Earthquakes in South Carolina – Should I have Coverage?

In the process of buying a homeowners policy whether you are shopping on renewal or purchasing a new home, you are probably asked the question “Are you interested in earthquake coverage?”. Some may give it some thought, but ultimately decide that this is a risk they are willing to take living in the Low Country. After all, aren’t hurricanes and tropical storms our main concern on the coast? Before you are too quick to delete this coverage or opt to not add it to your homeowners policy, let us look at the facts.

(1) There is a major fault line in Summerville and earthquakes produce wide ranging damage.

(2) There is not enough evidence for the Low Country specifically to accurately indicate when the next large scale earthquake will occur, but we have experienced much earthquake activity in the last few years.

  • In 2012 – 6 earthquakes originated around the Summerville area
  • In 2011- 5 earthquakes originated around the Summerville area
  • In 2010 –  1 earthquake originated around the Summerville area

Please visit for more information on the above figures.

(3)  Research on the site shows that Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley counties are in the most high hazard areas for major damage. (Zones X and IX)

(4) Earthquakes can pose threats to your property in a multitude of ways. Along with the shifting of the earth’s surface that causes structural damage, there is a high likelihood of fire due to downed power lines and gas pipe breakage and flooding.

(5) Let’s not forget the Charleston Earthquake of 1886 that was one of the most destructive earthquakes in the South.

In most cases, earthquake insurance can be added to your policy for a minimum premium charge. If you are unable to add this coverage to your homeowners policy, there are markets that will write a stand-alone earthquake policy for you. If you are interested in talking more about this coverage, please call one of our experts today!

* Information from this article was obtained from the website that is maintained by Richard N. Côté, director of the South Carolina Earthquake Awareness Project.