Does home and auto insurance cowl earthquakes? –

Earthquakes aren't too common in Australia, which is why many were shocked when a quake struck Victoria on Wednesday. The small town of Mansfield was at the epicenter of the earthquake and the highest measured magnitude was 5.9 at 9:15 a.m.

Serious injuries have not yet been reported, but there was damage to the building. If you've never experienced an earthquake, now you might be wondering if you can claim repairs with your auto or home insurance.

Here are the facts about insurance and earthquakes.

Does the home contents insurance cover earthquakes?

The first thing you should know is that earthquake damage is often covered with home and contents insurance. In the event of an earthquake as an insured event, the building insurance usually covers damage to the actual property, the household contents insurance usually covers damage to the household effects. For example, falling debris can damage a piece of furniture.

Earthquakes and tsunamis are often listed together on insurance policies. Though the Bureau of Meteorology has fortunately reported that there is no tsunami threat to Australia from the earthquake. Generally, policies that cover earthquakes cover damage caused within 72 hours of the first quake.

An insurance company may also require that the earthquake be formally recorded by a government-run geoscientific organization. The Victoria earthquake was recorded by Geoscience Australia.

In summary, it can be said that earthquake damage is usually covered by home contents insurance. Although it is always a good idea to read the PDS that accompanies any particular policy to review it. You may also find that the definition of earthquake varies from policy to policy. Some insurance companies can even have waiting times. This means that you may have to wait a certain amount of time after taking out the policy to be insured.

Does car insurance cover earthquakes?

In general, comprehensive car insurance is the type of car insurance that is most likely to cover earthquake damage. However, some third party fire and theft insurance policies may also cover quakes.

Some policies may not provide for earthquakes, but instead provide coverage for natural events. If earthquakes are not mentioned in the PDS, it can make sense to call the insurer and clarify whether earthquake damage is insured.

How much coverage you have after an earthquake depends on the policy for both home and car insurance. This includes whether the policy covers earthquake damage, any deductibles, limits and sublimits.

Visit Mozo's car insurance comparison page to see what comprehensive policies are currently available in Australia. Or check out the offers below.

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