California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

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schmitz
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California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by schmitz » Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:27 pm

The recent quakes in napa got me thinking I should get some. We live in Orange County.

If so how much does it cost you per year compared to your home value?

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FelixTheCat
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by FelixTheCat » Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:51 pm

My ex-parents-in-law lived near Northridge. That quake took some very serious toll on the community. Fortunately, they had earthquake insurance and their house was restored in full in a timely manner.

Their story convinced me to get earthquake insurance. You can calculate a policy at http://www.earthquakeauthority.com/CEAR ... id=3&pid=3
Felix is a wonderful, wonderful cat.

schmitz
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by schmitz » Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:36 pm

Thanks

Is 10-15% deductible standard? Seems different than other types of insurance where it's a set amount.

Also is that percentage based on current market value? If so how do they determine it? They can't use zillow, can they?

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TimeRunner
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by TimeRunner » Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:42 pm

Yes.

See: http://www.earthquakeauthority.com/Ceap ... id=2&pid=2

You can estimate your own policy costs on this site as well.
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FelixTheCat
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by FelixTheCat » Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:43 pm

I got my earthquake insurance through State Farm and they use CEA. I think my policy is 15% and the market value is the cost it would take to rebuild my home.
Felix is a wonderful, wonderful cat.

ralph124cf
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by ralph124cf » Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:06 pm

The cost and very high deductible is the reason relatively few people, despite the significant risk, do not buy this insurance.

In some cases the property may actually be more valuable if it all fell down, given the house value to property value ratios in some cities.

You would still have to pay demo and removal costs, but there ARE no vacant lots available, so you would have something to sell that would be quite valuable.

Ralph

rjm_cali
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by rjm_cali » Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:17 pm

We don't have earthquake insurance and we were close enough to be roused from our slumbers by it - probably 20 miles away which is a bit close for my liking . Had a follow up this morning of 3.4 which may have woken us briefly. None of our neighbours have it from what I can tell. One told me our house are built on a rock layer - not sure what that means and if it's of any use when the big one comes but it sounds re-assuring. Not sure if I'd be so complacent if my house was built on the side of hill like all the mucho$$ ones are in Sausalito....

Problem round here (Marin) is the price of houses - even average family homes are going to cost a fortune to insure.

And yes the excess is a real killer. Sell the land will be the likely scenario depending of course on how *much* land is going to available after a big one.

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FelixTheCat
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by FelixTheCat » Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:07 pm

I figure you have two choices if an earthquake happens and you don't have insurance.

1) You will have to get a loan from FEMA to rebuild your house.
2) Walk away. Let the banks foreclose. You lose your equity and your credit rating.
Felix is a wonderful, wonderful cat.

RTR2006
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by RTR2006 » Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:23 pm

We live in northern California (we lived in LA for almost 30 years and made it through both the Sylmar and Northridge quakes plus all the little shakers in between).

Our home is worth a bit north of $1 million and we have homeowner's insurance through Chubb; the earthquake coverage is probably about $400/month. I think we calculated it out several years ago but really we stopped paying attention to it. It's worth every penny, especially if we never have to file a claim. I sleep very well at night.

RTR

billern
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by billern » Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:27 pm

imgritz wrote:I figure you have two choices if an earthquake happens and you don't have insurance.

1) You will have to get a loan from FEMA to rebuild your house.
2) Walk away. Let the banks foreclose. You lose your equity and your credit rating.
#3 Sell the land.
#4 Self insure.
#5 Spend money now to retrofit house now to minimize potential damage.

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runner26
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by runner26 » Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:35 pm

No. Not all parts of California are at risk. However, I am currently moving to a higher risk area, and will re-evaluate after the move.

chrysogonus
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by chrysogonus » Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:37 pm

We have earthquake insurance. We were close enough that it woke us up, but still pretty far away. My general theory is to buy insurance for large risks, and self-insure for small ones. Earthquakes fall squarely into the "large risk" category.

It does cost a little more than our homeowners policy, despite the 15% deductible (compared to $1000 for homeowners). I could afford to pay the deductible if I had too, even if it would mean liquidating all our taxable accounts. I couldn't afford to rebuild if I had to pay the full replacement cost.

I think it's cheaper outside of the SF Bay Area and LA. It's substantially cheaper in San Diego, for example, although I think the risks are similar. And 10-15% is standard, as almost all policies are through the California Earthquake Authority, even if purchased through a private insurance company.

thenameishersch
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by thenameishersch » Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:31 pm

Had opted out of earthquake insurance before, but the recent quake warrants a second look.

x1 = Price paid for the house
x2 = Price said house (structure) is insured for (based on Homeowners insurance).
x3 = x1 - x2 = Price of land ?? (or premium paid to win bidding wars :) )
I suspect that x3 >> x2 for most home purchases made in the past two years ...

madbrain
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by madbrain » Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:31 pm

schmitz wrote:Thanks

Is 10-15% deductible standard? Seems different than other types of insurance where it's a set amount.
Yes, that deductible is standard.
Also is that percentage based on current market value? If so how do they determine it? They can't use zillow, can they?
No, it's not based on market value at all, but on the type of dwelling and rebuilding cost.

The market value and rebuilding cost can differ quite a bit. In my case the rebuilding cost is much higher than market value, so it is is very difficult to make the case to carry the insurance.
One cannot carry a lower amount of insurance also, you have to insure for rebuilding it all or nothing. I think that's a major flaw in the CEA program.

dgdevil
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by dgdevil » Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:52 pm

runner26 wrote:No. Not all parts of California are at risk. However, I am currently moving to a higher risk area, and will re-evaluate after the move.
Well, actually ... I'd venture most of California is at risk. The last few big earthquakes, including the Napa one, occurred along fault lines that were largely unknown to seismologists. They don't know a helluva lot more than we do.

Napa:

Sunday's 6.0 magnitude earthquake in Napa, California, was a jolt from the blue, involving previously unknown active fault lines as well as faults that were thought to be inactive.

(Source: http://mashable.com/2014/08/26/napa-qua ... own-fault/)

"Shamrock shake" - LA in March:

Monday's quake struck the northern edge of the Santa Monica Mountains, an area that has not seen much recent seismological activity. “The location is somewhat surprising. It’s within the Santa Monica Mountains. We have not seen seismicity in it in recent times,” [Caltech seismologist Egill] Hauksson said. “It has been dormant for quite some time.”

(source: http://articles.latimes.com/2014/mar/17 ... nia-yxdnr8)

GenXer
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by GenXer » Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:56 pm

As of today, yes. I just got off the phone with our insurer and was surprised at how affordable earthquake insurance seemed--approximately $600/year for our older home in Santa Cruz County. We had had it previously through CEA, then Geovera, but rates skyrocketed some years ago (not sure why--there hadn't been a big earthquake) and we canceled the insurance. Previously the deductible was 15%; now there is an option of paying more for a 10% deductible. The replacement cost for our house is more than $300,000 (just house, not land, of course); the deductible at 15% is just under $50,000. I hope I never need to use this.

island
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by island » Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:17 pm

In San Diego. No earthquake insurance. Own home since 88 and a condo for a couple of years before that and never had it. Always heard very expensive and never investigated, but maybe should since some mentioned it's not. I also recall another thread on the subject and was surprised so may Bogleheads had it so figure it can't be too pricey.

jbuzolich
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by jbuzolich » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:26 pm

No we don't have it. This event though now makes me think more about it. It woke us up pretty good and our bed was rocking like a boat. Kind of surreal. My wife and I both had felt the last bigger one and when with that experience we still asked each other if it was an earthquake. DW got up and confirmed by seeing our two chandeliers swaying gently. Anyway, never considered it due to the price. I didn't even know about the deductible until reading about it the other day. We only have about 10% to 15% equity in total so no real point. In a major event we'd likely rely on the government for some type of help or just walk away and start over. I'd rather save for a few years after that then buy a new home.

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runner26
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by runner26 » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:44 pm

dgdevil wrote:
runner26 wrote:No. Not all parts of California are at risk. However, I am currently moving to a higher risk area, and will re-evaluate after the move.
Well, actually ... I'd venture most of California is at risk. The last few big earthquakes, including the Napa one, occurred along fault lines that were largely unknown to seismologists. They don't know a helluva lot more than we do.

Napa:

Sunday's 6.0 magnitude earthquake in Napa, California, was a jolt from the blue, involving previously unknown active fault lines as well as faults that were thought to be inactive.

(Source: http://mashable.com/2014/08/26/napa-qua ... own-fault/)

"Shamrock shake" - LA in March:

Monday's quake struck the northern edge of the Santa Monica Mountains, an area that has not seen much recent seismological activity. “The location is somewhat surprising. It’s within the Santa Monica Mountains. We have not seen seismicity in it in recent times,” [Caltech seismologist Egill] Hauksson said. “It has been dormant for quite some time.”

(source: http://articles.latimes.com/2014/mar/17 ... nia-yxdnr8)
In Fresno, very low. http://www.usa.com/fresno-ca-natural-di ... tremes.htm In fact, I lived here for the biggest on the list, and most of the top quakes. I only remember the biggest, and it was just a bump in the road...Over 45 miles distance.

fdeanw
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by fdeanw » Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:44 pm

Live in the Westside of Los Angeles. Don't have EQ insurance. In the Northridge quake, we lost our chimney and suffered some other damage, but it cost less to repair than the amount of the deductible would have been on a policy at the time, and FEMA came through with a nice grant to help pay for much of it. Rates have definitely gone down since then through the CEA, since it's been quite a while until the next quake hit and they've had a chance to build up some reserves to help offset premium prices, so perhaps I should reconsider now instead of taking my chances.

denovo
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by denovo » Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:50 pm

It should be noted, that all of the heavy-hitters in the insurance market, State Farm, AllState etc do not do earthquake insurance. They all exited the market after the 1994 quake. Your two options are the state-sponsored California Earthquake Authority or some smaller private companies like Geovera. The private insurers are much cheaper, but have less reserves.

I think it's common in some parts of So Cal for the earthquake insurance to cost more than the standard homeowners insurance. We carry it , but I think a lot of people don't buy it on the speculation that there would be a fed bailout.
Last edited by denovo on Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Gleevec
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by Gleevec » Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:26 am

It depends on where in California you live, if you live in SF or LA you are going to be paying a lot. If you live in less earthquake prone cities you may pay a lot less and it may become worth it. FEMA is always complicating in terms of whether its cost effective to get this insurance.

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gardemanger
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by gardemanger » Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:11 am

I see a few posts here that seem a little hand-wavey/fatalistic about relative risks for the poster's specific area, and this is an subject where ignorance is NOT bliss. Some places are a lot more hazardous than others and I can't imagine *anyone* buying property in earthquake country without careful scrutiny of the known seismic risks of their exact location. Like investing without knowing anything about the investment! There is extensive information about seismic hazards available through the USGS website and other public sources.

It's also beneficial to know the dates on which building codes were updated relative to the date of construction of your property. In general, new construction is your friend. I'm just now looking at a story in the LAT describing how many of the older buildings in Napa that were damaged in this quake *had* been seismically retrofitted, but those old masonry buildings still like to come apart in the bigger quakes, despite being reinforced to code. It pains me very much to say it, since I have a tremendous personal and professional interest in historic architecture, but it appears there are a lot of older masonry buildings where it simply isn't feasible to reinforce them enough to meaningfully protect them.

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celia
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by celia » Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:47 am

schmitz wrote:If so how much does it cost you per year compared to your home value?
Our premium is about 0.3% of the value of the whole property (house and land).
Discount for showing (via photographs) that water heaters are strapped down and house is bolted to the foundation.
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Cal Aggie
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by Cal Aggie » Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:07 am

Schmitz:

A good question. People often underestimate both the likelihood of earthquakes and the potential damage that can be caused by earthquakes. California sits on the edge of a tectonic plate. Yes, there will be future earthquakes in California (100% guaranteed and no way to avoid it). And no area of California is safe, especially in the Los Angeles area. You do not have to be at the epicenter of an earthquake to have damage to your house. In 1994, the Northridge earthquake was one of the costliest natural disasters in U.S. history. The majority of homeowners in the area did not have earthquake insurance and those who suffered damage to their houses also suffered severe financial setbacks due to the costs of repairs. Please buy the insurance.
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Ron
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by Ron » Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:01 am

gardemanger wrote:I see a few posts here that seem a little hand-wavey/fatalistic about relative risks for the poster's specific area, and this is an subject where ignorance is NOT bliss. Some places are a lot more hazardous than others and I can't imagine *anyone* buying property in earthquake country without careful scrutiny of the known seismic risks of their exact location. Like investing without knowing anything about the investment! There is extensive information about seismic hazards available through the USGS website and other public sources.
I would agree, regardless of natural hazard. We're on the "right coast" and have sinkhole insurance for the same reason.

BTW, we also have an automatic backup generator due to our infrequent (but PIA) electric outages - just another form of "insurance". Expensive? Sure; but you don't question the "investment" when you're fridge/freezer hasn't run for a few days and you have to throw $$$ of food in the trash, along with no heat in the winter and no AC in the summer.

You can insure for the possibility; you can not insure to save $$$. It all depends what's more important to you (and your family).

- Ron

whadyaknow
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by whadyaknow » Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:29 am

Yes. With CEA @ 15% deductible. Our insurance agent advised us to get it because part of our house is two story and the house itself is 60 years old.
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dgdevil
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by dgdevil » Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:55 am

gardemanger wrote:I see a few posts here that seem a little hand-wavey/fatalistic about relative risks for the poster's specific area, and this is an subject where ignorance is NOT bliss. Some places are a lot more hazardous than others and I can't imagine *anyone* buying property in earthquake country without careful scrutiny of the known seismic risks of their exact location. Like investing without knowing anything about the investment! There is extensive information about seismic hazards available through the USGS website and other public sources.
That's it! I'm loading up the truck and moving to Fresno. Hopefully everyone in New Orleans, the Gulf Coast, Florida, the eastern seaboard, and tornado alley does the same.

HoosierJim
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by HoosierJim » Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:51 pm

fdeanw wrote:....and FEMA came through with a nice grant to help pay for much of it. .
Sounds like you didn't have to pay back the "grant". Why should the rest of us subsidize you for skipping on insurance?

dgdevil
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by dgdevil » Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:58 pm

HoosierJim wrote:
fdeanw wrote:....and FEMA came through with a nice grant to help pay for much of it. .
Sounds like you didn't have to pay back the "grant". Why should the rest of us subsidize you for skipping on insurance?
The same way West Coasters subsidize those who choose to live below sea level, or in the path of hurricanes and tornadoes. (But I see your overall point.)

denovo
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by denovo » Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:34 pm

dgdevil wrote:
gardemanger wrote:I see a few posts here that seem a little hand-wavey/fatalistic about relative risks for the poster's specific area, and this is an subject where ignorance is NOT bliss. Some places are a lot more hazardous than others and I can't imagine *anyone* buying property in earthquake country without careful scrutiny of the known seismic risks of their exact location. Like investing without knowing anything about the investment! There is extensive information about seismic hazards available through the USGS website and other public sources.
That's it! I'm loading up the truck and moving to Fresno. Hopefully everyone in New Orleans, the Gulf Coast, Florida, the eastern seaboard, and tornado alley does the same.
:) Pretty much everywhere in the country , or the world has some risk of natural disaster. That being said, I think a lot of people would gladly accept the once in the lifetime risk of a large earthquake over annual hurricanes or 3 months a year of hellish snow.
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Artsdoctor
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by Artsdoctor » Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:51 pm

Yes. Our deductible is 10% of the cost to rebuild (not the estimated worth of the house). The premium is about the same as our homeowner's premium. Each annual premium is about 0.1% of the worth of the house. I didn't get it to fix cracks in the driveway after the earthquake, I pay premiums in case of a serious loss. Could I "afford" to just pay cash and raze the house and rebuild everything out of my pocket? Yes, but it would hurt a lot less if insurance paid a bit to help ease the pain.

However, I must say that the forum has created an "actionable" event for me. I'm going to get a quote for increasing the deductible to 15% and increasing the cost per square foot to rebuild. That actually could be better for me in the long run.

Thank you, Bogleheads!

LongerPrimer
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by LongerPrimer » Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:12 pm

Seattle. $20k deduct. $1000/yr. (I think this is what DS told me) Townhouse, newer construction.

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gardemanger
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by gardemanger » Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:12 pm

In case it wasn't clear, I wasn't talking about whether or not to live in California or in general to accept the existential risks of loss, but what neighborhood/specific property to choose when earthquakes are a local issue. You really do want to know whether you are contemplating buying a house in a liquefaction zone, on sediment, on granite; near a known fault hazard; whether your house was built to a code written in 1984 or one written in 1928 - there are municipal codes as well as state codes and the ICC. Yes, there is always imponderable risks that you can't know in advance (as yet undiscovered faults and the like) but the known, quantifiable risks should be taken into account before you buy a property and when you make insurance decisions.

Seismic Hazard Zones, which are required disclosures for some types of property sales, are a start. Note the disclosure loophole below for single family dwellings, unless your municipality or locality requires it. But the information is available to the public in any case.

http://www.conservation.ca.gov/cgs/shzp ... aldis.aspx
What is a Seismic Hazard Zone?

Seismic Hazard Zones are regulatory zones that encompass areas prone to liquefaction (failure of water-saturated soil) and earthquake-induced landslides. What does it mean to be located within a Seismic Hazard Zone? It means that the state has determined that there is likely that weak soil and/or rock may be present beneath the property. If present, these weak materials can fail during an earthquake and, unless proper precautions are taken during grading and construction, can cause damage to structures. If a property is undeveloped, a site-specific investigation by a licensed engineering geologist and/or civil engineer may be required before the parcel can be subdivided or before most structures can be permitted. If the property lies within a mapped Seismic Hazard Zone, that fact must be disclosed by the seller to prospective buyers.

The law requires the State Geologist to establish regulatory zones (Zones of Required Investigation) and to issue appropriate maps (Seismic Hazard Zone maps). These maps are distributed to all affected cities, counties, and state agencies for their use in planning and controlling construction and development. Single family frame dwellings up to two stories not part of a development of four or more units are exempt from the state requirements. However, local agencies can be more restrictive than state law requires.

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interplanetjanet
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by interplanetjanet » Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:32 pm

dgdevil wrote:Well, actually ... I'd venture most of California is at risk. The last few big earthquakes, including the Napa one, occurred along fault lines that were largely unknown to seismologists. They don't know a helluva lot more than we do.
Most of *coastal* California is at risk. Most of the interior has a much lower degree of seismic activity and the structure of the underlying earth helps to diminish the effects of what does happen. Sacramento is filled with computer data centers precisely because the seismic risk is considered very low.

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baw703916
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by baw703916 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:46 pm

interplanetjanet wrote:
dgdevil wrote:Well, actually ... I'd venture most of California is at risk. The last few big earthquakes, including the Napa one, occurred along fault lines that were largely unknown to seismologists. They don't know a helluva lot more than we do.
Most of *coastal* California is at risk. Most of the interior has a much lower degree of seismic activity and the structure of the underlying earth helps to diminish the effects of what does happen. Sacramento is filled with computer data centers precisely because the seismic risk is considered very low.
+1
My parents in Sacramento hadn't even realized there was an earthquake when I called them later that day.
So where was the biggest earthquake I've ever experienced? I have spent about half my life in California, but it was right here in Virginia (5.8).
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Dave55
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by Dave55 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:23 pm

I used to live in Monterey, CA. Earthquake insurance had a $100,000.00 deductible. My agent said most folks do not buy it. I did not buy it either.
Dave

john94549
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by john94549 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:36 pm

As noted in my other thread "Earthquake Preparedness", the biggest hurdles are deductibles and rates. Unless/until mortgage lenders require earthquake insurance*, and the risk pool is enlarged, little will change. Folks in Merced can't or won't; folks in Orinda do or wish they could. Indeed, as the pool shrinks, rates will rise, more will opt out, the rates will rise further, and we'll be left with a very small cohort of wealthy insured perched atop or close to the Hayward or the San Andreas. I mean, give me a break. We're in Lafayette, on quite deep piers on sandstone, with modern codes, cross-bracing etc., and our deductible means we'd collect not a penny until our loss exceeded $100,000.

Still, we have it.

*Pardon my cynicism, but this won't occur until the next "big one". When mortgage lenders (and securitized investors) get hosed, they will then begin to require hazard insurance which includes earthquake. I mean, do a rudimentary search, you'll find lenders candidly opining why they don't require such insurance. As in, "we'd sell zero loans".
Last edited by john94549 on Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ogd
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by ogd » Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:40 pm

Nope. Too expensive.

fh2000
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by fh2000 » Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:07 am

We live 10 miles from Northridge. When it hit in 1994 in early morning, it shook very bad. A lot of my glasses and dishes broke. My daughter was only 3 days old. I was sleeping right next to her and I jumped to cover her when a wall picture fell on top of us. I had no earthquake insurance but home owner's insurance came to check our house. I had a lot of cracks on plaster wall and broken window glasses but no structural damage. My hot water heater broke. I stopped the water before it could damage my carpet. I received a small token amount of money from home owners insurance.

My next door old lady was not that lucky. She had to replace quite a bit of her carpet.

A friend of mine had to replace a whole wall with about $100,000 dollars. My office had one huge wall shifted by 3 feet. Not sure how they fixed it later. They must have used some heavy duty jacks.

They estimated that we will get one like that every 30 years. It has been 20 since, and I still do not have earthquake insurance. Now that I am ready to retire, I should sell it before the next one hits in 10 years.

denovo
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by denovo » Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:14 am

fh2000 wrote:
They estimated that we will get one like that every 30 years. It has been 20 since, and I still do not have earthquake insurance. Now that I am ready to retire, I should sell it before the next one hits in 10 years.
That's not how it works.
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sschullo
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by sschullo » Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:38 am

Yes, cea.
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Jazztonight
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by Jazztonight » Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:50 am

We live in the SF Bay Area, in the East Bay. Up until four years ago when we moved to an apartment building downtown, we owned a house in the hills and always had earthquake insurance.

Our house, for many years, was our biggest investment, and if we lost it due to an earthquake, we'd have been royally screwed. So it was worth to us. Like many other homeowners in the area, we retrofitted our home AFTER the Loma Prieta quake. :oops:

Yes, the insurance was expensive, and the deductible was high. But our mortgage was paid off in 2000, and we needed to protect an expensive asset.
"What does not destroy me, makes me stronger." Nietzsche

mikep
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by mikep » Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:13 am

$300 per year in my area but with a $51,000 deductible... what would you do? So far I don't have it.

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TimeRunner
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by TimeRunner » Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:29 pm

CEA coverage: $812/year for $249K dwelling, $50K personal property, $25K loss of use, $20K building code upgrades with deductible of $24.9K. (The main value is the land location.) Two minute jog to the beach, 30 ft above sea level. Earthquake terror comes with the terroir.
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Bengineer
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by Bengineer » Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:45 pm

I came to the conclusion that it wasn't a good value for us. We're a few miles from the nearest fault and on solid ground. The likelihood, cost, exclusions and deductible, coupled with the possiblility of a percentage of claim payout if there is a "big one" just didn't seem to pencil out to me for our recently constructed home. I might have made a different choice under different circumstances.

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interplanetjanet
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by interplanetjanet » Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:56 pm

baw703916 wrote:My parents in Sacramento hadn't even realized there was an earthquake when I called them later that day.
So where was the biggest earthquake I've ever experienced? I have spent about half my life in California, but it was right here in Virginia (5.8).
I'm in the Sacramento area and I was for Loma Prieta as well. I definitely felt both the quake earlier this week and LP, but if I'd been asleep at the time I might not have woken up (I was standing on a chair fixing a fluorescent ballast at 3AM, don't judge me!). They both felt like a mild but prolonged side to side sloshing. I had to look over and see a chandelier gently swinging before I knew for sure it was a quake and not just a moment of vertigo, it was mild.

The worst quake I went through personally was in Los Angeles and only about a 3.8, but the epicenter was basically in my neighbor's yard. That was a very different feeling, a sharp jolt like the ground was a whip cracking. My neighbor's fence was torn in half (it wasn't in great shape, though).

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celia
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by celia » Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:12 pm

mikep wrote:$300 per year in my area but with a $51,000 deductible... what would you do? So far I don't have it.
I won't tell you when the earthquake will be here (since you would obviously only buy insurance for that year only), but assume your $500,000 house is half damaged. Do you want to pay $51,000 to have it fixed or $250,000 to have it fixed?

The way I look at it, is that when we are damaged, there will be a lot more to think about than the money. I would gladly spend $300 and if I never suffered a loss, I would feel fortunate.

Do you carry insurance for fire? Have you ever filed a claim on it?

So what's the difference?
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corner559
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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by corner559 » Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:08 pm

When I had a condo in CA, my HOA was required to have EQ insurance for the building. However, that only covered the structure. Nothing inside of the condo was covered. To cover that, it was prohibitively expensive, so I was only protected by my HOA's policy.

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Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Post by Mudpuppy » Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:02 am

As I said in the other thread, I have insurance through CEA, but my area of CA is very cheap compared to the Bay Area or LA. I've experienced stronger quakes here than I did when living elsewhere in CA though. I joke that it's got to be bigger than a 5 to wake me up.

But on the serious side, there are several known active fault lines nearby, not counting the San Andreas. And my grandmother had her family home destroyed in the Coalinga quake when I was younger. She had no quake insurance and had to go move in with her sister in Oakland, so that kind of stuck with me.

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