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Does NH Homeowner's Insurance Cover Earthquake?

Written by April Weismann on 11/09/2020 12:48 PM in Homeowners Insurance,. Personal Insurance.

When we think about earthquakes, rarely do we think of it being a concern for New England residents, but after a recent earthquake in neighboring Massachusetts,  homeowners should think again their NH homeowners insurance.Earthquake Insurance

Does My NH Homeowner's Insurance Cover Earthquake Damage?

The short answer is no. Most home, condominium and renters insurance policies do not cover earthquake damage. In fact, earth movement is specifically listed as an exclusion on most property policies.  

How Can I get Earthquake Coverage?

The good news is that in New Hampshire, earthquake can be added to your existing home policy easily.

How Does Earthquake Coverage Work?

On most NH home insurance policies, the coverage limit would match what you have on your home (aka dwelling), other structures and contents covered for, with the exception that there is typically a much higher deductible.

Unlike the standard flat deductible of say $500 or $1000 per incident, earthquake deductibles are typically a percentage of the dwelling coverage, ranging from 5 to 15 percent.  This can be a big difference.  To illustrate, if the dwelling coverage on your home was written for $275,000 with a 5% earthquake deductible, you would be responsible for $13,750 of the damage. 

It is also essential that you understand the extent of coverage from adding earthquake coverage to your policy as not everything that happens in an earthquake would be covered.  Some standard exclusions include:

  • wells
  • irrigation systems
  • piers or docks
  • landscaping
  • swimming pools

Check with your agent for your company's list of specific exclusions.

How Much Does Earthquake Coverage Cost?

The good news is that living in New England, the cost of earthquake is relatively inexpensive, especially when compared to the rest of the country.  Other factors that impact the cost of earthquake insurance s the amount of coverage on the home (which should match the cost to rebuild the home), the earthquake deductible limit, the age of home and lastly the location.

Many NH homeowners can add this important coverage to their policies for less than $100 a year.  To get an exact quote on your home, call your insurance agent.

Do I Really Need Earthquake Insurance in NH?

That is a personal decision and up to your own risk tolerance, but in my opinion, yes.  Given there is the possibility of an event that is completely out of your control, could happen at any time, and level your home, I prefer the security of knowing I would not be financially ruined should an earthquake occur.

Do I Need Earthquake Coverage for My Cars?

If you have comprehensive coverage (aka other than collision coverage) on your NH Auto Insurance, your vehicle would be covered in the event it were damaged in an earthquake (again subject to the comprehensive deductible chosen).

Homeowner's insurance does not typically extend to any vehicle owned, so even if you had earthquake coverage on your home, you would also need comprehensive coverage on your car insurance.

What About Commercial Insurance?

Like homeowner's insurance, most commercial property policies also exclude damage from an earthquake.  However, most insurance companies can add this coverage onto a commercial property policy by endorsement, just like the homeowner's policy.

Get Help with Earthquake Insurance from a New Hampshire Agent

If you need or have questions about earthquake insurance in New Hampshire, contact the independent insurance agents of HPM Insurance.  We would be more than happy to provide you a quote so you can make the best decision for yourself and your home.

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