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Are Floods and Earthquakes Covered On Standard Home Insurance Policies?

Back shot of woman with hands on her head surprised as she sees her house destroyed after an earthquake

A home insurance policy will provide you with the peace of mind that your home will be protected against any losses and damages that could occur – whether it’s from a burglary or a natural disaster like floods and earthquakes. However, merely having a policy in place does not necessarily mean that your home and belongings are covered against all mishaps. Usually, it just offers the basic protection from common dangers.

While there are many options to match your needs in a standard policy, sometimes it can become confusing on what is actually included in your coverage. Typically, a standard policy will cover dwelling, personal property, liability, medical payments and loss of use. In the event of a natural disaster, unfortunately, a standard policy will not cover you. Insurance for floods and earthquakes fall under this category and have to be purchased separately.

When you are reviewing your policy on the type of coverage you may need, evaluate your current location and potential risks. If you live in a high-risk area for floods and earthquakes, you should consider including that coverage because it could become beneficial if you are involved in such a situation.


A flood is described as a general and temporary condition where your home is consumed by an excessive amount of water, whether that is from extreme rain, mudflow, flooding caused by hurricanes, rivers or tidal wave surges. Since most policies exclude protection from floods, you will need to make sure you elect to have the extra coverage. Also, depending on your insurer and policy, damages caused to you home by broken pipes, backed-up sewers or fire hoses might fall under this coverage. And even if you live outside an area where floods are not very common, don’t make the mistake of assuming it could not happen to you.


Earthquakes can be destructive and, unfortunately, most standard policies do not include coverage for losses resulting from them. An earthquake can cause catastrophic damage. The intense shaking can bring down many buildings into pieces – destroying your home and belongings. And if you live in an earthquake-prone area, which can include Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington, you need to make sure you are well prepared and include earthquake coverage in your policy.

Whether it’s damage from floods or earthquakes, these natural disasters can cause massive amounts of destruction to your home and property – and if you’re not financially prepared or covered, the effects can be devastating. Being well informed and knowing what your policy covers before an incident occurs can save you a lot of money and heartache down the line.

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