Does Your Insurance Cover Hurricanes and Earthquakes?


People up and down the East Coast are thinking about earthquake coverage, after a 5.8 earthquake rattled the Mid Atlantic states on August 23. Bill Howard, an independent insurance agent in Alexandria, Va., just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., has been getting calls for the past two days from clients who don't have much damage this time around but want to find out whether they're covered for any future quakes.

Homeowners insurance policies don't cover earthquakes, but you can generally buy a rider to add the coverage to your policy. And in areas that rarely experience major earthquakes, like most of the East Coast, the coverage is relatively inexpensive. Howard says that it would cost about $250 per year to add earthquake coverage in his area to a Chubb policy that has a maximum coverage limit of $500,000.