Californians more prepared than ever for earthquake: CEA

Californians more prepared than ever for earthquake: CEA | Insurance Business

Californians more prepared than ever for earthquake: CEA
“A huge sigh of relief,” is the how Chris Nance described the reaction from the California Earthquake Authority (CEA).

The relieved exhalation follows the fact that a 6.5 magnitude seismic shock 100 miles off the coast of Eureka Thursday morning didn’t deliver any serious damage.

Nance, the director of communications and external affairs at the privately funded, publicly managed CEA added there are no scientific methods of determining if or when aftershocks happen and “If they occur we won’t know until they occur.”

However, when they do occur, it appears that this time those within the state will be well-prepared – because Californians bought more earthquake insurance in the past year than at any other time in history, partially because of the CEA allowing increased client customization of quake coverage, Nance said.

“People are telling us they want to be in control of the insurance coverage they choose,” Nance said. “It might be (because of the) additional living expenses.”

The CEA now offers up to $100,000 in additional living expenses in case someone is forced out of their home, where they may have only been offered up to $15,000 before their customer needs study campaign.

Nance said the CEA did more than 12 comprehensive studies including simulated purchasing decisions online, concept testing and gearing messaging to Californians.

“Most Californians live within 30 miles of an active fault. Some 2,000 known faults crisscross the state, and scientists continue to discover new ones,” according to the CEA website.

After the Northridge earthquake in 1994, insurers paid out $15.3 billion and told the state of California they were no longer interested in covering seismic activity.

The response from state authorities, Nance said, was to merge earthquake policies with home insurance.

“The legislature moved in and created the California Earthquake Authority and it created an opportunity for participating insurance companies to offer CEA policies in lieu of covering exclusions of their own,” Nance said.

The CEA only covers residential properties.

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