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Home > Earthquake Risk > Ridgecrest, California

The Recent Earthquakes Near Ridgecrest, California

On Thursday, July 4th, at 10:33 a.m. PST a magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck about 12 kilometers (10.5 miles) southwest of Searles Valley in the Mojave Desert. Multiple aftershocks followed, and on Friday, July 5th, another earthquake struck with a magnitude of 7.1.

These were the largest magnitude earthquakes to strike California in 20 years.

The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) has approximately 2,000 policyholders in the affected areas, including people living in the cities of Ridgecrest, Inyokern, and Trona, who may have experienced very strong to severe shaking. 

Whether you need to file an earthquake claim or have questions about your policy or safety information, we are here to help you recover.

Immediately Following an Earthquake

There’s a lot of misinformation out there, and you may be confused about how to safely respond to an earthquake. Remember that the best way to survive an earthquake is to practice:

Be prepared to take action in case of aftershocks, which are expected, especially in the week following a large quake.

Learn more about how to Drop, Cover, and Hold On in specific situations, such as for persons with disabilities, or if you're in bed, driving, or outdoors.

We Have You Covered!

If you’re a CEA policyholder, remember that all CEA policies offer coverage for emergency repairs. This means you can take immediate steps to secure your property and avoid further damage.

If you have Loss of Use—coverage that pays additional living expenses if you have to live elsewhere because of earthquake damage—as part of your CEA policy, remember that there is no deductible for this coverage.

Filing a Claim for Earthquake Damage

CEA works with over 20 participating residential insurers, who sell and service our policies on our behalf.

If your home or personal property has sustained damage, or you need to access your Loss of Use coverage or had emergency repairs, please contact your residential insurance company as soon as possible to file your claim.

How to File a Claim

Contact your residential insurer

CEA Has the Funds to Pay All Covered Claims

You may be wondering: Can CEA cover my claim? The answer is yes. Because CEA is a publicly managed, not-for-profit state instrumentality, we are required to be financially sound.

CEA has more than $17 billion in claim-paying capacity. In other words, our careful fiscal management has put us in an excellent position to pay all covered claims related to this event. So you can rest assured: your covered claims will be taken care of.

Common Questions After Ridgecrest

Get answers to frequent questions such as how to buy earthquake insurance after an earthquake, where to buy, and how our coverage options work.
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.

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. 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. Will CEA pay for any expenses if I have to move out of my home because of earthquake damage?
A. If you purchased Loss of Use coverage, you are eligible for the additional living expenses necessary to maintain your normal standard of living, up to the coverage limit you selected. Remember that Loss of Use coverage never has a deductible!

Additional Resources

CEA partner organizations:

CEA:

Calculate Your Earthquake Insurance Premium