Earthquake Insurance Anyone?

8 Replies


I am considering earthquake insurance for my two properties because they are only a few blocks away. If I had a quake I would lose both homes. If I had a more diverse portfolio I would not bother with it. Does anyone pay for earthquake insurance?

Yes. I have a duplex in CA and we are due for past due for a major shaker.

We tried to add earthquake insurance on our house in Vancouver, WA, and it was ridiculously high, like they put the replacement building cost of the home over $200000 higher than we paid for the home, then said the insurance would be like $1000 per month with a 10% deductible based on the higher value of the home. If you find decent earthquake insurance in Vancouver, WA, please let me know where you found it as I would be interested if reasonable. I do have it added on my east coast property as it's only like $25 a year extra or so per property, and relatives actually had some damage during the one in Virginia 2 years ago.

@Lynn M. ,

I am having the same policy experience. 10% deductible of the single limit. The single limit is almost three times what I paid for the property.

Originally posted by @Jordan Thibodeau :

Yes. I have a duplex in CA and we are due for past due for a major shaker.

 How much do you have to pay for earthquake insurance for your duplex?

Most standard property policies will include earthquake coverage for a minimal premium. However, a number of firms offer really inexpensive property insurance without earthquake requiring the purchase of monoline earthquake insurance. This type of insurance is generally purchased through wholesale insurance brokers. Your broker should have relationships with multiple wholesalers and be able to provide multiple quotes for you. I would recommend getting quotes from carriers that include earthquake coverage in the property policy and it may well be less than your current policy + monoline quake. 

Unlike standard property insurance, the limit of insurance can be less than the cost to replace the building. For this reason, many property owners carry an earthquake limit equal to the amount of their outstanding loan. This smaller limit reduces the premium while giving you the comfort you'll be able to pay back the bank in a worst case scenario. 

Mike Flavin,

Can you please share a policy that includes earthquake coverage?  From what I was told by some insurance brokers is that, at least on the west coast, earthquake insurance is offered as a supplemental option and the policies I received costs several hundred a month.  Sounds like I need to find new brokers.  Thank you for your concern.

My thought:  depends upon your equity in the property.  

First, CEI(California Earthquake Insurance) has a high deductible - - I recall 15% !!

Second, if you have little equity, then the 15% might be higher than your equity and there's little economic advantage to the CEI.

But if your equity is high, then it should really be heavily considered.

Recall also, that FEMA has always made low interest loans (2%) available in such cases.

I am also in the Vancouver WA area and we use GeoVera (SF Bay area). Our main policy is through Allstate, but earthquake is separate. For our one rental (SFR 3/2) it costs $130 a year with, I believe, a 15% deductible (I know....).

Not sure how critical the relationship with Allstate is and whether you can buy your own stand-alone policy through them, but I would imagine so.

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