State officials urge earthquake coverage

LA HABRA – The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) has paid “numerous” claims for damage to homes that sustained relatively minor damage from the March 28 magnitude-5.1 La Habra earthquake, state officials announced this week. To date, most CEA claim payments from the La Habra shake are to help cover costs for emergency repairs—a new feature in CEA homeowners policies that does not require meeting a deductible to receive payment.

“On the one month anniversary of the La Habra earthquake, we are again reminded that we live and work in earthquake country,” said California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.  “California is intersected by a complex fault system. Residents should learn about the risk in their area and what steps they should take to mitigate and prepare for the inevitability of the next major quake.”

Home insurance companies that offer CEA polices have responded to hundreds of calls from California residents who ask if they have coverage for earthquake damage.

“Home insurance policies do not cover earthquake damage,” said CEA CEO Glenn Pomeroy. “Without a separate earthquake-insurance policy, California residents with earthquake damage will be responsible for costs to repair or rebuild their homes, and to replace their personal property.”

Many claims filed after the La Habra quake have been denied because many of those residents did not have separate earthquake-insurance policies. Other claims have been denied because their damage did not exceed their coverage deductibles.

CEA’s policies are designed to help homeowners and renters recover from damaging earthquakes. Deductibles of 10 or 15 percent are necessary to help reduce premiums. Though some believe earthquake-insurance premiums for older homes in high-risk areas are costly, CEA has lowered rates over time by a total of 45 percent and offers earthquake coverage for all Californians who insure their home with a CEA participating insurer, regardless of where they live.

California has two-thirds of the nation’s earthquake risk, yet fewer than 11 percent of California residents have protected their household finances with earthquake insurance.

To learn more about CEA renters and homeowners policies (including mobile homes and condominium units), and to get a premium estimate, go to



Published: May 1, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 03