Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...

  • Your auto insurance can help you recover from earthquake damages as long as you have the proper coverage in place
  • For your insurance policy to help you recover from earthquake losses, you need to have coverage in place before the loss event occurs
  • On most auto insurance policies, comprehensive coverage is the option you’ll need to purchase to protect from earthquake damage
  • Comprehensive coverage often has a deductible for any covered loss
  • It’s important to talk to your provider about your coverage needs or questions before an earthquake occurs

Experiencing an earthquake can be an unsettling experience, and it can leave your vehicle damaged without time to prepare or plan accordingly.

Your auto insurance may help you recover from these losses as long as you have coverage in place before the loss.

Earthquakes often create dangerous road conditions, which can increase the potential for an accident, or they may damage your car regardless of where you’re parked or garaged.

Make sure you find the best rate for the auto insurance you need. Enter your zip code into our free rate comparison tool above!

Purchasing Policy Coverage for Earthquake Damage

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When it comes to your auto insurance, earthquake damages can be covered under comprehensive coverage, which is a physical damage coverage you can choose to purchase.

This coverage applies to losses that are not related to a collision with another vehicle, an object, or flipping your car; this coverage is sometimes called “other-than-collision” coverage.

Natural disasters, such as an earthquake, are often covered under comprehensive coverage.

Dangerous driving conditions caused by an earthquake may be excluded from this coverage option; if you impact road debris caused by an earthquake, the resulting damage may be covered under collision coverage.

When you’re looking at your coverage options, it’s important to consider what losses you’re being exposed to and what risks you are taking on if you decline specific options.

Speak to your insurance provider about the options available, and make sure to compare coverage quotes from multiple providers; this comparison allows you to determine what coverage meets your needs for a price that fits your budget.

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Filing a Claim for Earthquake Damage to Your Vehicle

Earthquakes are often considered a natural disaster due to the number of individuals affected by this loss event, which means there may be unique claim handling requirements for your loss.

It’s important to contact your provider to understand how the claim will be processed, though there are some common, consistent things to remember:

  • There will often be a deductible
  • You may need to document the damage
  • You may need to protect your car from futher damage

One thing to remember is that you often have a deductible for comprehensive or collision coverage; this amount is a predetermined amount that applies to any covered claim.

The deductible exists to help reduce the financial burden on your provider and to ensure that only losses that are true losses are claimed.

Additionally, you may need to document the damage to your vehicle while also taking steps to mitigate further damages.

This documentation often includes taking pictures or videos of what has occurred to show your provider the extent of the damage.

Once you’ve documented the earthquake-related damage, you can take steps to mitigate further loss; these steps are helpful and often appreciated by your provider.

These steps can be as simple as the following:

  • moving your car to a safer, secure location
  • covering broken windows to keep rain out of the interior

You should always contact your provider as soon as possible, though take into consideration that many vehicle owners may be affected by an earthquake.

Filing a claim with your provider may take longer than normal, and getting your vehicle repaired or replaced may be a time-consuming process.

Be sure to save any receipts for additional expenses due to this loss, as your provider may reimburse you for reasonable expenditures.

Remember to speak to your provider about their process for expense reimbursement, as your policy may contain conditions or exclusions regarding reimbursements.

Finding the Coverage You Need

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Natural disasters, such as an earthquake, often occur at unexpected times and without the potential to prepare for the disaster. You may have to place your personal safety above protecting your property, so your vehicle may end up suffering from damages.

Planning ahead for these types of losses, especially if you live in an area prone to these disasters, is essential.

It’s important to remember that when an earthquake is predicted or occurring, you may not be able to purchase coverage after a certain time.

Insurance providers may place a halt on selling coverage when a disaster is within proximity; this reduces the number of people buying insurance right before a loss and canceling coverage after the loss occurs.

Make sure you check with your provider about any stipulations regarding your coverage and how long it should be in place before an earthquake occurs.

Additionally, contact your insurance provider as soon as possible when an earthquake loss occurs. They may provide instructions on how to proceed with your claim as well as mitigating further loss; loss mitigation should only be attempted if the location is safe and secure.

Compare car insurance quotes today to find the best deal on the coverage you desire.