Are You Covered for an Earthquake?

Most people don't think of South Carolina when they think of earthquake disasters. But approximately 10 to 15 earthquakes are recorded annually in South Carolina,Untitled design (27) with three to five of them felt or noticed by people, according to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division

Earthquake damage is not typically covered under your homeowner’s insurance, a separate coverage is needed to protect against loss due to an earthquake. You can either get a separate earthquake policy or you can add what is called an earthquake endorsement to your home insurance policy. 

How affordable is earthquake coverage?

The deductible for earthquake insurance is usually 10%–20% of the coverage limit. For example, if your home is insured for $200,000 a 10% deductible would be $20,000.

Know what is in your coverage. 

Earthquake insurance typically only covers direct damage to the property resulting from the shaking of an earthquake. Indirect damage, such as fire and water damage from burst gas and water pipes, is covered under a homeowner’s policy.

What should you do if you have damage from an earthquake?

  • Call your insurance agent or company to report a claim.
  • Typically, all earthquake events in a 72-hour (three-day) period are considered one event — with one claim and one set of deductibles.  
  • Damage caused by aftershocks more than 72 hours after the first quake could mean a second claim with a second set of deductibles. 
  • Even if you don't think the damage to your home is greater than your deductible, let your insurance company know if an earthquake damages your home. A qualified professional should inspect your home for hidden structural and cosmetic damage.

Want to know more?

  • Check out the SCDOI's Earthquake Coverage Guide
  • Talk to a trusted insurance agent or company to decide if earthquake coverage is right for you and your needs.