/earthquake-insurance/)
What do I need to know about earthquake coverage?
One thing you need to know about earthquake coverage before adding it to your policy is that the deductible for this coverage is usually high. The lowest deductible typically starts at about 10% of your coverage amount, meaning if your home is insured for $250,000, your deductible is $25,000. If you had a total loss to your house, the deductible amount would be coming out of pocket and the remainder would be paid by insurance. Since the premium isn’t very high in Tennessee, it can still be a sound endorsement to add to your policy.
If you’re unsure if you have earthquake coverage on your policy, you can review your declarations page. You can also contact your agent and ask about earthquake coverage. Or you can contact our agents. We will be glad to offer you a free review of your policy and make sure you have adequate coverage in case of an earthquake in Tennessee.
To learn more about earthquake coverage in Tennessee, click here.