Californians have been warned for many years, but 2017 seemed to be the year to take action.
Scientists have been cautioning homeowners to buy California earthquake insurance for decades. They have been warning that there is a major tremor overdue in the state.
However, many Californians have balked at the thought of buying, afraid premiums would be too high.
California earthquake insurance, despite the threat of a serious potential quake, has been a very tough sell for insurers and agents. Only about 10 percent of households in the state had coverage. The issue was that the high premiums made it feel as though the coverage simply wouldn’t be worth it, particularly if scientists were somehow wrong.
That said, last year was a time full of natural disasters not only across the country, but within California specifically. This meant that the population became very aware of the type of damage that could happen out of the blue. Hurricanes were striking parts of the country then massive fires ravaged practically the entire state as well as those surrounding. Just to the south, Mexico experienced serious earthquakes.
California earthquake insurance suddenly became a coverage to be taken seriously.
As a result of this increased awareness and feeling of personal threat from Mother Nature, earthquake insurance coverage started to sell. This year, the trend is expected to continue, particularly as Californians have already been exposed to natural disasters in the form of mudslides and debris slides.
Every time a threat feels close to home, insurance companies find that there is an increase in interest in purchasing coverage that many Californians have needed but that they’ve felt was too expensive until then.
According to the California Earthquake Authority, they saw an increase of 90,000 customers last year, which broke their previous records. This was particularly striking when considering that the average annual increase the authority had seen over the ten years prior had been only 7,000.
Glenn Pomeroy, chief executive of the California Earthquake Authority explained that last year’s “horrible run of natural catastrophes” has “crystallized people’s thinking about the need to be protected.”
The authority has also been working hard to draw new California earthquake insurance customers through a range of new offerings (such as reducing the minimum deductible to 5 percent of a home’s value instead of 10 percent) and has been aggressively advertising coverage