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Buying Earthquake Insurance in Texas

The best way to get earthquake insurance in Texas is to use a licensed insurance agent who can help you evaluate your needs and find the best coverage options to protect you, at the lowest cost. Getting your building insured against earthquake damage can be overwhelming because insurance companies have slightly different coverage plans, offering features that may be hard to compare. A professional agent in Texas can offer you advice on which policy is suitable for you. State-licensed agents can also help you find and compare different earthquake insurance quotes.

What are my Earthquake Insurance Options in Texas?

You can insure your property against earthquakes in Texas by:

  • adding it as an earthquake endorsement to your home insurance policy or

  • buying a standalone earthquake coverage.

These two options are available if your property is for residential use, commercial purpose, or rentals.

How to Compare Earthquake Insurance Quotes?

The best way to compare earthquake insurance quotes is by reaching out to a knowledgeable professional insurance agent who has access to multiple insurers.

How to Apply for Earthquake Insurance in Texas?

While some insurance providers allow you to apply online, others quote only over-the-phone or in-person applications. You can apply for earthquake insurance in multiple ways, but in the end they all lead you to a licensed insurance agent. Usually, you must speak to one, to confirm the coverages and to go over the legal disclaimers.

You can apply for Texas earthquake insurance in the following ways:

  • Contact your current Texas-licensed property insurance agent to discuss your earthquake insurance needs. A knowledgeable property insurance professional helps you assess your needs and then looks up the different options that can fit those needs. An experienced and actively practicing insurance agent knows the insurance market and can advise you about which coverage options may be more beneficial for your situation. An agent can quote and assist in the application process with all insurers that they are authorized to work with.

  • Contact your current Texas property insurer and speak with a staff agent about whether earthquake coverage can be added to your current policy. If your current insurer offers earthquake insurance, their staff agent can go over the available options, and explain to you how the premium will change after the coverage takes effect. The same agent is usually able to complete and bind coverage during the same interaction. (Note: Staff insurance agents usually do not quote or assist with applications for insurers outside of their organization. Such agents are called Captive. To see more choices, you need to speak with an Independent agent).

  • Search through ads, quotes online, or apply for earthquake insurance through the insurer’s web portals. When you fill out an online quote request in Texas, you usually must agree to receive follow up calls from insurance agents employed by the insurer or a group of insurers where you applied. When you get the call back, the captive agent can discuss with you the options to which they have access through their company. (Note: If you want more coverage options and comparisons, or to apply with an insurer outside of the online agent’s network, speak with a knowledgeable Independent property insurance agent.)

  • Contact an independent property insurance agent to research earthquake insurance coverage for you.

A knowledgeable and experienced Texas insurance agent will:

  • Evaluate your earthquake insurance needs,

  • Review your current Texas property policies (if available), and make sure that the listed coverages are in line with your current needs and are up to date with the current real estate market. If the agent cannot offer anything better than what is already in place, they will tell you so,

  • Research the insurers that offer earthquake coverage on the Texas insurance market and fit your needs. (Note: Some Texas insurers work only using employees - staff agents. If you want a quote or assistance with application from such companies, you must contact their Captive (staff) agents for help),

  • Provide you with all discovered available options of earthquake coverage and make sure that you fully understand the implications of choosing each option over the others,

  • Look for ways to save on earthquake coverage by bundling your other insurance coverages with it. The more policies you have with one insurer, the more you get back in multi-policy discounts, and finally

  • Help you with the application process and provide active management during the life of the policy. The agents are your link to the insurer. They are responsible for properly documenting the process of application and making sure that the insurer has everything they need from you. After the policy has been purchased, the agent usually remains the main point of contact with the insurer. If there are any questions, clarifications, or disputes, they are all usually solved best through the agent who sold the policy.

During the application process for earthquake insurance coverage in Texas you will need to provide the following type of information:

Applicant’s and Co-Applicant’s information: Name, Phone, Email

Other Interested Parties: Contact information for the mortgage bank and any other financially interested third-parties.

Address of the property to be insured: Physical and Mailing addresses

Property Information may include:

  • Year of Construction

  • Construction Type

  • Roof Type

  • Foundation Type

  • Number of Stories

  • Square Footage of the Property

  • Number of Chimneys and Fireplaces, and more

  • Reported pre-existing earthquake damage

Companion Policy Insurance Coverages. Earthquake insurance coverage is applied in addition to a main (Companion) property policy:

  • Homeowners,

  • Condominium Unit Owner,

  • Mobilehome,

  • Landlord (building),

  • Dwelling Fire, or

  • Renters.

Requested companion policy coverage are:

  • Dwelling Coverage Limits and Deductible

  • Personal Property Coverage Limits and Deductible

  • Loss of Use Limits and Deductible

  • Optional Endorsements for Masonry and Breakables (if applicable)

Once the quote is ran and the premium is chosen, the applicant needs to provide the information about the party that will be responsible for paying the bill during every billing cycle:

  • Insured themself,

  • Mortgage bank, so it collects the premium as part of the monthly mortgage payment and disburses the insurance portion directly to the insurer from the accumulated escrow account, without the direct involvement of the insured,

  • Second Mortgage Bank or another financially involved party

Prior to making the actual purchase of coverage, make sure to get multiple quotes from different insurers. To get the best assessment, try both captive and independent solutions.

Where Can I Buy Affordable Earthquake Insurance in Texas?

You can purchase affordable earthquake insurance from companies offering earthquake insurance policies as endorsements to their homeowners or property insurance. An earthquake endorsement is a written change on your homeowners insurance, protecting your building and personal belongings from earthquake damage. Although earthquake endorsements may be affordable, there are limitations to such policy change. Talk with an insurance agent to find other affordable earthquake insurance options and determine whether buying an endorsement is suitable for you.

Who Can Help with Application for Earthquake Insurance?

Your licensed insurance agent in Texas can help you complete the earthquake insurance application.

Can you Purchase Earthquake Insurance Through an Agent?

Yes, it is possible to purchase earthquake insurance through a licensed agent or insurance company in Texas. Ensure to verify the claims of a company or agent using the license lookup tool provided by the Texas Department of Insurance.

Why Do I Need an Agent for Earthquake Insurance?

A licensed insurance agent is needed to make the shopping experience and the application process easier for the prospective insured. Understanding earthquake insurance requires an analysis of your needs and understanding of the market, to match your needs with an existing product. A licensed Texas insurance agent can:

  • Look for discounts by comparing different earthquake insurance quotes from all insurers accessible to the agent

  • Give you advice on the right earthquake coverage plan, limit, and deductible that suits your needs

  • Educate you on how and when to file a claim, and

  • Help you by taking over the day-to-day communication with the insurer

How to Choose an Agent for Earthquake Insurance in Texas?

Follow the steps below to help you choose an insurance agent for earthquake insurance:

Determine the type of insurance agent you want: Depending on the type of property you need to insure from earthquakes, you will reach out to either a private property agent or a commercial property insurance agent:

  • Private property insurance agent works with residential property. If you need to protect your own home or a rental unit and its contents, speak with an agent specializing in residential property coverages. Most private property insurance agents are able to insure real estate and other non-business property, such as: cars, boats, motorcycles, and ATVs.

  • Commercial insurance agent works on the business side of insurance. They can insure commercial real estate and business property contained on the real estate. Texas commercial insurance agents are able to bundle all types of business insurance coverages: property, liability, business interruption, etc.

Additionally, there are two types of insurance agents: captive agents and independent agents:

  • Although some captive insurance agents in Texas are independent contractors, they can discuss and sell only products that their employer provides.

  • Independent agents are able to offer products from various competing companies, and get paid commission by the insurer that their client chooses to use.

If you want earthquake coverage from a particular company, the captive agent of such a company may be beneficial to you. However, if you want more earthquake coverage options from different insurance companies, you should choose an independent agent. Compare all of your options.

Verify if the property insurance agent is licensed: Use the Texas Department of Insurance portal's license lookup tool to verify whether an agent has a license or not.

Ask for referrals: Referrals will help you know the work experience of a property insurance agent.

How Can I Find an Agent Who is Proficient in Earthquake Insurance?

You can find a proficient earthquake insurance agent by checking the list of Texas insurance agents provided by the Texas Department of Insurance.

Can I Buy Earthquake Insurance Online?

Yes, some private companies operating in Texas allow you to buy earthquake insurance online. Buying earthquake insurance online may be easier if the insured already knows exactly what they need to cover. Online quotes are a great tool to compare the quotes provided to you by the agent. If the online quote costs less, ask the agent to explain the reason for it and see if they can beat it.

How to Renew Earthquake Insurance in Texas?

Generally, Texas earthquake insurance renews annually, unless the insured requests a cancellation. As it is with other insurance policies, earthquake insurance plans do not remain the same forever. Your insurer will always change the policy and premium based on new realities. Most policies have a one-year policy duration. The earthquake insurance provider will not make any modifications to the policy's premiums or coverage type during the one-year policy term. When you receive your renewal notification, all you may need to do is to confirm your next year’s premium payment. Your insurer will renew your coverage for another year if you keep paying your premiums. If the premium cost or the terms of the policy are no longer acceptable, speak with your agent and the insurer about the alternative and more cost-effective solutions.

How Often Should I Renew Earthquake Insurance?

You should review and renew your earthquake insurance policy annually. Consult your insurance agent and/or current insurer each year to know if any modification is necessary to your policy.