Earthquake Insurance Coverage in Massachusetts

“What was that?” was a common phrase across much of southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Hampshire, Sunday morning around 9:10 A.M. An earthquake struck in the Atlantic Ocean about 8 miles off the coast of New Bedford. The U.S Geological Survey initially measured the quake at 4.2 magnitude before downgrading it to a 3.6 on the Richter scale. Many residents mistook the rumbling for a large truck passing by and no major damage resulted. If a larger earthquake struck Massachusetts causing damage to your home, do you have earthquake insurance coverage to allow you to make necessary repairs?

Risk of Large Earthquake in Massachusetts and New England

According to USGS records, the Cape Ann earthquake of 1755 was New England’s most destructive, which hit 30 miles off the coast of Boston, damaged in excess of 1,000 homes, and registered 6.0 on the Richter Scale.(1) According to the USGS database, The likelihood of a large earthquake hitting Massachusetts is 2.16% within the next 50 years. (2) Mass.Gov states,

“Massachusetts is located in a moderate earthquake zone. Although these quakes typically cause only insignificant or mild damage, larger earthquakes are possible, and could cause serious damage to buildings and public infrastructure.” (3)

In fact, any place in the world that experiences regular earthquake activity is at risk of a major earthquake at some point in time.

Is Earthquake Damage Covered by My Homeowners Insurance?

Many homeowner’s are surprised to find that their homeowners’ insurance does not include coverage for earthquake damage. Earthquake coverage is typically excluded from most standard homeowners’, condominium and renter’s insurance policies. Similar to flood insurance, for protection from the damage resulting from an earthquake, you will need to purchase an endorsement for earthquake coverage or a stand-alone earthquake insurance policy.

Insurance Adjuster looking at earthquake damage to home

What Does Earthquake Insurance Cover?

An endorsement for earthquake insurance added onto your home, condo or renter’s insurance policy, provides coverage for damage occurring to your home as a direct result of a seismic event.

The following losses are covered by an earthquake endorsement:

Structural Damage: the policy will pay to repair the structure of your home if it is damaged by an earthquake.

Personal Property: The policy will pay to replace any personal possessions or belongings damaged by the earthquake, up to the limits specified on your policy.

Temporary Housing: Sometimes referred to as “additional living expenses”, this coverage will reimburse you for living expenses incurred if you need to live in a hotel, rent a room, or live in another location, while your home is being repaired after a covered loss.

Home Replacement: The endorsement will pay to rebuild your home to its previous state after it is completely destroyed by an earthquake.

Is it Expensive to Add an Earthquake Endorsement onto My Existing Home or Renters Insurance Policy?

Purchasing earthquake insurance coverage in Massachusetts is surprisingly affordable. McSweeney & Ricci has partnered with numerous top insurance companies, most of which offer earthquake insurance as an added endorsement to an existing home, renters insurance or condo insurance policy for as little as $35-$50 per $100,000 of Coverage A. Therefore, a home with a property value of $300,000 would cost as little as $100-$150 annually for earthquake insurance. Your McSweeney & Ricci Account Manager can discuss the proper levels of earthquake insurance to add to your existing homeowners’ insurance program. When adding an earthquake insurance endorsement, be sure to tell your Account Manager if your home’s exterior includes stone, brick, or a stone façade. Stonework and brick veneers are prone to damage and cracking, and can be very expensive to repair or replace. Stonework or brick must be listed on the endorsement for earthquake insurance or any claims to replace or repair them will be denied.

Since 1964, McSweeney & Ricci Insurance Agency has provided complete insurance solutions, extraordinary service, and trusted advice. With local offices in Braintree, Cohasset, and Marshfield, McSweeney & Ricci provides home insurance, auto insurance, boat and watercraft insurance, business insurance and more to thousands of clients throughout Massachusetts, and New England.

For questions about adding earthquake insurance coverage in Massachusetts to your existing homeowners’ insurance, contact one of our professional Account Managers by calling 844-501-1359 or submit for a complimentary quote on our website.

Sources:
  1. ABC News.com:”3.6 earthquake reported off the coast of Massachusetts” 11/08/20 by Bill
  2.  “Earthquake Information for Boston, Massachusetts” homefacts.com
  3. Mass.gov “Earthquake Safety Tips”

 

 

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