Mind the Gap – Do you need earthquake insurance?

This is your friendly reminder that earthquake damage is NOT covered by your home or renters insurance policy unless you’ve paid extra for that protection. UP keeps tabs on earthquake insurance options and we recently moderated a National “Mind the Gap” Earthquake Insurance Forum in Memphis, TN.

Earthquake questions you need answers to:

Do you live near an earthquake fault? Does your home’s specific location or style of construction make the risk of damage greater? CA, OR and WA residents can download the free MyShake App to get early warning alerts.

What’s your plan for paying for repairs and temporary housing if you’re not carrying earthquake insurance?  Visit insureagainstearthquakes.org to make a plan. United Policyholders is proud to be a contributing resource to this free public information hub, and to FEMA’s Earthquake Insurance Preparedness guidance.

Get a quote to insure your property for earthquake damage: Use our Earthquake Insurance Shopping Guide to compare options “apples to apples.”  The higher the deductible, the lower the cost. Here are a few options to start shopping:

  • California Earthquake Authority – (California Only)
  • GeoVera – With a quote you also get a home replacement cost estimate. (Not available for renters).
  • Arrowhead –  “Stand-alone” EQ only coverage for customers who meet their guidelines. (Not available for renters)
  • Pacific Specialty – “Stand-alone” EQ coverage or in combo with a Pacific Specialty home insurance policy.
  • Palomar Specialty: “Stand-alone” EQ coverage for homes, rentals, and condos. No home age restrictions, discounts offered for retrofitted homes built before 1973.

While many insurance companies make it easy to get a quote online, we recommend working with a reputable insurance agent/broker to help you pick the deductible that’s right for your financial situation and help you buy customized and adequate protection.

More Earthquake Insurance Shopping Resources:

If the cost of earthquake insurance is a barrier, do what you can to be earthquake resilient. Consider “hardening” your home with a brace and bolt retrofit, or buy a parametric policy and/or build a financial first aid kit. Taking steps now to be resilient to an earthquake will be time well spent.


This publication was originally published as the May 2022 Tip of the Month