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Earth Movement

Earth Movement

 

All this month we are delving into the “home warranty” commercial that depicts someone asking their insurance agent if a broken central air unit was covered. The agent explains there is no coverage but that there is coverage for other calamities such as earthquake, volcano, & zombie apocalypse.

Last week we learned that water back up isn’t automatically covered for sewer/sump. One coverage that is becoming less and less a novelty but rather a necessity in the Midwest is coverage for earth movement (earthquake). Thanks to the New Madrid Seismic Zone that reaches from Missouri to Illinois and moves as far east as Tennessee, we Midwesterners have felt a tremor or two in recent years.

A standard homeowners policy does list “earth movement” as an exclusion:

Earth Movement, meaning earthquake including land shock waves or tremors before,
during or after a volcanic eruption; landslide; mine subsidence; mudflow; earth sinking, rising or shifting; unless direct loss by:
(1) fire;
(2) explosion; or
(3) breakage of glass or safety glazing material which is part of a building, storm
door or storm window; ensues and then we will pay only for the
ensuing loss. This exclusion does not apply to loss by theft.

So fire, explosion, theft, & breakage of glass is still covered as the result of “earth movement”. Is there a way to purchase coverage for “earth movement”? For many home insurance carriers, it can be added via an endorsement on the home policy.

Most endorsements add language that it supersedes the exclusion on the home insurance policy for “earth movement” that includes land shocks, tremors, & movement which occurs before/during/after a volcanic eruption. But it also comes with some limitations and exclusions of its own.

A single “earth movement” event includes one or more land shocks within a 72-hr period. This is a good thing, otherwise each shockwave would have to be considered one claim and the hassle with proving which shockwave caused what damage is eliminated.The policy deductible does not apply, but rather a special deductible which is a percentage-based damage deductible. You can choose what percentage of the covered damage total you wish to be responsible for. So for example, if you chose a 10% deductible and the total covered damage was $10,000 – your deductible would be $1,000 (10% of $10,000). $100,000 in damage? $10,000 deductible. Masonry veneer is not covered for “earth movement”, and that damage would be subtracted from the total damage amount of the claim.

So yes, like the sump/sewer water back up, “earth movement” can be covered on a home insurance policy.

Contact Us!

At Marsilje & Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

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