Earthquake insurance not a priority for California homeowners

90 percent of homeowners don't purchase earthquake coverage

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - California is earthquake country, but according to the California Earthquake Authority, nearly 90 percent of homeowners don't carry earthquake insurance.

We were reminded of the danger last week with a magnitude 5.1 quake in Orange County that rocked the Southland.  And here in the desert, the San Andreas Fault, capable of a much larger quake, runs through the valley.

The standard earthquake policy includes a 15 percent deductible of the value of the home, and most earthquake policies are limited in what they cover when there's major damage to a home.

"It won't cover your pool, it won't cover your spa, your detached garage, your retaining walls, your patio.  It won't cover those things, it just will cover your structure itself," said Dan George, an insurance agent at Canyon Pacific Insurance Services in Palm Springs.

The California Earthquake Authority and some stand-alone companies do offer coverage for damage outside of the home itself, but naturally it comes at an additional cost.      

Insurance agents recommend earthquake insurance, but admit the numbers show the majority of homeowners are willing to roll the dice because catastrophic earthquakes are rare.


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