My husband and I live in California. Should we buy earthquake insurance?
Free Insurance Quote Comparison
Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
UPDATED: Sep 15, 2020
It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.
We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.
Earthquake insurance, even in California, is a personal choice. Lenders do not require it so it is you and your husband’s decision. There are many factors to consider such as costs, probability of an earthquake in your area and your feelings about earthquakes. Many people who are new to California, and some longtime residents, fear earthquakes and decide to buy the insurance based upon the fear. You should also educate yourself as to what the homeowner policy covers versus the earthquake policy. For example, a fire, even if caused by an earthquake, is covered by the homeowner policy. Much of the damage from the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, and the later one in 1981, was caused by fire.
Earthquake insurance is generally expensive and has high deductibles. There is a state run program called California Earthquake Authority (CEA) as well as programs within individual insurance companies. Some companies subscribe to the CEA. If so, they do not offer any other options. There are also some companies that write only earthquake insurance, not connected to the homeowner insurance and they allow you to select different amounts of insurance. Some offer protection for your contents and the costs you will incur while your home is being repaired (known as additional living expenses). Shop around to find the best program to fit your needs.