We recommend earthquake insurance to all of our clients. Why? Earthquake coverage is not included in your homeowners policy, and rebuilding after a disaster can be costly – especially if you also need to pay for temporary lodging.
Start Your Earthquake Quote
We partner with Palomar and GeoVera to offer affordable earthquake insurance options for our clients. You can explore the options on your own or fill out a quick form to have an agent prepare a custom quote for you.
Explore on your own:
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Request a quote from our team:
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Read on to learn more about earthquake risk in the Pacific Northwest and why a specialized policy is so important.
Why we recommend earthquake insurance
It’s no secret. Here in Washington State, we live on shaky grounds. Tectonic plates are moving and shifting underneath our feet, and although that’s what’s creating landscapes as beautiful as the Olympic Mountains, they are also causing deadly catastrophes. Washington state has the 2nd highest seismic risk in the U.S.
An earthquake could strike anywhere, at any time, and without any warning as it did in Washington state in early 2001. Even if you don’t live near a known fault line, your home could be severely damaged by an earthquake. That’s why it is crucial to protect yourself with earthquake insurance if you live in the Pacific Northwest.
After a major earthquake, you may qualify for government assistance, but most relief programs consist of low-interest loans with lending limits. You may not be able to borrow enough to repair or rebuild after major damage.
Earthquake insurance will help pay for major repairs and to replace your belongings, as well as provide money for you to live elsewhere while repairs are made. With the right coverage, you’ll prevent significant financial problems and gain peace of mind.
We have earthquake insurance options for you!
McClain Insurance Services represents multiple insurance companies. Our specialized policies provide you with several advantages:
- Unique stand-alone earthquake coverage.
- Easy underwriting, no inspection or retrofitting required.
- 95% of Washington State homes qualify.
- Choice of deductibles from 2.5% to 25%.
- Custom rating of each house.
- Coverage provided by carriers rated “Excellent” by A.M. Best.
* Insurance policies vary from company to company and from state to state. Not every Washington state insurance policy will include every coverage described above. Be sure to read your policy and check with your insurance agent for personalized information.
New Earthquake Fault Lines Discovered
The “Big One” is still out there and decades overdue. The last time, this happened in 1700 when plates shifted offshore, causing a midnight tremor that lasted over 5 minutes and all but destroyed native villages and communities on Washington’s and Oregon’s coastlines and around the Puget Sound.
There are the dozens of intangible ‘mini-quakes’ that happen in our region every week. (Need proof? Visit the Earthquake Tracker for Seattle and the Pacific Northwest for an eye-opening real-time map.)
And then, there are the many shallow seismic faults that are being discovered by state and federal geologists that have the potential to cause extensive damage and loss of life. The recent discovery of these fault lines lead to the assumption that virtually no part of Washington state is immune from earthquake damage.
This video will show you what an earthquake could look like in our area. This is why it’s critical that you have the proper insurance in place, along with a solid preparedness plan.
Common Earthquake Questions
If you don’t see your questions answered below, please contact us. We are here to help and look forward to assisting you with your earthquake insurance needs!
What is an earthquake?
According to FEMA, an earthquake is the sudden, rapid shaking of the earth caused by the breaking and shifting of underground rock. Earthquakes can:
- Collapse buildings
- Cause heavy items to fall
- Cause fires and damage to roads
- Cause ground failure, including landslides and liquefaction
- Cause tsunamis
resulting in injuries, death, and property damage.
What happens during an earthquake?
If you’re new to the Pacific Northwest, you may not have experienced an earthquake before. In 2016, Seattle’s Office of Emergency Management hosted a “Big Shaker” earthquake event so people could experience what an 8.0-magnitude earthquake feels like. You can watch a video of the simulation below:
What would happen if an earthquake hit Washington?
This simulation from the Washington State Department of Transportation demonstrates how disastrous a strong earthquake could be. Although the Alaskan Way Viaduct has been torn down, this still serves as a powerful reminder about the possible effects of an earthquake:
Does my home insurance policy cover earthquake insurance?
No, most Washington and Oregon homeowners and condo insurance policies specifically exclude coverage for earthquake damage. King 5 News explains:
On the rare occasion your homeowners insurance policy does cover earthquake damage, it’s still worth considering a separate earthquake insurance policy. Standalone earthquake insurance policies in Washington and Oregon are usually more cost-effective and provide better protection than coverage that is endorsed, or added on, to a home insurance policy.
How much does earthquake insurance cost in Washington?
Although The Seattle Times reported earthquake insurance prices in Washington have soared in recent years, there are affordable earthquake insurance options available for most Seattle residents. The exact cost of earthquake insurance in Seattle varies based on a number of factors, including the following:
- Location of your home, including proximity to a fault line
- Construction characteristics of your home. This includes the material your home is built out of (such as wood or brick), foundation type, and age of your home
- The replacement cost of your home. The more expensive your home costs to rebuild, the more expensive it will be to insure
- The deductible you choose. Our companies offer deductibles ranging from 2.5% to 25%. The higher the deductible, the lower the premium
Although our earthquake insurance companies do not require homes in Washington be retrofitted, some retrofitted homes may qualify for a premium discount.
Want to know how much your Seattle earthquake insurance costs? Fill out our online quote form or call us at (425) 379-9200, and a licensed QuakeQuotes insurance agent will be in touch with you.
Do I need earthquake insurance?
Yes! Washington has the second-highest seismic risk of any state in the country, after California. We recommend earthquake insurance to all Pacific Northwest residents. Our team has seen firsthand the emotional and financial losses earthquakes cause.
After the “big one” hits, reimbursement from an earthquake insurance policy can mean the difference between despair and hope for many families. For many of us, our homes are our largest financial asset. This is why purchasing earthquake insurance is so critical.
If you are not insured against earthquakes and your home suffers earthquake damage, You could be in serious financial trouble because there is no coverage to repair or replace your home and you have to continue making your mortgage payment.
What does an earthquake policy cover?
Our Pacific Northwest earthquake insurance policies are customizable to your needs. Unless waived, they automatically include coverage for:
- the structure of your home
- it’s contents
- any detached structures on your property, such as a detached garage
- additional living expenses if your home is not habitable due to earthquake damage
If you live in a condo, your earthquake insurance policy can also provide coverage for loss assessment.
What happens if I don’t buy earthquake insurance?
Thanks to Seattle’s booming real estate market, your home may be your largest asset. Can you afford to rely on FEMA to bail you out if a large earthquake hits our region?
If you are not insured against earthquakes and your home suffers earthquake damage, you could be in serious financial trouble. Because you would have no coverage to repair or replace your home and you have to continue making your mortgage payment.
Affected homeowners may qualify for a loan through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). However, after watching news reports on Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters, we cannot recommend clients rely on FEMA to help rebuild their homes and their lives.
Why are we so passionate about earthquake insurance?
QuakeQuotes founder, Claudia McClain, grew up in Southern California practicing monthly “duck and cover” earthquake drills. Later in life, she experienced firsthand the emotional and financial losses earthquakes can cause.
These experiences led Claudia to found McClain Insurance Services in Everett, Washington, in 1977. Since then, our mission has been simple and clear: to help clients re-establish their lives as quickly and as completely as possible after a loss.
Why do business with us? We’re real people who love protecting families in Everett, Seattle, and across the Pacific Northwest. We’re here to educate you about your insurance options and make sure you’re properly protected from all of life’s surprises – including the “Big One.” Protecting your family and your belongings is our priority.
In addition to earthquake insurance, we advise clients on all their personal insurance needs, including homeowners and renters insurance, auto insurance, and life insurance. We can also assist with insuring more unique family needs like electric bicycles, Airbnb and other vacation rental properties, and in-home businesses.
Most importantly, as independent insurance agents, we partner with the Pacific Northwest’s best insurance companies. This allows us to offer choices to every client.
Meet Dova Smith, QuakeQuotes Earthquake Insurance Specialist
McClain Insurance agent Dova Smith has been part of our team for almost 10 years. As our lead earthquake insurance specialist, Dova helps clients evaluate their risks for natural disasters and spends time tailoring earthquake insurance to each client’s unique needs. She also trains our team on changes in the Washington earthquake insurance market, earthquake insurance claims handling, and more.
Dova is a proud veteran of the U.S. Army. After serving our country, she moved home to Everett, Washington, where she lives with her husband, Shawn. They love singing karaoke, tasting wine from Washington wineries, and spending time with their dogs, Nattie and Emma.
Learn more about McClain Insurance and our entire team of licensed insurance advisors.