Should you buy earthquake insurance?


After a 5.4 magnitude earthquake shook southern Illinois this morning, I wondered what would happen if my home were caught in a strong tremor. Like most people, my home insurance doesn't cover such an eventuality. Ohio is in blue on the U.S. Geological Survey Earthquake Hazards Program map of earthquake risk, so I probably won't go shopping for coverage.

Earthquake insurance is available, though. Usually sold with a large deductible, the coverage might be a good investment for those in highly vulnerable areas. Of course, the higher the risk, the higher the premium. Californians are assured that coverage is available thanks to the creation of the California Earthquake Authority The CERA points out that there is no part of the state that is immune from earthquakes.

"For many California homeowners, their home is their biggest financial asset," The CERA says on its Web site. "Without earthquake insurance, how do you plan to protect that asset from the costs of earthquake damage?"