We don’t live in an earthquake-prone area like California, but 408 recorded Earthquakes have happened in Massachusetts from 1668 to 2016. However, after the earthquake the common question we heard was– Does my home policy cover me for Earthquakes?
There is a fault line called Clinton-Newbury Fault that runs 97 miles through Massachusetts. Although uncommon, we do have earthquakes here in Massachusetts. We were awoken to a 3.6 magnitude quake recently. It not only rattled our homes, but many were startled by the shake and loud bang that occurred. We did field several calls with minor to moderate damage.
News flash! Another earthquake, a minor one, occurred Sunday, morning November 22, southwest of Bliss Corner, Massachusetts. Sunday’s earthquake was much weaker with only a 2.0 magnitude.
If that one shook you up, think of what people felt like in Cape Ann Ma in 1755, waking up to a 6.2 magnitude earthquake!
According to NESEC, that earthquake damaged or destroyed one-third of Massachusetts chimneys, cracked and caved in some cellar walls, and bent Church steeples; debris-filled many streets. People felt the ground shake from Nova Scotia to Winyah, South Carolina. So earthquakes do happen here, and they can cause significant damage.
There have been 408 earthquakes in Massachusetts since the late 1600s.
Does my home policy cover me for Earthquakes? Earth Movement is NOT a peril covered by the unendorsed standard homeowners policy. You can, however, add an endorsement to the policy to add back this coverage. The premium charge is generally around 5% of the total premium, so it is not that expensive.
The Earthquake endorsement will cover damage to your home and its contents on a limited basis. The endorsement generally has a very high deductible, typically 2 – 5% of your home’s value or replacement cost. For example, if you have your home insured for $500,000, your earthquake deductible would be as much as $10,000 – $25,000!