Recently I had a client inquire if earthquakes are covered. Client started to wonder if this was covered since they were recently in Hawaii and experienced the many earthquakes associated with the recent volcano events.
Basically, a homeowner’s insurance policy excludes "earth movement." However, you can add earthquake coverage back onto a policy as an endorsement. (I recently looked at it and $250k in coverage was an extra $50 per year in premium in the suburbs of Chicago.)
While typically in the Midwest (Illinois) we don't typically talk about earthquakes. They are not a regular occurrence. Having lived in Chicago my whole life, I can only remember once the vibration of glasses in a cabinet. Thinking it was a gravel truck going down the street and not realizing it until the news that evening confirmed a small tremor in the area. The reality is we don't think about it until we see it reported on the news.
The USGS has the Chicagoland listed in the low levels. (see map below) They don't know when it’s going to occur, it’s just a matter of time till it does.
Most people will not choose to add the coverage since they don't think it will happen. But adding the coverage is fairly inexpensive should something occur. The reality is that insurance is designed to protect you from accidents or unforeseen events such as an earthquake. Look to add it to your insurance if it’s a concern.
Disclaimer: This is for informational and educational purposes only. Refer back to your actual insurance policy for definitions, coverages and premium. This is not a policy or binder.