Information for homeowners and small business owners offered in conjunction with the Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission
Most residential property insurance policies do not cover damage resulting from earthquakes. A separate insurance policy is one way to protect your home and the investments you have made in personal belongings. Investigate your options carefully to ensure that your assets are sufficiently protected.
Earthquake insurance covers repairs needed because of earthquake damage like shaking and cracking to your dwelling and may cover other structures not attached to your house, like a garage. It insures your personal property for damage caused by earthquake.
It may cover increased costs to stabilize the land under your home. Earthquake insurance covers the cost to remove debris. It also pays for additional living expenses you may have while your home is being rebuilt or repaired.
Coverage for other kinds of damage that may result from earthquakes, such as fire and
water damage due to burst gas and water pipes, is usually provided by standard home and business insurance policies. Car and other vehicles can be covered for earthquake damage by auto comprehensive insurance.
How much coverage is right for you will depend on your situation. Insurance policies have “limits of coverage” that tell you the largest dollar amount covered for the different types of losses. A policy may have sublimits. For example, a policy could have a $50,000 limit for personal property and a $5,000 sublimit for computers. That sublimit would mean that the insurer would pay no more than $5,000 to repair or replace your computers.
Think about you and your family - where will you be and what will you need if an earthquake strikes?
Insuring your home for its appraisal or loan value likely means you’ll only have enough coverage to repay your lender. It may not be enough to repair or rebuild your home, especially if it is a total loss. Usually the dwelling coverage limits will be the same on your homeowners insurance policy and your earthquake insurance. If you don’t have enough homeowners insurance coverage, you may not have enough earthquake insurance either.
A deductible is the amount the homeowner is responsible for on each claim. The insurer is responsible for the amount greater than the deductible, up to the coverage limit. The deductible for earthquake insurance may be 10 to 20 percent of the coverage limit. Read the policy provisions as they apply.
You can view the contents of this web page as a brochure in pdf format here.