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We Provide Earthquake Insurance for Californians

Napa Earthquake 101

August 11, 2016

Here at CEA, we love data! This month, we're digging into our data bins to s​hare facts and figures from the South Napa earthquake that struck two years ago this month. ​​

Don't ask if. Ask when.

It's not a matter of if the next damaging earthquake will strike, but a matter of when. USGS estimates that there's a 99.7% chance of a 6.7 magnitude earthquake somewhere in California within the next 30 years – that's the length of a typical mortgage. In case you missed it, check out our thoughts on these USGS results. ​

The government bailout isn't enough.

The South Napa earthquake taught us some valuable lessons:

  • We can't always rely on government assistance. Federal assistance took over two months to be made available after the earthquake, meaning residents had to financially cope on their own for 60 days.

  • The maximum grant from FEMA for any disaster is approximately $32,000. But those grants are only meant to make your client's home safe, secure, and livable – not to rebuild the damaged house.

The average FEMA grant for South Napa earthquake damage averaged out to be only $3,500 – not nearly enough to rebuild a home, replace personal property, or live elsewhere for very long while repairs were made.

​ ​​Earthquake damage costs are widespread.

  • Only 6% of Napa residents had earthquake insurance at the time of the South Napa earthquake.
  • As of June 2016, CEA has paid 194 claims for this event.
  • Homes that were seismically retrofitted suffered less damage than comparable homes that were not.
  • Some houses are still unoccupied or under repair.
To learn more about the widespread damages and costs, read 'A Year After South Napa Earthquake, Damage Proves Widespread and Costly.'