LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — There’s a question on the mind of many homeowners in the wake of recent seismic activity in Southern California: should you buy earthquake insurance?
According to the California Earthquake Authority, most homeowners in the state don’t have quake coverage.
That’s supported by data from the California Dept. of Insurance, which shows about 21 percent of homeowners in Los Angeles and Orange County carry it. In Riverside, it’s nine percent; and in San Bernardino, eight.
Tony Blondal and his wife Elita are among those considering going without it. They’ve been looking to buy a home in the Northridge area – where 25 years ago the community was hit by one of the most devastating and deadly earthquakes in Southern California history.
“We haven’t as yet factored in earthquake insurance into our potential purchase,” Blondal said.
Michael Fegan is selling the house after having lived there for more than 30-years. He says he’s never had earthquake insurance because his house is single-story and sits on a solid slab foundation.
“We survived the ’94 earthquake – without any significant structural damage,” he said.
Next door, Ramona Khajik just moved in. She, too, doesn’t have quake coverage.
“Honestly, we don’t have it and also the reason being is because the deductible is too high,” Khajik said.
Glenn Pomeroy says the California Earthquake Authority was formed after the 1994 Northridge earthquake by the state to make coverage available to more homeowners.
“Price should no longer be a barrier that prevents people from giving them the peace of mind that comes from knowing they’re going to be OK financially,” Pomeroy said.
Homeowners can check rates by going to EarthquakeAuthority.com.
If the Ridgecrest quake is leading you to consider insurance, you should know coverage begins 15 days after a main quake.
There is good news, however, for homeowners living near different fault lines. In Los Angeles, for example, a new policy could be effective immediately.