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How to Buy a Residential Earthquake Insurance Policy

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Join over one million Californians who have chosen CEA residential earthquake insurance policies to protect their homes and families. Buy earthquake insurance today. CEA is not-for-profit. Our insurance rates are based on the best available science and research, not profit.

Choose the earthquake insurance coverage that fit your needs and budget. There are 20 home insurance companies that sell and service our residential earthquake insurance policies for homeowners, renters, condo-unit owners and mobilehome owners.

Follow these four easy steps to buy earthquake insurance in California

Step 1: Know Your Risk.

Learn the facts about California earthquakes, your risk, and how to get prepared.

Step 2: Get an Earthquake Insurance Cost Estimate.

The cost of your policy depends on many factors: the earthquake risk where you live, the age of your home, construction type, and the coverages and deductibles you choose. CEA offers flexible 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 to estimate the cost of your earthquake insurance policy.

Step 3: Find your insurance company on CEA’s participating residential insurance companies list.

Buy a CEA earthquake insurance policy through one of our 20 participating insurance companies. CEA does not offer stand-alone policies. You must have a residential property insurance policy with one of our providers in place in order to purchase a CEA earthquake policy – see the CEA participating residential insurance companies.

Step 4: Call Your Insurance Company.

You can buy a CEA insurance policy from the same insurance company you purchased your homeowners or renters policy.

Share the premium estimates with your agent. They will process your application, handle bill payment and policy renewal, and help you file a claim in case of earthquake damage or loss.

You don’t have to wait until your residential policy renews to buy a CEA policy. Protect your home today, before the next big earthquake strikes.

Contact your residential insurance agent you already know and trust to get CEA earthquake coverage today.

How to Buy FAQs

Q: When should I buy Earthquake Insurance?

A. 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 will be responsible for 100 percent of the cost to repair your home and replace your belongings after a major earthquake.

You may receive a letter from your insurance company offering you a CEA earthquake insurance policy. Since the 1980s, California law has mandated that insurance companies selling residential insurance also offer earthquake insurance. By law, your insurer is required to send a mandatory offer letter at least every two years if you do not yet have earthquake insurance. But don't worry if you happen to miss the due date shown in your mandatory offer letter! You can purchase a CEA policy at any time, simply by contacting your residential insurer.

Protect your home before the next big earthquake strikes by contacting your residential insurer to add earthquake insurance. You also don't have to wait until your residential policy renews in order to purchase a CEA policy.

For the best choice of coverages and premiums, buy earthquake insurance in California from CEA.

Q: How Much Coverage Do I Need?

A. Answer the following three questions to determine your need to buy earthquake insurance in California:;

  • Can you afford the cost to rebuild or repair your home if it is damaged in a major earthquake?
  • Can you replace your personal belongings if they are damaged or destroyed?
  • Can you pay for temporary housing if there is structural damage that makes your home uninhabitable or a civil authority prevents entry to your neighborhood because of earthquake damage?

Because the risk for earthquake damage is great in California, CEA offers homeowners coverage for the structure of the house, building code upgrades and emergency repairs. Renters, mobilehome owners and condo-unit owners have customized coverage choices. We also provide separate coverage options for belongings and additional living expenses.

Q: Where can I buy Earthquake Insurance

A. CEA residential earthquake insurance is easy to buy. Contact your home insurance agent to discuss purchasing separate earthquake insurance added to your current home policy. We work with  20 residential insurance companies.

You can include the coverage today, no need to wait until your home policy comes up for renewal. Contact your residential insurer now!

Q: How Expensive is Earthquake Insurance in California?

A. CEA California earthquake insurance policies are not one size fits all. You customize your policy to fit your needs and budget.

CEA affordable premiums—based on science, not profit—are determined by several factors including your home’s location near a fault, and the coverages and deductibles you choose.

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

Q: How do I Qualify for a Discounted Premium?

A. 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 retrofitted to better withstand earthquakes. Mobilehomes that have already been certified with an earthquake-resistant bracing system may be eligible for a 21% discount.

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

Q: Are CEA participating insurers prohibited from providing their customers with earthquake coverage options in addition to what CEA offers?

A. No. Participating insurers are not prohibited from telling consumers complete information about any residential earthquake coverage that is available in the market. However, some participating insurers have operated under a long-standing impression that this would be prohibited activity.

Q: How can California consumers generally, and CEA policyholders specifically, benefit from increased awareness of private sector insurance coverage options from which they may choose?

A. We believe that consumers should be well informed about their insurance options. In some cases, a consumer may find an earthquake insurance policy from a private insurer that offers more coverage or a better price. All CEA policyholders will benefit when more companies begin to take on more of California’s earthquake risk so that the risk is not overly concentrated in the CEA.