Earthquake insurance isn’t something we think about often, but it can be important if you need it! So what do you need to know about Earthquake Insurance in Massachusetts?

What You Need to Know About Earthquake Insurance in Massachusetts - A picture of an earthquake map off Buzzard's Bay

The first thing you need to know is this: most Homeowners Insurance policies do NOT cover earthquake in the base policy. The odds are good that if you did not specifically tell your insurance agent you wanted earthquake coverage, you don’t have it.

Most Homeowners Insurance policies do NOT cover earthquake in the base policy.

If you want earthquake coverage, you’ll need to either add it to your homeowners policy, at an additional cost, or buy the coverage on a separate stand-alone earthquake policy.

Fortunately, many homeowner insurance companies offer add-on earthquake coverage at a reasonable cost, more on that in a moment. If your homeowners insurance company doesn’t offer earthquake, a stand-alone policy is more expensive but still a viable option.

 

Massachusetts earthquake insurance basics

Cost & Billing:

The cost varies from insurance company to insurance company but is mostly dependent on how your home is constructed (frame, masonry, etc.), and how much your home is insured for. That said, it is not unusual to be able to get earthquake insurance in Massachusetts for around $200 year.

If your homeowners insurance policy offers the earthquake add-on, your mortgage company will almost always include it in escrow (only if you’re escrowing your insurance of course). However, most mortgage companies will not pay for a stand-alone earthquake policy out of escrow.

Stand-alone earthquake policies in Massachusetts tend to be more expensive than the homeowners insurance add-on coverage.

Cautionary Notes:

Earthquake deductibles usually range from 5% to 25%. HOWEVER, many companies will apply the deductible to each coverage separately.  While it is better to have the coverage than not, you do need to keep the deductible structure in mind.

Here is an example of how earthquake deductibles often work: if you have a 10% deductible and your home is insured for $100,000 with $50,000 in personal property or contents coverage, and $15,000 in other structures coverage, your deductible cost would be $10,000 for your home, $5,000 for personal property, and $1,500 for other structures, bringing the total deductible to $16,500 at the time of a claim.

Masonry or Brick Veneer may not be covered by earthquake insurance or may require special coverage at an additional cost.

The takeaway about earthquake insurance in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, earthquake insurance is a low-cost coverage with a relatively low chance of use . . . but if you do need it, you’ll be glad you have it.

To learn more about Massachusetts earthquake insurance, get in touch with your independent agent or contact us at Safford Insurance.

Interested in learning more about insuring your home? Check out our Buyer’s Guide to Homeowners Insurance.

If you have questions, would like to learn more, or want a quote, please reach out to us and we’ll be happy to help! Give us a call at 774-847-1106 or use the handy form below to send us your questions.

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Lastly, an important disclaimer: This information is general in nature and intended to be educational. Nothing in this should be considered an offer or provision of coverage. Every insurance company, situation, person, and animal is unique and pricing and coverage will vary. Depending on the situation, in some cases coverage may simply not be available. At the time of this posting, Safford Insurance, LLC services the states of MA, RI, and TN.

About Greg Safford

Bringing over 15 years of insurance experience, Greg is client focused and passionate about helping individuals and businesses understand their insurance options so they are prepared for the unexpected. With so many options, Greg is dedicated to helping clients make educated decisions about protecting their assets. When not working with customers, Greg can be found hiking, fishing, or spending time with family.

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