Hurricane season is here, bringing with it an outbreak of troublesome storms that have become the norm. Insurers along the East and Gulf Coast have been wringing their hands in anticipation of a major hurricane that could cost millions in damages. Californians, however, are not troubled by such happenings. Instead, the worry that occupies their minds is the threat of major earthquakes.
Their worry seems to be justified, according to a report from the Field Research Corp., a full-service consumer marketing research firm that works with insurance companies, as relatively few Californians have insurance to protect them from such an event.
The Field Research Corp. recently ran a statewide survey on what natural disaster Californians feared most. Participants cited wildfires and tsunamis as events they fret over, but earthquakes proved to be the majority concern, with 57% of the participants citing them as the greatest threat coming from nature.
Glenn Pomery, CEO of the California Earthquake Authority (CEA), says that people are right to worry. According to Pomery, the U.S. Geological Survey has predicted that there is a 99% chance that a magnitude 6.7 earthquake will happen somewhere in California within the next 30 years. The seriousness of this figure is most accurately expressed in the fact that only 10% of Californians have earthquake insurance.
Affordability seems to be the primary reason most Californians are deterred from purchasing earthquake insurance. Another likely culprit is the fact that while numerous earthquakes happen in the state every day, only a few have ever experience a major event. People that have not experienced disaster rarely characterize it with accuracy.
The CEA provides residential earthquake insurance and is encouraging California residents to protect themselves before it is too late.