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Home > Insurance Policies > Homeowners

California Homeowners Earthquake Insurance Policies

older couple laughing togetherMake an affordable earthquake insurance choice with CEA policies. Earthquake damage to your California home is not covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy. Earthquake home insurance must be added by buying a separate policy.

With our not-for-profit mission, we set earthquake house insurance rates based on the latest science, not profit.

CEA earthquake homeowners insurance policies provide the financial strength you need to bounce back from a damaging earthquake.

Get a quick earthquake insurance estimate using the CEA calculator. And talk to your home insurance company about our earthquake-coverage choices. We aim to fit your needs and budget.

How to Buy a Policy

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Earthquakes?

Your standard homeowners policy doesn’t cover earthquake damage.

Damage to your home from a strong earthquake is not covered by standard homeowner policies. In California, a separate policy is needed to protect your home investment and recover from the effects of a major earthquake. Prepare today for the big one with CEA earthquake homeowners insurance.

CEA homeowners coverage options*

We are one of the largest providers of California earthquake residential insurance. With our not-for-profit mission, CEA’s rates are based on science, not profit. Get the best choice of earthquake home insurance with CEA coverage.

Home (dwelling) -

Home (dwelling)

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Dwelling coverage for your house can be purchased alone or with other coverages. Policy choices include earthquake damage to your house and structures attached to it, like your garage. Deductibles available are 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, or 25%.
Personal Property -

Personal Property

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Personal property coverage protects items inside your house. This includes protection for furniture, appliances, clothing, sporting goods and electronics that are damaged or destroyed in the event of a major earthquake. Household items damaged by a major earthquake may be repaired or replaced under this coverage.
Loss of Use -

Loss of Use

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Where would you live if after a major earthquake you couldn’t occupy your home? Loss of Use covers the additional cost of living elsewhere while your home is being rebuilt or when a civil authority prevents entry to your neighborhood because of earthquake damage. Keep in mind you may be paying your mortgage while in temporary rental housing. Loss of Use not only covers rent but also additional items, including food, moving, and storage expenses. Our Loss of Use coverage never has a deductible.
Building Code Upgrade -

Building Code Upgrade

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Older homes that are damaged by a major earthquake may need upgraded components like plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning systems to pass local and state building inspections. Rebuilding after a devastating earthquake generally must be done to current building-code standards. Get help with added costs with Building Code upgrade coverage. A $10,000 building code upgrade coverage is included with every CEA homeowner policy—and there are higher coverage limits available.
Emergency Repairs -

Emergency Repairs

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Emergency and necessary repairs may be needed after an earthquake to help protect your house and your family’s safety from additional earthquake damage or aftershocks. This would include rain damage that could seep into your home from earthquake damage—or labor and materials needed to board up damaged windows or remove broken glass from furniture. The first $1,500 has no deductible.
Breakables -

Breakables

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This optional coverage helps you replace your valuable fragile personal property like your wedding china, glassware, crystal, ceramic, pottery, porcelain, or marble items that are broken because of an earthquake.
Exterior Masonry Veneer -

Exterior Masonry Veneer

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This option covers earthquake damage to decorative exterior masonry veneers such as brick, concrete, stone, tile, or similar material.

Do I Need Residential Earthquake Insurance?


For many Californians, ownership of home property is a large asset. Guard against financially devastating shaking events with CEA earthquake home insurance.

Earthquakes are unlike any other natural disaster. There aren’t any warning signs or advanced notice. One thing is certain: California with nearly 16,000 known faults is due for a devastating earthquake in the near future.

Earthquake insurance is not required in California, unlike automobile liability insurance.  If you choose not to protect yourself with earthquake residential insurance, you may be responsible for 100 percent of the cost to repair your home and replace your belongings after a major earthquake.

How Expensive is Earthquake Insurance?

Our affordable earthquake insurance policies let you select the coverage that fits your budget. CEA premiums are determined by several factors including your home’s age, location near a fault, foundation type, construction type and roof type.

For the best choice of CEA earthquake home insurance policies, select deductibles from 5%-25%.

Learn more about homeowners coverage

How to Qualify for a Discounted Premium

A seismic retrofit involves strengthening your home’s foundation to make it more resistant to shaking. CEA offers earthquake home insurance premium discounts (up to 25%) for older houses that have been properly retrofitted to better withstand earthquakes.

Find out about our discounts for retrofitted older houses.

Grants to help pay for a house retrofit are available under the Earthquake Brace & Bolt (EBB) program, and the CEA Brace + Bolt (CEA BB) program.

Where to Buy Earthquake Insurance

CEA earthquake homeowners insurance is easy to buy. Contact your home insurance agent to discuss adding a separate earthquake policy to your homeowners insurance. You can add the coverage today, no need to wait until your homeowner policy comes up for renewal.

CEA works with 24 residential insurance companies that serve the majority of California homeowners.

Read Your CEA Policy Carefully

*We encourage you to read your entire CEA policy—and its policy declarations page—to understand your coverages and how they work. Exclusions and special limits apply. All terms and conditions of CEA insurance coverage are found in the CEA insurance-policy form. Refer to a sample policy, below.

Homeowners Choice Policy Sample (PDF)
Standard Homeowners Policy Sample (PDF)
Optional Endorsement - Coverage For Breakables (PDF)
Optional Endorsement - Coverage For Exterior Masonry Veneer (PDF)

Homeowners Insurance FAQs

We've gathered some frequently asked questions from homeowners to help you understand how a CEA policy can help you recover from the next damaging earthquake.
Q. Why do I need earthquake insurance?
A. In California, your residential insurance policy doesn’t cover your home or your belongings against earthquakes. If you don’t have earthquake insurance, you’re not covered for earthquake damage or any additional costs needed to live elsewhere while your home is being repaired or rebuilt. Contact your residential insurer today to get the earthquake insurance you need.
Q. How much does a CEA earthquake insurance policy cost?
A. The cost of your policy depends on many factors such as the earthquake risk where you live and the coverages and deductibles you choose. CEA offers expanded coverage choices as well as more deductible options to help you find a policy that best meets your needs and budget. Use our Premium Calculator for a free estimate.
Q. How does CEA’s deductible work? Do I have to pay the deductible before receiving a payment?
A. You do not pay your deductible out of pocket to receive payment on a claim. The deductible is subtracted from your covered damage so you don’t have to pay any of the deductible up front before you receive your claim payment.  
Q. Where can I buy a CEA earthquake insurance policy?
A. You can buy a CEA earthquake insurance policy through one of our participating residential insurance companies. CEA does not offer stand-alone policies. Learn more about how to buy a CEA earthquake insurance policy.
Q: I don't have earthquake insurance. Can I buy a new CEA policy after an earthquake?

A: Yes. CEA has never imposed a moratorium on selling new earthquake insurance policies following any earthquake, even in the areas directly affected by the earthquake.*

If you do choose to purchase a new CEA earthquake insurance policy shortly after the occurrence of an earthquake in your area, and if there are aftershocks or other quakes that are related to that same earthquake, then you should be aware that your new CEA policy will not cover losses from these aftershocks or other related ground-shaking that occurs within 15 days (360 hours) after that earthquake, though would cover damage from completely unrelated earthquakes that may occur immediately after you purchase your policy. That original earthquake, together with all related shaking that occurs within 15 days, are collectively referred to as the "seismic event" in the CEA policy. In other words, the "seismic event" commences upon the initial earthquake, and all earthquakes or aftershocks that occur within the 360 hours (15 days) immediately following the initial earthquake are considered for purposes of this policy to be part of the same "seismic event."

For a loss to be covered under a CEA policy, both the original earthquake that caused the loss (to your property or belongings) and the 15-day "seismic event" that the earthquake is part of must commence during the policy period.

If, however, another earthquake occurs after the new policy goes into effect, and that earthquake is not seismically related to the earlier earthquake (not part of the earlier “seismic event”), then your losses from this new earthquake would be covered, even if they occurred immediately after the effective date of the policy, because those losses would arise from a different seismic event.

If you are a current policyholder and have experienced damage from a covered seismic event, and another quake occurs as part of the same event (for example, with the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake, when a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck and the next day a 7.1 magnitude struck, as part of the same seismic event), our 360-hour definition allows our policyholders to combine all the damage to meet their deductible. In other words, you do not need to meet your deductible each time; you only need to meet it once.

*It is possible, however, that one or more CEA participating insurers (who sell and service our policies), as well as other insurance companies, may declare a moratorium on new sales of their own insurance policies (e.g., homeowners, condominium owners, or renters insurance that covers the risk of fire) in the affected area after an earthquake or other disaster, so if you reside in an area that has been affected by a recent earthquake and are interested in purchasing homeowners or other property insurance, we recommend you contact the property insurer to see if they have issued a moratorium on the policy types they offer.

Calculate Your Earthquake Insurance Premium