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Earthquake Insurance Information

Earthquakes Are a Fact of Life in California

Earthquakes will happen, but we do not know exactly when. We do know that they can cause a lot of damage to your home and your belongings. You may even have to move out of your home while it is repaired or rebuilt.

Homeowners, renters, and condominium insurance policies do not cover damage from natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, and landslides.

Earthquake insurance can help pay for some of your losses.

Before You Buy Earthquake Insurance

Earthquake insurance covers some of the losses and damage that earthquakes can cause to your home, belongings, and other buildings on your property.

If you have a mortgage, you must have homeowners insurance. But you do not have to buy earthquake insurance.

Does earthquake insurance cover all damage from earthquakes?

No. There are limits on what earthquake insurance pays. The purpose of earthquake insurance is to help put a roof back over your head. It does not replace everything you lost.

What if I rent?

You can buy earthquake insurance to cover damage to your belongings and to pay for living somewhere else while your rented home is being repaired.

What if I have a condo?

You can buy earthquake insurance to cover damage to your belongings. It can also pay for living somewhere else while your condo is being repaired. You may also need insurance to help pay for your condo association assessment to repair your building. Talk to your condo association.

What if I have a mobile home?

You can buy earthquake insurance to cover damage to your home and belongings. It can also pay for living somewhere else while your mobile home is being repaired.

Basic Earthquake Insurance

The (3) main parts of the basic earthquake coverage offered by the California Earthquake Authority (CEA).

Part 1: Your dwelling coverage. This is sometimes referred to as Coverage A and covers your home up to a certain amount, called the limit.

  • The limit on your earthquake insurance is the same as the limit on your homeowners insurance (dwelling coverage).  
  • CEA offers deductibles of 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, and 25%. You do not have to pay your CEA deductible up front to receive a claim check, it is simply the amount deducted from your total covered losses. 
  • As with most earthquake policies, CEA insurance does not cover landscaping, pools, fences, masonry, or separate buildings. 
  • Exterior masonry veneer is not covered unless you add that coverage to your CEA policy.
  • If you rent from someone else or own a condo, you do not need this coverage.

Part 2: Your personal property coverage. This is sometimes referred to as Coverage C and covers things in your home, like furniture, TVs, and computers.

  • The limit starts at $5,000 and you can increase the limit to $200,000.
  • Things like china and crystal are covered if you purchase optional breakables coverage.

Part 3: Additional living expenses (ALE) or loss of use. This is sometimes referred to as Coverage D and covers temporary and extra costs to live somewhere else while your area is evacuated or your home is repaired.  

  • It can cover temporary rental of a home, apartment, or hotel room; restaurant meals; a temporary telephone line; moving and storage; furniture rental; and laundry.
  • It is bound to a reasonable time needed to repair the home, or for you to move to another permanent home.  
  • The limit range from $1,500 to $100,000. 
  • This coverage never has a deductible under CEA



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