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Earthquake Insurance

As a Portland Oregon independent insurance agency we will provide you with earthquake insurance rates and quotes.

Damage caused by earthquakes are specifically excluded from all homeowners policies. You would need to have a separate earthquake insurance policy in order to be covered. An earthquake policy or endorsement will provide coverage for earthquake-related losses only and does not provide coverage for losses attributable to other perils that may be covered under a standard home insurance policy.
1. Why is it necessary that I should purchase earthquake insurance?

The peril of earthquake is excluded in a standard Oregon home owner and renters insurance policy and must be purchased as a separate policy in order to receive reimbursement due to a loss by earthquake. Coverage provided by earthquake insurance policies include coverage for earthquake related losses and does not provide coverage for losses attributable to other perils that may be covered under your home owner policy.

*Please note that earthquake insurance does not cover a loss caused by landslides or erosion.

2. How much does earthquake insurance cost, does it cost more if I own a masonry/brick home other than an a frame home for earthquake insurance?

Premiums for earthquake insurance differ widely by the type of house, its age, the nature of the soil, and proximity to known fault lines. Older buildings will cost more to insure than new ones. Wood frame homes generally benefit from lower rates than brick buildings because they have the ability to flex as a home made of masonry will shatter and cannot handle the stress as well as wood structures. Therefore a home made of wood most likely will experience a lower premium.

3. Is the deductible for my earthquake insurance coverage different from the deductible for my basic homeowners’ insurance coverage? Your earthquake insurance deductible works as a stated percentage which is anywhere from 10% – 25% this contrasts to a standard home insurance policy which generally has a dollar amount such as $500 or $1,00 for claims such as fire and theft.

An example of an earthquake deductible would be if your home is insured for $200,000 and your earthquake insurance policy has a 10 percent deductible, you would have to pay the first $20,000 in repair or replacement costs before the insurance company will pay for the remainder of the repairs that are necessary.

4. How do insurance companies define “earthquake”?

Each company has its own definition of earthquake. You can find out how a company defines what an earthquake is by reviewing the policy language under the ‘Definition’ portion of any insurance contract. One company definition of earthquake is as follows:

“means shaking or trembling of the earth, whether caused by volcanic activity, tectonic processes or any other cause. One or more earthquake shocks that occur within a seventy-two hour period shall constitute a single earthquake.”