Earthquake & Flood Insurance

Homeowners, renters, and condominium insurance policies do not cover damage from earthquakes, floods, and landslides.


Some homes are in special flood hazard area or high-risk zones and are required to have flood insurance by the mortgagee

However, anyone can get flood insurance. The cost will depend on the risk of flooding. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) determines the level of risk of flooding and publishes maps showing various flood zones.

Flood is classified as a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties (one of which is your property) from: Overflow of inland or tidal waters, Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source, or Mudflow

There is a 30 – day waiting period for flood insurance despite a few exceptions. So, the best time to purchase flood insurance is well in advance of any possible occurrence of flooding.


3 main parts of the basic earthquake coverage offered by the California Earthquake Authority Are:

Your dwelling coverage

  • The limit on your earthquake insurance is the same as the limit on your homeowner's insurance (dwelling coverage)
  • CEA offers deductibles of 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, and 25%.
  • As with most earthquake policies, CEA insurance does not cover landscaping, pools, fences, masonry, or separate buildings
  • Exterior masonry veneer is not covered unless you add that coverage to your CEA policy.
  • If you rent from someone else or own a condo, you do not need this coverage

Your personal property coverage

  • Things like china and crystal are covered if you purchase optional breakables coverage
  • The limit starts at $5,000 and you can increase the limit to $200,000.

Additional living expenses (ALE) or loss of use

  • It can cover temporary rental of a home, apartment, or hotel room; restaurant meals; a temporary telephone line; moving and storage; furniture rental; and laundry.
  • It is bound to a reasonable time needed to repair the home, or for you to move to another permanent home.
  • The limits range from $1,500 to $100,000.

Common exclusions in earthquake insurance policies include:


Your homeowner’s policy covers fire damage, even if an earthquake causes the fire.


Usually, earthquake insurance does not cover damage to your land, such as sinkholes from erosion or other hidden openings under your land. You may be able to buy limited additional coverage to restore or stabilize land.


Earthquake insurance does not cover damage to your vehicles.   Earthquake damage to your vehicles is covered on your personal auto policy if you have comprehensive coverage on your policy.


Earthquake insurance does not cover water damage from outside your home, such as sewer or drain back-up, flood, or tsunami. For example, if you live near a lake that floods your home after an earthquake, earthquake insurance will not pay to repair the damage. A flood insurance policy will cover you.

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