There was an uptick in recorded earthquake activity in North Texas in 2015 and 2016. A lot of the activity centered around Burleson and Cleburne in the Johnson County area along with a large portion in the Las Colinas area of Dallas County. During that time period, there were many questions around earthquake insurance. It would make sense to ask those questions in California, but not TEXAS! As the seismic activity has slowed, so has the questions. But they still do come up. And the biggest question is what happens to my home if it collapses due to an earthquake.
The short answer to that question is that your home insurance does not provide earthquake coverage by itself. Home owner insurance policies in Texas are written with an exclusion for earth movement. This means that your home will not be covered by an earthquake under any of the perils on a policy. That's the bad news. But there is good news! You have two different options when looking at how to protect your home against loss during an earthquake.
1. Many companies offer an endorsement on your homeowner policy that will cover you for loss by an earthquake. This means you will simply select to add it to your existing coverage after reviewing sub-limits or deductibles that are applicable to this coverage. The endorsement may limit how much you can claim against personal property or have a separate deductible amount for this endorsement that limits your ability to make a claim. However, this is generally a very cost effective way to add the coverage to your policy.
2. You can buy a separate stand alone earthquake policy that only covers losses sustained from movement of the earth. This policy will function much the same way that a flood policy works to protect you against a very specific type of loss event, and is written by some of those same companies that provide flood insurance. The policy is offered from multiple carriers and provides robust policy options. You can opt for some or no personal property coverage while protecting your dwelling. The deductibles on this type of policy can cover a wide range of options.
So which one is the best option for you? It is really going to come down to preference. The reality is that Texas has not had a fatality due to an earthquake in it's history. While there have been buildings damaged, most of that size of activity has been in Far West Texas and in days gone by. That means protecting yourself in the most cost effective means possible is likely a great option. However, many believe that the recent fracking activity is causing the uptick in tremors. Insurance For Texans isn't a geology shop, so we don't have the definitive answer to that question, we do know that a stand alone policy will protect your Texas home and possessions from loss in the event that enough damage is done.
If you want to discuss an earthquake policy for your home or business, we would be happy to discuss that with you. Or even if you just want to talk about any insurance, let us know how we can help. We've been working for Texans just like you for years.