My Personal Finance Journey

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Earthquake Insurance

Contributed by mm | June 3, 2004 3:49 PM PST

Recently I am considering the idea of purchasing earthquake insurance for my house. As you are probably aware, conventional homeowner insurance does not cover natural disasters like earthquake and flood.

Living in the hilly Seattle, I see the risk of being flooded is next to null, but the earthquake risk, while slim, is realistic. As a matter of fact, according to National Earthquake Information Center, Seattle is among the riskiest places in the States that will suffer from a major earthquake (the same for literally the entire West Coast).

You may say I am risk-averse (which I am). Imagine if an earthquake really hits us and damages the building, I'll be immediately upside-down with a negative net worth of $100,000 or so. (And I cannot expect federal government or the state to bail me out. Federal government can only offer some small relief.) Although this is a worst-case scenario, the financial impact will be massive and the impact to my retirement plan will be almost irrepairable.

My insurance agent quotes me $248 for an earthquake rider from Safeco which covers up to $200,000 of structure loss with 15% deductible. I tend to consider it worthwhile. I might think for some more time and take action.

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