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What is Commercial Earthquake Insurance?

If you are considering whether or not you need to buy earthquake insurance for your business, you will find answers to the most common questions, including whether or not you need to buy this type of coverage, and a comprehensive explanation of what earthquake insurance will cover.

Does your business need to buy earthquake insurance?

In certain parts of the United States, buying commercial earthquake insurance is essential, especially in those areas where earthquakes have a history of causing severe damage. Because the majority of standard commercial insurance policies will exclude coverage for this particular peril, there is often a genuine need for companies to buy earthquake insurance, especially those in earthquake-prone areas of the country.

What is commercial earthquake insurance?

A business earthquake insurance policy gives your company coverage should your property become damaged by an earthquake. Earthquake insurance is typically a separate endorsement that you can buy as an addition to a commercial insurance policy.

What is covered by business earthquake insurance?

While every insurance company that sells commercial earthquake insurance might have a slightly different set of exclusions, the majority of earthquake insurance will cover:

  • Damage to business property, such as equipment, inventory, and machinery.
  • Structural damage to a property because of seismic activities.
  • Some earthquake insurance companies could also cover any lost business income if the interruption is caused by an earthquake.

If your company was to suffer a loss because of a mudflow, settlement, or the sinking, rising, or contracting of earth; then it’s likely that a commercial earthquake insurance policy will cover this if the damage results from an earthquake.

What is not covered by business earthquake insurance?

Commercial earthquake insurance will come with an exclusion for any losses or damage caused by tidal waves or flooding, regardless of whether they were brought about by an earthquake.

Questions to Ask Before you Buy Earthquake Insurance for your Business

As we’ve already discussed, there are always going to be minor variations between insurers when it comes to the specific inclusions and exclusions of an earthquake insurance policy. Here are a couple of crucial questions to ask when you get quotes for commercial earthquake insurance.

  1. Will the policy cover any other structures, such as garages and outbuildings, or is it only the individual core business premises?
  2. Will the contents of your business premises be covered in full, and would there be any additional business expense coverage should your business operations cannot continue as usual?
  3. What is the policy deductible that you will be required to pay before the insurance coverage kicks in?
  4. What are the policy limitations or exclusions?
How can a business qualify for earthquake insurance?

In some cases, your business premises might need to have an inspection. Following this initial review, there could be a list of upgrades you will need to undertake before you can qualify to buy earthquake coverage. For instance, you might need brace chimneys or walls, or get the structure bolted to its foundations if this has not already been done.

Does commercial property insurance cover earthquake damage?

A standard business property insurance policy will not typically cover damage caused by an earthquake. However, there are some other business insurance policies that do cover losses caused by earthquakes without you needed any additional endorsement.

Worker's compensation coverage – if an employee is injured at work because of an earthquake, this is a covered loss.

Business auto insurance – The majority of commercial auto insurance policies will cover any damage or loss from earthquakes.

Business interruption insurance – In some cases, this type of policy will not exclude earthquakes as a covered event.

How to Buy Earthquake Insurance

In the first instance, it’s always important to speak with a commercial insurance agent to make sure you clearly understand your options. There are two ways you can buy commercial earthquake insurance coverage.

  1. As a standalone policy
  2. As an endorsement to a standard business owners policy

Whether you are a small business or a larger corporation, buying commercial earthquake insurance is something you should seek expert guidance on before you make any firm decision. In the first instance, getting a quote from a commercial insurance agent can quickly give you an idea of the cost to buy business earthquake coverage, and it gives you the opportunity to speak with an expert who can also help you answer any questions you may have.

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