My premium increased. What can I do to lower the cost of my CEA earthquake coverage?
Aren't earthquakes covered under my 'regular' homeowners insurance policy?
My home isn't on a fault. Why would I need earthquake insurance?
My house has been retrofitted. Do I still need coverage?
Do I have to pay the policy deductible before receiving payment on my claim?
Is earthquake insurance expensive?
Will government grants pay to repair earthquake damage to my house?
Do you offer coverage for items like crystal, china and porcelain?
Are items like stained-glass and exterior brickwork (such as masonry veneer) covered in my standard CEA policy?
Why doesn't a CEA policy cover everything I own?
Q: My premium increased. What can I do to lower the cost of my CEA earthquake coverage?
A: There are several ways to lower what you pay for earthquake insurance.
- Choose a higher deductible to lower your premium—CEA deductibles range from 5% to 25%, in 5% increments.
- If your home is insured under a CEA
Homeowners Choice policy, you can reduce your costs by declining personal property or loss of use coverages, or both—you should make that decision carefully, of course, but if you forgo those coverages, you will probably pay less for CEA earthquake insurance.
- If you have an older retrofitted house, you may qualify for a
Hazard Reduction Discount of up to 20%, with proper verification. Call your agent or
CEA participating insurer for details.
Q: Aren't earthquakes covered under my 'regular' homeowners insurance policy?
A: No. Many people are surprised to find that their homeowners, mobilehome, condo unit or renters policy doesn't cover earthquake damage. For earthquake coverage, you need a separate earthquake insurance policy in addition to your regular policy.
Q: My home isn't on a fault. Why would I need earthquake insurance?
A: Most Californians live within 30 miles of an active fault. From even a moderate earthquake, substantial damage may occur miles from the fault or the earthquake epicenter. As recent
history has shown, an earthquake can strike anywhere, at any time, even on previously unknown faults.
Q: My house has been retrofitted. Do I still need coverage?
Retrofitting your house helps reduce your risk of earthquake damage, but does not eliminate it. Earthquake insurance is designed to help you repair or rebuild your home and replace your personal belongings. It also covers extra living expenses if you must leave your home and temporarily live elsewhere else after an earthquake. Some older, retrofitted houses can receive up to a 20 percent Hazard Reduction Discount on earthquake insurance if properly verified. Call your agent or CEA participating insurer for details.
Q: Do I have to pay the policy deductible before receiving payment on my claim?
A: No. Policyholders do not have to pay the CEA policy deductible before they can receive payment on a claim. Your deductible amount is subtracted from the covered loss and we pay you the difference. The deductible is simply part of calculating your share of the loss. It is never money that you have to pay up-front before we pay your covered claim. And, there are some CEA coverages that come with no deductible!
Q: Is earthquake insurance expensive?
A: CEA rates are based on a number of factors. While CEA has lowered its statewide average homeowners rates over time by nearly 55 percent, it's important to note that, for example, construction costs in California have increased over 140 percent since 1996. The costs to repair and rebuild after an earthquake will be an expensive burden, but if you don't have earthquake insurance, all the cost to repair any damage will be your cost. Starting this year, CEA is offering more coverage and limit choices, more deductible options and more affordable rates—including a 10 percent average statewide rate reduction.
Q: Will government grants pay to repair earthquake damage to my house?
Government assistance is not always available. You must first qualify, and grants are often limited to urgent health and safety needs. And government loans for rebuilding may be limited and, like your mortgage, must be repaid. In other words, government assistance is designed to help you get back into your home, not to offer enough funds for you to rebuild or fully replace your damaged or destroyed property.
Q: Do you offer coverage for items like crystal, china and porcelain?
A: You can add "breakables" coverage as an option on your policy (subject to sublimit), to cover breakable belongings such as dishes and ceramics.
Q: Are items like stained-glass and exterior brickwork (such as masonry veneer) covered in my standard CEA policy?
A: Decorative or artistic features of an insured property are covered in a standard CEA policy only up to the cost of replacing them with basic, non-decorative items. You may, however, purchase masonry or stone veneer coverage, as an addition to your homeowners policy.
Q: Why doesn't a CEA policy cover everything I own?
A: CEA earthquake insurance is designed to help pay for repairs or rebuild your home after a damaging earthquake so you and your family can get back to normal living. As with any insurance policy, covering "everything" will increase your premium.