Home Insurance Exclusions for Earth Movement

Typical HO3 and HO5 Homeowners Insurance policies do not provide coverage for any earth movement. Insurance policies are all different, but a common ISO HO3 policy (HO 00 03 10 00) excludes coverage for “Earth Movement.” In addition most homeowners insurance policies now a days do not cover a homeowner from the peril earth movement, including earthquake.

Earthquake Insurance vs Land movement

The Land Movement Homeowner Exclusion:

“Earth Movement means Earthquake…Landslide, mudslide, or mudflow…subsistence or sinkhole or…any earth movement including earth sinking, rising, or shifting…”

The definition goes on explain what these movements might be caused from” caused by or resulting from human or animal forces or any act of nature unless direct loss by fire or explosion ensues and then we will only pay for the ensuing loss.”

Most consumers incorrectly assume that this exclusion just excludes home insurance from earthquakes. It is a lot more than that. This “earth movement” exclusion essentially prevents the insurer from paying out any claim for just about any type of ground shaking, moving, etc.

The exact homeowners language about earthquake coverage
An ISO HO3 Policy as a “Sample.”

Land movement can then be defined as the following:

  • Earthquakes
  • Landslide, Mudslide, or Mudflow
  • Sinkholes and Subsistence
  • Earth Sinking, Shifting, and/or Rising

Home insurance will generally not protect you from any of these.

If you have both an Earthquake Policy and a Homeowners policy are you fully covered?

No. What this really means is that insurers that add earthquake coverage are still NOT covered by other types of earth movements NOT covered by the earthquake mini policy. If you, a consumer, purchase a home insurance policy and an earthquake CEA policy, you still will not be covered from risks such as sinkholes, mudslides, landslides, and more. [But you will certainly be better protected than from NOT having an Earthquake policy.]

Therefore if you have BOTH an Earthquake and a homeowners policy you are still not fully covered for land movement.

Different Homeowner Coverage Forms and Homeowners Language:

Not all insurance companies use the exact same coverage form or language. ISO does have one of the more standard and common coverage forms, but not all insurers use their exact same language. Many will have slightly different wording or even coverages. That being said in general most insurers are likely to have a coverage exclusion similar to this.

How Do you Find Out Exclusions on Your Homeowner Policy:

In order to find your home insurance exclusions you must do one of two things:

  • Read the policy
  • Ask your Insurance Agent or Insurer
How to find your exclusion

That is it, no article on the internet can tell you for certain what coverages that you have and do not have, you must read your own home insurance policy to discover for yourself what land movement coverage you might just possibly have.

In the end the Earth Movement Exclusion found on a common homeowners insurance policy excludes for a lot more than just earthquakes.

This article deals with just ONE general topic of home owners exclusions – the land movement exclusion. There are numerous other exclusions that are not discussed in this article. Please see your agent for questions about your home policy.