Interest in Earthquake Insurance Is Up
The earthquakes that struck southern California have more people thinking about getting earthquake insurance. Currently, only 13 percent of California homeowners carry earthquake insurance, in part because “people don’t think it’s going to happen to them,” said California Earthquake Authority (CEA) CEO Glenn Pomeroy. Standard homeowners policies exclude earthquake damage, creating the need to obtain a separate endorsement or buy coverage through the nonprofit CEA, which is reporting a sharp increase in visitors to its website since recent earthquakes hit the state.
Unlike flood insurance, which is required by mortgage lenders in flood zones, there is no requirement for people whose homes are near fault lines to buy earthquake insurance. Pomeroy tells A.M. Best that Ridgecrest, the area hit by 6.4 and 7.1 temblors on July 4 and 5, has an earthquake insurance take-up rate of 20 percent, nearly twice the statewide California average. Of roughly 10,000 homeowners in Ridgecrest, he said 2,000 are CEA policyholders.