Does tenant insurance cover earthquakes?


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Renters insurance covers your personal property against damage, called insurance risks. A peril is an event which can damage your property and which is specifically listed in your insurance policy. Common insurance risks include fire, lightning, theft, ice, snow, sleet, wind, hail, smoke, vandalism and freezing.

But some events, including natural disasters, are not covered and require a separate policy.

Does tenant insurance cover earthquakes?

Earthquakes, floods, government foreclosures, mudslides, updated ordinances, sewer backups and sinkholes are all dangers that not be covered by home insurance, according to Hippo Insurance. These will require an additional rider or separate coverage.

Renters will need separate earthquake insurance coverage.

* Available as additional coverage

**Flood insurance is a separate cover

What is earthquake insurance?

Although earthquakes are common in California, earthquake insurance is not required for California residents, according to the California Department of Insurance. However, he said that “if you have home insurance in California, your business must offer to sell you earthquake insurance.”

“Earth movement” coverage refers to land shifts resulting from an earthquake, according to Steve Wilson, senior underwriting manager at Hippo Insurance. Aftershocks occur after an earthquake and can occur over a period of up to 72 hours.

FEMA has earthquake hazard maps that show the intensity and likelihood of seismic activity across the country. Even if you don’t live near a fault line, seismic activity can occur as seen in Oklahoma due to oil drilling activity, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

For renters who live in areas where earthquakes are rare, Wilson said most policy terms provide coverage for “resulting damage.” For example, in New York, earthquakes are not covered, but if the earthquake caused a fire, the damage caused by the fire will be covered.

It is best to speak to your tenant insurance company to determine if you need “land movement” coverage or if standard tenant insurance is sufficient.

How much does earthquake insurance cost?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, “Earthquake insurance rates can vary widely. [and] deductibles for earthquake insurance plans are higher than those for standard home or tenant insurance, typically 5% to 15% of the policy limit.

If you live in California and are having trouble finding earthquake coverage, it is available from the California Earthquake Authority (CEA).

Will tenant insurance cover the move?

“Loss of Use” coverage, also known as “Additional Living Expenses” or ALE, is included in most tenant insurance policies and provides reimbursement for temporary accommodation when a peril causes damage that makes your home. habitable rental housing.

For “loss of use” and “additional living expenses” it depends a lot on your insurance company and it varies by provider. Some carriers will reimburse you for temporary accommodation. Others may have a list of housing alternatives.

Do not assume that your insurer will pay additional living expenses, as the definition of habitable varies by company.

If you are planning to move out of your home due to earthquake damage, contact your tenant insurance provider first and take detailed photos of the damage. Also make sure to lock down and secure the premises.

What to do if you suffer damage from the earthquake

After experiencing a disaster, Wilson recommends staying in touch with your tenant insurance company to let them know what’s going on with you and taking the following steps when submitting insurance claims:

  1. Contact the insurance company to file a claim as soon as possible. Also let your landlord or property management company know as they are responsible for the building and structure.
  2. Take photos of the damage before disposal and cleaning.
  3. Prevent further damage to your property.

Customer service is essential for tenants in disaster prone areas. Renters should understand the risks and have good coverage with an up-to-date policy.

Does your tenant insurance provider communicate with you on how to evacuate and file disaster claims? Is your supplier transparent on your cover? Is your insurance company proactively helping you? If not, consider changing your tenant insurance company.


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