How to Get Renters Earthquake Insurance
Renters earthquake insurance is not a part of a basic policy. An earthquake, designated an unusual “act of God,” is only covered if you have an additional rider, or floater policy, that covers this specific event.
Unlike flood insurance, earthquake coverage is not provided through the United States government.
Make an Earthquake-Safe File
1. Document the major items that you have on your itemized list of belongings. Photograph or videotape each item, and make a copy of any sales receipts that you have. Photographs or electronic scans of sales receipts are also acceptable.
2. Store your itemized list in an earthquake-safe file or electronic document, away from the risk of earthquakes. This may mean that you send your list to a friend or store it on a website.
3. Update your list of items at least once a year to ensure that you have a list of most of the items that you own.
Evaluate Your Earthquake Risk
1. Discover your region’s likelihood to have an earthquake. Contact your state or local government agencies to obtain their assessments of the level of earthquake risk.
2. Visit FEMA.gov to confirm your state’s earthquake risk level with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (see Resources below).
3. Assess the likelihood of damage that could come from earthquakes. Mudslides and landslides are generally covered by earthquake insurance. The cracking, shrinking or buckling of terrain may be covered as well.
Get Renters Earthquake Insurance
1. Contact a reputable insurance company with whom you have an insurance policy, and ask for an earthquake insurance quote. This will have be an additional rider or floater policy to your regular insurance.
2. Get and compare earthquake insurance quotes from three other companies at NetQuote.com (see Resources below).
3. Determine which company offers the best deal, contact a representative and purchase insurance.
Tips & Warnings
- Renters earthquake insurance is typically provided based on a mandatory 5 percent deductible off the total value of your belongings. This is the minimum deductible allowed.
- Don’t try to get insurance from the wrong company. California earthquake insurance is only allowed through companies that participate in the California Earthquake Authority(CEA).
- Don’t expect insurance to cover all types of damage. Damage that comes from explosions, fires, or floods is not covered by earthquake insurance.