Earthquakes can do a great deal of damage to a home and the personal possessions in it. A severe earthquake can completely destroy a home and its contents. Such a loss, if uninsured, could devastate most individuals and their families.
Excluded From Standard Policies
In most homeowner's, renter's, and condominium unit owner's policies there is a specific exclusion for loss caused by earth movement, a term that includes earthquakes. To cover this, a basic policy must be endorsed to include "earth movement", for which the insured pays an additional premium. As an alternative, a separate earthquake policy may be purchased.
Earth movement is generally defined as "earthquake, including land shockwaves or tremors before, during, or after a volcanic eruption; landslide; mine subsidence, mudflow, earth sinking, rising or shifting." The term earthquake generally means a "vibration generating rupture event caused by displacement within the earth's crust through release of strain associated with tectonic processes and includes effects such as ground shaking, liquefaction, seismically-induced land sliding and damaging amplification of ground motion."