An earthquake is one of the most violent natural disasters to happen on earth. Although they can occur anywhere in the U.S., California, and Oklahoma have recorded the most since 2014. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, over 200,000 earthquakes take place in the U.S. each year. While most are insignificant, some have resulted in scores of deaths, injuries, and billions of dollars in property damage.

People who live in seismic zones are encouraged to purchase earthquake insurance. Unfortunately, even only 11% of the people who live in high-risk areas have earthquake insurance coverage. While the odds of a moderate to major earthquake happening in states that have the most seismic activity is low, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

For individuals interested in how an earthquake could affect their geographical area, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides a hazard map. If you reside in one of these zones and want to know more, you should speak with your insurance agent. They can provide you with earthquake insurance options to fit your needs.

For example, basic earthquake coverage has 3 different coverage components:

  • Dwelling – This protects your damaged home. However, it does not cover additional things such as detached garages, swimming pools, fences, etc.
  • Personal Property – This covers items inside your home that have been damaged or destroyed. Coverage ranges from $5,000 to $200,000
  • Additional Expenses – This provides coverage if you have to live at another location while your home is being repaired. There is no deductible, and the coverage ranges from $1,500 to $100,000. Homeowners can also adjust insurance coverage as needed.

Earthquake insurance deductibles can range from 2 percent to 20 percent depending on how much you purchase.

Questions you should ask yourself before investing in earthquake insurance: Can I afford to be without it? If you live in a high-risk area and your property is destroyed, do you have the finances to rebuild? Do you have the funds to take care of your day-to-day living? If the answer to these questions is no then earthquake insurance may be well worth the investment.