Does Your Homeowners Insurance Cover Earthquakes?
Two relatively minor low magnitude earthquakes have struck the area between Nacogdoches and Center in the past two weeks. Nobody was hurt, and no major property damage has been reported, but a number of businesses and homes have minor to serious structural or interior damage.
Now people in that area are asking: "Does my homeowner's insurance cover this?" The short answer, sad to say, is no it doesn't.
The standard Texas homeowners policy only covers damage caused by fire and lightning, smoke, explosion, theft, vandalism and malicious mischief, riot and civil commotion, windstorm, hurricane, and hail, and sudden and accidental water damage, like a broken water pipe.
Those are the kinds of events most likely to happen in Texas. Earthquakes are not covered because they're very rare in Texas.
A spokesman for the Texas Department of Insurance says if your home or business was damaged by the recent earthquakes, you should contact your insurance agent so they can go over your policy and explain your options.
You're out of luck with the recent quakes, but you can have coverage for future earthquakes added to your homeowners policy at a small extra cost.
While homeowners insurance covers hurricane wind damage and water damage caused by wind-driven rain, it doesn't cover damage caused by flooding. People in hurricane prone areas have to buy separate flood insurance policies to cover flood damage.