Standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover earthquake damage. If you live in an area of Nevada that’s at risk for earthquakes, consider purchasing earthquake insurance.
Published May 10, 20222 min read
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It’s no secret Nevada experiences frequent earthquakes. While many are too small to feel, the Nevada and eastern California region experience major, damaging earthquakes about every three years on average, according to The Nevada Seismological Laboratory. 
Most standard homeowners insurance policies don’t cover earthquake damage. If an earthquake damages your home and you don’t have coverage, you’ll likely have to pay out of pocket for any necessary repairs.
With earthquake insurance, your home and belongings are covered from costly earthquake damage. Some Nevada providers offer this coverage as an endorsement that you can add to your homeowners insurance for an additional fee. You can also purchase earthquake insurance as a separate policy.
Almost every part of Nevada has an active fault — nearly every resident in the Silver State lives within several miles of a fault.  Purchasing earthquake insurance will ensure that you won’t have to foot the bill if your home is destroyed by a bad quake. However, this coverage can be expensive depending on where you live, and it can come with a high deductible.
When weighing your earthquake insurance needs, ask yourself the following questions:
How close do I live to an active fault?
Can I afford to pay for repairs to my home if it’s damaged by an earthquake?
Can I afford to replace my belongings if they’re destroyed by a quake?
Can I afford to pay to stay somewhere else — like a rental apartment or hotel — while my home is being rebuilt after a quake?
Consider adding an earthquake endorsement to your home insurance
Many homeowners insurance providers offer earthquake coverage that you can add to your homeowners insurance. This is coverage generally extends your homeowners insurance to include coverage for earthquake damage for an additional fee.
Earthquake insurance helps pay to rebuild your home and replace your personal property in the event they’re damaged in an earthquake. Below are some standard and optional earthquake insurance coverages.
Dwelling coverage: Pays to repair or rebuild your home after a quake
Personal property coverage: Pays to repair or replace your belongings if they’re damaged or destroyed by an earthquake
Additional living expenses: Pays for additional living expenses — like a hotel stay or restaurant meals — if you need to temporarily live elsewhere while your home is being repaired after a quake
Building code upgrade: Optional coverage that pays for additional costs if your local building code requires structural upgrades
Emergency repairs: Optional coverage that pays for temporary, immediate repairs that need to be made to protect your home from further damage immediately after an earthquake
Earthquake insurance only protects your home and belongings from damage directly caused by earthquakes, tremors, and other types of earth movement. The below scenarios are not covered by earthquake insurance.
Fire damage. Earthquake insurance won’t cover fire damage caused by an earthquake, but your homeowners insurance will.
Sinkholes. While earthquake insurance covers most types of “earth movement,” it does not cover damage caused by sinkholes or land subsidence. In some states, insurance companies offer optional sinkhole coverage.
The cost of your own earthquake insurance policy will depend on a variety of factors, but generally earthquake premiums range from a few hundred to a thousand dollars per year.
Below are a few factors that affect the cost of earthquake insurance:
The location of your home. If you live in an area that experiences frequent earthquakes, your rates will be higher.
The age of your home. Older homes tend to be more expensive to insure because they can’t withstand as much damage.
The construction type of your home. Your home’s construction type (masonry or wood), number of stories, foundation type, and more will affect the price of your earthquake insurance.
A deductible is the amount you are responsible for paying out of pocket before your insurance kicks in. Unlike homeowners insurance deductibles — which are typically a flat dollar amount — earthquake insurance deductibles are set at a percentage.
Most insurers offer you the option of setting your deductible at 10% to 20% of your dwelling coverage limit, or the amount your home is insured for.
Let’s look at an example.
Say your home is insured for $300,000 and your deductible is set at 15%. You’d be responsible for paying $45,000 out of pocket before your earthquake insurance kicks in. That means you’d receive a payout of $255,000 ($300,000 minus $45,000).
The higher you set your deductible, the cheaper your premiums will be. Just keep in mind that earthquake deductibles are already expensive, so be careful not to set it at an amount that you won’t be able to afford in the event of costly earthquake damage.
Most major homeowners insurance companies offer earthquake insurance policies in Nevada. Below are a few large homeowners insurance companies that offer earthquake insurance:
You can find a full list of earthquake insurers on the Nevada Division of Insurance website.