In past years, I’ve closely followed the earthquake activity in California. I’ve blogged about “swarming,” which are clusters of earthquakes within a small period of time that geologists indicate maybe a precursor to a larger earthquake or a way for the tectonic plates to release pressure.
Over the last week the Salton Sea has experienced “swarming” which has caused scientists to issue an earthquake advisory for an elevated risk of an earthquake along the San Andreas fault. Coincidentally, last week the California Earthquake Authority issued a press release that indicated that the sale of residential earthquake insurance policies is up in 2016. The sale of earthquake policies in California amongst residential properties has increased “about 29,000 policies in the first eight months of this year, which is nearly twice the amount of new CEA policies purchased in all of 2015.”1
As stated in my last blog, earthquake policies in California have changed coverage. According to the CEA, it has lowered rates and expanded coverage, including the expansion of personal property and loss of use coverage. While building standard and codes change, the CCEA is offering a retrofit “hazard-reduction discount” for policyholders who bring their properties up to current standards. With scientists giving statistics of a 99% likelihood of having a 6.7 magnitude earthquake or greater in California over the next half a century, it is likely that homeowners will take the initiative to purchase earthquake policies in droves.
As the CEA is a non-profit, residential homeowners will find that if an earthquake occurs, making a claim quickly and properly to the California Earthquake Authority will be the key to obtaining full coverage under their policy. The constant debate regarding whether the CEA is properly funded in the event of a larger magnitude earthquake is always in debate, however the increase in purchases of earthquake policies is also favorable to add to future years of insurance policy funding for those who choose to minimize their earthquake risk by the purchase of the proper policy.
1 See http://www.earthquakeauthority.com/media/pages/press-release.aspx?prid=75