Does home and car insurance cover earthquakes?

Emergency workers stand on Melbourne street after earthquake.
Photo by Iliya Jokic on Unsplash.

Earthquakes aren’t all that common in Australia, which is why many were shocked when a quake hit Victoria on Wednesday. The small town Mansfield was at the epicentre of the earthquake and the highest magnitude recorded was 5.9 at 9.15am.

So far there have been no reported serious injuries, but there has been building damage. If you haven’t experienced an earthquake before, right now you might be wondering whether it’s possible to claim repairs with your car or home insurance. 

Here’s the lowdown on insurance and earthquakes.

Does home insurance cover earthquakes?

The first thing to know is that earthquake damage is often covered with home building and contents insurance. Where earthquakes are included as an insured event, building insurance will usually provide cover for damage to the actual property, while contents insurance will usually provide cover for damage to belongings inside the home. For example, a piece of furniture might be damaged by falling rubble.

Often earthquakes and tsunamis are listed together on insurance policies. Although thankfully the Bureau of Meteorology has reported that there is no tsunami threat to Australia from the earthquake. Generally, policies that cover earthquakes will cover damage caused within 72 hours of the initial quake. 

An insurance company may also require that the earthquake has been officially recorded by a geoscience organisation, run by the Australian government. The earthquake in Victoria was recorded by Geoscience Australia

So to sum up, generally earthquake damage is covered with home insurance. Although it is always a good idea to read through the PDS that accompanies a specific policy to double check. You may also find that the definition for earthquakes varies from policy to policy. Some insurance plans may even have waiting periods. This means you may have to wait a certain amount of time after taking out the policy to be covered.

Does car insurance cover earthquakes?

Generally speaking, comprehensive car insurance is the type of car insurance most likely to provide cover for earthquake damage. Although some third party fire and theft insurance plans may provide cover for quakes too.

Some policies may not specify earthquakes, but instead stipulate that cover is provided for natural events. If earthquakes are not mentioned in the PDS, it might be a good idea to give the insurance provider a ring and clarify whether or not quake damage is covered. 

With both home and car insurance, how much cover you have after an earthquake will depend on the individual policy. That includes whether the policy covers earthquake damage, any excesses that may apply, limits and sublimits.

Head to Mozo’s compare car insurance page to see what comprehensive policies are available in Australia right now. Or check out the deals below.

Compare comprehensive car insurance

Mozo may receive payment if you click to the website of one of the products below. Mozo does not compare the entire market, but you can see more products by clicking on the ‘See more’ button under the table.
Last updated 21 July 2024Advertiser disclosure
Important information on terms, conditions and sub-limits.
  • Comprehensive Car Insurance

    Monthly premiums
    Calendar icon
    Yes Costs Extra
    Choice of repairer
    tools icon
    Optional Extra
    Choice of excess
    coins icon
    $400 - $2,500
    Agreed or market value
    Car coin icon
    Agreed Or Market

    Available discounts

    • Comprehensive Car Insurance

      Monthly premiums
      Calendar icon
      Yes
      Choice of repairer
      tools icon
      No
      Choice of excess
      coins icon
      $800 Flat Excess Fee
      Agreed or market value
      Car coin icon
      Agreed Or Market

      Available discounts

        Details
      • Gold Comprehensive Car Insurance

        Monthly premiums
        Calendar icon
        Yes Costs Extra
        Choice of repairer
        tools icon
        Optional Extra
        Choice of excess
        coins icon
        $550 - $1,900 (varies By State)
        Agreed or market value
        Car coin icon
        Agreed Or Market

        Available discounts

        • No Claim Discount
        • Online Discount Up To 15%
        Details
      • Comprehensive Car Insurance

        Monthly premiums
        Calendar icon
        Yes Costs Extra
        Choice of repairer
        tools icon
        Optional Extra
        Choice of excess
        coins icon
        $500 - $2,200
        Agreed or market value
        Car coin icon
        Agreed Or Market

        Available discounts

        • Online Discount $75
        Details
      • Seniors Car Insurance

        Monthly premiums
        Calendar icon
        No
        Choice of repairer
        tools icon
        No
        Choice of excess
        coins icon
        $500 - $2,500 (varies By State)
        Agreed or market value
        Car coin icon
        Agreed

        Available discounts

        • Price Beat Offer Available For Eligible Drivers Over 50 Years Old Switching From A Comparable Policy With The Code ‘SENIORS’. T&Cs Apply.

      * Terms, conditions, exclusions, limits and sub-limits may apply to any of the insurance products shown on the Mozo website. These terms, conditions, exclusions, limits and sub-limits could affect the level of benefits and cover available under any of the insurance products shown on the Mozo website. Please refer to the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and the Target Market Determination on the provider's website for further information before making any decisions about an insurance product.

      ^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Car Insurance Awards