We may be worried about El Niño rains this week, but fears about major earthquakes are never far behind.
Some good news on that front is that changes in California’s earthquake policies and rates (for policies provided by the California Earthquake Authority (CEA), the non-profit organization that writes 75% of the residential earthquake insurance policies in California) went into effect on January 1, 2016, bringing lower rates for many policies, increased coverage amounts and more deductible options.
There’s also a new CEA online premium calculator, accessible on any smart phone, tablet or desktop.
According to the the CEA, the U.S. Geological Survey says the likelihood of a 6.7 magnitude or larger earthquake in California (the same magnitude as the 1994 Northridge earthquake) is more than 99% likely in the next 30 years, which is the duration of a typical home mortgage. Still, fewer than 10% of California homes are covered by earthquake insurance. (By the way, earthquake insurance isn’t just for homeowners these days — renters can also get earthquake policies, to help recover losses of possessions and living space in the event of a major quake.)
So it might be a good idea to make it a New Year’s resolution to check your coverage. For details and more information see EarthquakeAuthority.com. (The website also has great resources for earthquake preparedness, seismic retrofitting, fault maps, risks, and other earthquake-related topics.)