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California Earthquake Authority surpasses 1 million policies

CEA policy purchases soared in 2016 and 2017

(SACRAMENTO) The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) announced at its quarterly Governing Board meeting that, as of today, CEA insures more than 1 million residences across California.

“We’ve been tracking our policy count closely as we’ve been approaching this milestone,” said CEA CEO Glenn Pomeroy. “And today we are proud to announce that more than 1 million California households have placed their confidence in CEA. That’s over a million homeowners, renters––and their families––who now can count on our great financial strength to help them recover from costly, potentially catastrophic earthquake damage.”

CEA arrived at the million-policy milestone after unprecedented sales of CEA earthquake insurance policies in 2016 and 2017. CEA’s average annual policy growth between 2005 and 2015 was about 6,700 policies.* But in 2016, CEA added more than 52,000 policies. And to date this year, CEA is up more than 75,000 policies, bringing its total policy count to 1,006,927—the highest in CEA’s history.

“There are many reasons for this dramatic increase in CEA policy purchases,” said Pomeroy. “In 2016 we rolled out more coverage choices, more deductible options and more affordable rates, and many homeowners are pleasantly surprised to discover how flexible and affordable earthquake insurance has become. We also believe that Californians are listening carefully to what scientists are now telling us about earthquake risk––and then buying a CEA policy, to help with what otherwise could be a big financial loss from a damaging earthquake.”

“There’s a lot to be said about the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ve taken steps to prepare for and recover from disasters no matter where you live. We’ve learned a lot from previous disasters in California, and one of the most important lessons is ensuring you having a family disaster plan and adequate insurance coverage to enable a complete recovery,” said Mark Ghilarducci, director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and chair of CEA’s Governing Board as a designee of Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr.

Recent natural disasters in California and elsewhere also may have prompted Californians to buy CEA policies. In fact, CEA’s policy gains in September and October—as Californians were learning about damage from hurricanes in the Atlantic, earthquakes in Mexico and massive fires in California—were CEA’s biggest monthly gains ever, with 25,964 policies added in September and 21,511 policies added in October.

CEA-policy purchases often spike after significant natural disasters, but these more sustained 2016 and 2017 gains suggest Californians now are taking action like never before: September’s policy-count gain more than doubled that of any previous month.

“Recent natural disasters in California and elsewhere in our country and Mexico were devastating, and our hearts go out to the people affected—who are just beginning their recovery,” Pomeroy said. “But clearly, Californians have paid close attention to those events and are now deciding to be better financially prepared for California’s next big earthquake.”

More households than ever before are finding advantage in CEA’s flexible coverage choices:

  • More CEA policyholders are taking advantage of CEA’s wide-ranging deductible options.
  • More CEA policyholders are buying a higher limit on their loss-of-use coverage, which has no deductible and helps cover costs to live and eat outside the home when it is no longer habitable after a damaging earthquake.
  • More CEA policyholders are retrofitting their older houses and receiving a hazard-reduction discount on their CEA premium for a code-compliant retrofit.
  • More renters, condo-unit owners and mobilehome owners are now purchasing CEA policies.

For more information on CEA policies and earthquake preparedness, visit EarthquakeAuthority.com. For information on retrofitting an older house to make it more resistant to earthquake damage, visit CEA’s website or the Earthquake Brace + Bolt program website.

All CEA policyholders should review their coverage periodically and consider whether they need more, less or different coverage. Policyholders who have questions about their current policy, or want to update their coverage, should contact the home insurance company or agent who sold them their CEA policy.

About CEA

The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) is a not-for-profit, privately funded, publicly managed organization that provides residential earthquake insurance and encourages Californians to reduce their risk of earthquake loss. Learn more at Earthquake​Authority.com​​.

*Image: CEA policies in force since 2006

Image: CEA policies in force since 2006

For a high-resolution version of this image, contact Sarah Sol.

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