Protect Against the Unexpected with Earthquake Insurance

On August 23, 2011, a 5.8-magnitude earthquake in Virginia did enough damage to close the Washington Monument for more than two-and-a-half years of repairs. Though the epicenter was 88 miles away, and it wasn’t a devastating quake, the ground that the landmark sits atop is composed of a 665-foot-thick deposit of silt and mud atop a layer of bedrock. When the shaking began, the difference between the two types of materials exacerbated the amount of movement, which caused more damage than normally occurs with a moderate earthquake.

At the time, no one expected that type of destruction would occur in Washington, D.C. It wasn’t until later that the reason was discovered.

Unless you live on the West Coast, Alaska, Hawaii or the area around the New Madrid Seismic Zone centered in southeastern Missouri, you may never expect to deal with earthquake damage either. But how do you think your home would fare in an earthquake? Do you know what’s under…way under…the foundation?

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, 42 states are at risk for earthquakes, with 16 at high risk. This means that is you have a superior-quality home and other valuable assets, you would be well-advised to consider purchasing earthquake insurance.

The problem can be that many insurers don’t offer it. As far as coverages go, it doesn’t get used very frequently. But when it does, insurance company payouts can be huge. Mass-market insurers generally aren’t interested in incurring that type of expense.

The insurers that Kelly Klee works with, however, are experts are assessing risk, and have done the mathematical legwork to offer this specialized coverage. For instance, The Cincinnati Insurance Companies include earthquake coverage for a primary dwelling, its contents and other structures on the property in several of its homeowners insurance offerings. Some of our other partner companies make it available as an added coverage. And there are ways to bring the cost down:

  • Retrofit your home with bracing and other modifications designed to strengthen the structural integrity
  • Install a shut-off valve that is specifically designed to close off gas lines during a seismic event
  • Take on a deductible ranging from 5%-25%

Should you purchase earthquake insurance? It’s easier to make a good decision with clear information. Kelly Klee would be pleased to discuss your options and provide a no-obligation quote for those who are good candidate for our high-end insurers. Contact us at 844.885.1600 or reach out via email at

If you really want to geek out on data, the U.S. Geological Survey’s Earthquakes webpages include real-time feeds of seismic events and maps showing earthquake locations worldwide.

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