Home Charred By Fire After Ridgecrest Earthquake

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Recent Quakes Were A Wake-Up Call For Uninsured Homeowners

Doug Sovern
July 23, 2019 - 10:18 am
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The earthquakes in Ridgecrest earlier this month appear to have triggered a lot of interest in quake insurance among California homeowners.

Glenn Pomeroy, CEO of the California Earthquake Authority, told KCBS Radio that over the past few weeks inquiries about coverage are through the roof.

"Both the July 4th earthquake and the one the following evening are really the wake-up call that California needed," he said. "In the days following ... our website traffic went up by about a factor of ten."

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Only about 10% of California homeowners have earthquake insurance, mainly because it has a reputation for being expensive with high deductibles. 

Not true, according to Pomeroy: "We now have a wide variety of coverage options available, deductibles for example ranging from 5% to 25%," he said. "They can really dial in the coverage to the point where it meets their sweet spot."

It's too soon to say how many people who were shaken by those Ridgecrest quakes are now actually buying policies, but the hope is that many will follow through. 

"Earthquakes don't happen with great frequency, so sometimes we have a tendency to put it out of sight, out of mind," Pomeroy said. "That's very dangerous, because they can happen at any moment."

Damage caused by earthquakes is not covered by traditional homeowner insurance policies.