Does your homeowners insurance cover earthquakes? - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Does your homeowners insurance cover earthquakes?


Since earthquakes in East Texas are so far and few, insurance agents say most Texans don't have earthquake insurance.

They say the standard Texas policy does cover fire, wind storms, lightning and hurricanes.

Mainly because Texas is more likely to be affected by these types of things.

"When you think of Texas you think tornadoes, that's something you're really going to want to know, ‘Am I covered?' Also wind and fire, things that are typical claims that someone would have. But as far as earthquakes or floods, that's not something you really think about because that's something that just doesn't happen here," said insurance agent Alicia Nelson.

Now people like Ollie Barrett of Timpson are left with earthquake damage, wondering ‘who's going to pay for it?'

"The hardwood floors are pulling apart, and even the tiles in the kitchen are pulling apart with gaps and stuff. Nothing in my house is straight anymore, nothing," said Barrett.

Barrett said she called her insurance agent who said earthquake damage is not covered in her policy, which is kind of normal for Texas.

"I don't think we've ever done any here in this office, but according to the Texas Department of Insurance it's pretty low to add that on there because it is pretty rare," said Nelson.

Nelson, who is with Texas Wide Insurance, said she's unsure of the price for earthquake insurance because she has never issued one. However, customers can get coverage.

"That's something that you would actually have to ask to have it added on unless they have a separate policy for earthquakes," said Nelson.

Nelson said according to the Texas Department of Insurance,  the rates are fairly low because they are so rare. 

Barrett said her insurance agent could add earthquake coverage to her policy, but it wouldn't be any help to her now. It would only cover her if another earthquake were to hit.

Insurance agents say if your home was damaged by Thursday's earthquake, the best thing to do is contact your insurance agent so they can go over your policy with you.

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