Earthquake Insurance

Recently there have been reports in the news about the imminence of the “Big One” shaking the greater Portland-Metro area, which has led many to begin thinking about what they can do to prepare for an earthquake.  In addition to storing food, water, and other supplies, it is important to think about the catastrophic damages that can take place at your home and whether or not your Homeowners Insurance will cover the damage.

Most people do not realize that a standard Homeowners, Condo, or Renters policy does not cover earthquake damage.  In fact, according to the Oregon Insurance Division, only about 20% of Oregonians have earthquake coverage.  Earthquake coverage can either be added as an extra endorsement or sold separately as a stand-alone policy.

Here are a few steps you can take to ensure you are covered:

  1. Check your current Homeowners policy to see if the Earthquake Endorsement has been added. If not, you can simply call your agent to have them add the endorsement or they can write you a stand-alone Earthquake policy.
  2. Find out what the deductible amount is. Earthquake coverage has a separate deductible from your base Homeowners Insurance.  Deductible amounts ranging from 10 – 25% will be applied in the event of a claim.   Example, if there is $200k in damages you could pay anywhere from $20k – $50k out of pocket.
  3. Identify your Coverage A (the dwelling itself), B (other structures), and C (personal property) amounts on your Homeowners policy to determine what your total deductible amount would be in the event of a total loss. Example: Coverage A = $200k, Coverage B = $20k, Coverage C = $120k for a total of $340k in coverage.  The deductible for a total loss would be 34k – 85k depending on your deductible %.


Although the deductible can be expensive, it is a relatively small amount to protect one of your biggest investments – your home.  Please contact your Oliver Insurance agent today for more information.