Montana is among the most seismically active states in the country. Residents of this state are at risk of major losses due to quakes and should therefore strongly consider protecting their property with earthquake insurance coverage. Many people do not realize until it is too late that home and business insurance policies do not include earthquake insurance as part of their standard coverage packages. If you have not already supplemented your coverage with an earthquake insurance endorsement, you may want to consider requesting quotes for this very important coverage.
Montana Earthquake Facts
- Of all single-event natural disasters faced by Montana residents, earthquakes pose the highest risk.
- Approximately 75% of Montana’s residents live in areas identified as having the highest risk for damaging earthquakes.
- Since 1895, this state experienced 12 significant earthquakes with a magnitude of 6.0 or higher.
- The largest earthquake in MT history was a 7.3 magnitude that struck at Hebgen Lake in 1959; this quake was responsible for 28 fatalities and $11 million in property damage.
How To Get Earthquake Insurance
Earthquake insurance is extra insurance, typically purchased as an addendum or supplement to your homeowners and business insurance policies. As a rule, these policies do not include earthquake coverage as part of their standard coverage. If an earthquake destroys your home or business and you have not purchased this extra liability insurance, you will not be able to collect compensation.
Be aware that earthquake insurance coverage typically has a very high deductible. Earthquake insurance protects you if you suffer a major loss because of a quake, but it may not be helpful if an earthquake causes only minor damage to your property.
Why Are Residents of Montana at Risk?
Most of the damaging earthquakes to affect Montana have occurred in the more heavily populated western third of the state. In fact, the only significant quake to occur outside this area was one that struck the northeastern county of Sheridan in 1943.
The reason for this high seismic activity is the large number of Quaternary faults within the Intermountain Seismic Belt. This belt covers the area from Yellowstone National Park to Helena and northwest to just past Flathead Lake. Most of this state’s earthquake activity occurs within this zone.
According to the Montana Department of Military Affairs, in the western half of this state, quakes with a magnitude of more than 5.0 occur about once every 1.5 years; quakes with a magnitude of 6.0 or greater occur about once every 10 years; and quakes with a magnitude of 7.0 or greater occur every 77 years. To put that in perspective, an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1 releases about as much energy as did the Hiroshima atomic bomb.
Is Earthquake Insurance Expensive in Montana?
Montana has a higher than average earthquake risk, so insurance coverage in this state will be on the more expensive side. When you request earthquake insurance quotes, your rates depend on a number of factors including the following:
- Home's location: Residents who live within the Intermountain Seismic zone have a significantly higher risk of earthquake damage.
- Year built: Houses constructed after 1970 are more likely to be able to withstand the tremors of an earthquake.
- Value of home and contents: The more coverage you need to buy, the higher your insurance rates will be.
The only way to find out how much an earthquake insurance policy will cost you is to request quotes from insurance companies that provide this coverage in Montana. Comparison-shopping will help you ensure that you are getting your insurance at a reasonable rate.
Compare Earthquake Insurance Quotes
Obtaining earthquake insurance quotes for your Montana home or business is easy when you enlist the help of an insurance agent in the Trusted Choice® network. A local independent agent will be familiar with the hazards you face in your neighborhood and can offer you advice about your various policy options as well as provide you with a variety of competitively priced policies to compare.
Contact a Trusted Choice agent near your home or business to get more information and start comparing earthquake insurance quotes in Montana.