Homeowners insurance policies DO NOT cover earthquake damage!!
To have protection for damage sustained by an earthquake you need to carry a separate earthquake insurance policy to cover your home and your belongings.
Your home must sustain damage above your deductible for coverage to apply. If your home is insured for $500,000 and you have a 10% deductible, your home must endure over $50,000 before the insurance begins to pay. You are not required to pay the deductible up front, it is deducted from the total amount of coverage the carrier will pay.
You DO have options.
Earthquake insurance can be expensive, but you have options! You may choose between a basic earthquake insurance policy that covers your structure only, or a more comprehensive policy that includes coverage for personal property and loss of use (additional living expensive if you have to live elsewhere following an earthquake). You may also choose to carry a high deductible, up to 25%, to keep your cost down.