California earthquake insurance in spotlight due to Northridge anniversary
January 17 was the 23rd anniversary of the 6.7 magnitude quake that shook LA’s San Fernando Valley.
California earthquake insurance is receiving attention once again as the anniversary of the Northridge quake took place on Tuesday. The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) released a notice to remind state residents that only 23 years ago, a 6.7 magnitude tremor caused massive damage to homes, workplaces, roads and freeways.
On January 17, 1994, the San Fernando Valley region of L.A. was the center of millions of dollars in damage.
If a similar quake were to happen today, the residential damage alone would be worth up to $79 million. The reason is that since the Northridge earthquake, the cost of rebuilding and repairing damaged homes has increased by an estimated 170 percent. For most homeowners, the costs associated with significant repairs to a quake-damaged home would be financially devastating. That said, the cost of California earthquake insurance is actually becoming more affordable.
Within the statement from the CEA, its CEO, Glenn Pomeroy, explained that “The U.S. Geological Survey says there is a 93 percent chance of a magnitude-7.0 earthquake occurring in California in the next 30 years—a massive quake that would be three times as strong as the Northridge catastrophe. With major earthquakes occurring across the globe, there is a growing sense that our time is coming.”
Pomeroy reminded residents that we should learn from Northridge and take precautions like California earthquake insurance.
He explained that in commemoration of the catastrophe nearly a quarter of a century ago, we must take it upon ourselves to learn and prepare for what has been predicted for the future. The CEA has been working to make that type of preparation more accessible to Californians. For instance, last year, it started broadening the available options in coverage and deductibles. Moreover, larger discounts started being offered for retrofitting older homes.
Pomeroy underscored the importance of using these anniversaries to remind customers about earthquake insurance policies. He stated that regardless of the number of notices that are issued, people still need reminders that standard homeowners insurance does not cover earthquake damage.
His hope is that by continuing to issue reminders about California earthquake insurance and its improving affordability, the disaster from 1994 will never be repeated.