With the recent talk in the media about forecasted quakes, you might be wondering, “should I buy earthquake insurance?”
You’ve likely seen the commercials from the California Earthquake Authority with topics like, “it’s not a matter of if, but when,” and informative videos about the hundreds of fault lines that spider beneath California.
California is no stranger to big quakes: Napa experienced a 6.0 in 2014, San Francisco shook in 2004, and Northridge had a 6.7 in 1994. These areas were hit with millions – and billions – of dollars in property damage.
Recently California residents have been seeing news reports on earthquake forecasting.
In early October there was a “swam” of activity close to a big fault – and that got seismologists quaking.
On a fox news report, Seismologist Richard Allen of UC Berkley, related that on any given day on the San Andres fault the chance of a major earthquake is about 1 in 6000, but in October the number rose to 1 in 100.
While no one can predict the future, it’s safe to say that California has a history of earthquakes and will likely experience more quakes in the future.
Great news for Earthquake Insurance
Earthquake rates have gone down recently – even as recently as two months ago. Some of the newer carriers have competitive rates and there are more options now in the market.
There is also great news for homeowners with a pool: Previously there was no or limited coverage for pools, and now you can get coverage on your pool. (California Earthquake Authority does not offer coverage for pools).
Understanding your Earthquake Insurance Options
Your premium may depend on a number of factors:
- The value of your home
- The location of your home. (Rates are still rated by zip code with some areas, like Northridge having higher rates than areas in Orange County.)
- The carrier you choose
- The deductible plan you opt for
Understanding your deductible options:
The most common deductible option chosen is 15%, and the second most is 10%. That is because those used to be the only two options available! However, homeowners can now choose from deductibles anywhere from 2.5% to 25% so there is plan that can fit anybody’s needs and budget
Earthquake Insurance for Commercial Buildings
Many business owners that once considered earthquake insurance for their commercial properties found it to be cost prohibitive or unavailable. There are now several more companies offering commercial earthquake insurance in CA and this increased competition has lowered rates drastically and opened up availability. Coverage is also now available for older buildings, concrete and brick buildings, and buildings with underground parking
Homeowner’s insurance policies are not covered for earthquakes. If a damaging quake hits your area you could be left paying for the costs to rebuild out of pocket. FEMA – The Federal Emergency Management Agency – doesn’t have the money to repay such large-scale losses.
Cappuccino Insurance Agency currently writes with most of the major companies that provide earthquake insurance in CA. We can help you decide which company makes most sense for you.
Contact us for a free consultation on your earthquake insurance options.
- Read our April article for more information on Earthquake Preparedness.