Tennessee Earthquake Insurance

Find the right earthquake insurance policy for you.

Ann Herro, Insurance Expert Written by Ann Herro
Ann Herro, Insurance Expert
Written by Ann Herro

Ann Herro has been writing about insurance and employee benefits for over 15 years. She has covered topics as easy as insuring a car, and as difficult as transparency in healthcare costs.


Although the risk of a major earthquake destroying your Tennessee home or business is slim, it is very real. Residents of this state should consider supplementing their currently held policies with earthquake insurance. You do not want to be without protection if a major disaster strikes your area.

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Tennessee Earthquake Information

  • Eastern Tennessee is located within the second most active seismic zone in the U.S.
  • The eastern part of the state experiences frequent earthquake activity, but it is almost always very mild and barely felt.
  • Western Tennessee is within the New Madrid Seismic Zone.
  • Three major earthquakes have occurred along the New Madrid Fault line:
    • December 1811
    • January 1812
    • February 1812
  • The chance of a major earthquake occurring along the New Madrid Fault line is 7 to 10%.

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What Is Earthquake Insurance?

Earthquake insurance is extra liability specifically designed to cover the devastating damage that a high magnitude earthquake can cause. Most homeowners and business insurance policies have exclusions for damage caused by earthquakes. If your policy is among these, you may find yourself responsible for excessive out-of-pocket costs if an earthquake seriously damages your property, unless you have supplemented your policies with the extra insurance provided by a suitable earthquake insurance policy.

What Does Earthquake Insurance Cover?

Much like a home insurance policy, you can purchase coverage for the structure of your home or business, as well as the contents kept inside. Earthquake insurance, however, does have some exclusions that home insurance does not. For example, most policies will exclude coverage for outlying structures such as swimming pools, fences, and landscaping, and many will not cover damage to fragile items such as glass chandeliers and china. When comparing quotes for policies, be sure to review the coverage restrictions.

Why Are Tennessee Residents at Risk?

The New Madrid Fault line is a 150-mile fault system that extends southward from Cairo, Illinois into Arkansas. It passes along the northwestern Tennessee border, putting residents of much of western and central Tennessee at risk for earthquake activity. FEMA reported that if a major earthquake were to occur in the New Madrid Seismic Zone, it could result in one of the costliest natural disasters ever to occur in the United States. However, those who are studying this fault system cannot determine with any certainty if or when such a disaster might occur.

Furthermore, eastern Tennessee is located within the Southern Appalachian Seismic Zone, which happens to be the second most active seismic zone in the United States. Fortunately, quakes in this area tend to be low in magnitude and result in little damage. However, there is evidence that a large quake of at least a 7.5 magnitude struck this area hundreds of years ago, so it is something for residents to keep in mind. Rather than risk the investment you have made in your home or business, you may want to consider purchasing an earthquake insurance policy for the peace of mind it can afford you.

Is Earthquake Insurance Expensive in Tennessee?

While residents of high-risk states like California and Alaska typically pay more than $500 a year for their coverage, here in comparatively low-risk Tennessee, you can purchase a policy for about $200. Your actual costs can be significantly higher or lower than this amount depending on a number of factors, including these:

  • The value of your home
  • The amount of contents coverage you are purchasing
  • The materials used to build your home or business structure
  • Your proximity to the New Madrid Fault line

It is worth noting that most earthquake insurance policies offer a lot in coverage but usually come with a somewhat high deductible. Therefore, they may not be suitable to compensate you for minor damage to your home. These policies are designed chiefly to protect homeowners from catastrophic destruction to their homes that may be caused by a high-magnitude quake.


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Compare Earthquake Insurance Quotes in Tennessee

Obtaining earthquake insurance quotes for your TN home or business is easy with the help of an independent insurance agent in our network. Your local agent will be familiar with the hazards you face in your TN neighborhood and can offer you advice about your policy options and risks.

Contact an agent near you to get more information. You'll be able to start comparing earthquake insurance policies and quotes in no time.

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