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Sunday's earthquake in Northern California was the largest to hit the state in 25 years. A 6.0-magnitude, the quake’s projected damages will come in around $1 billion – most of which will be out of the pockets of California residents. Why? Because even though projections show an increased risk of earthquakes in the future, the percentage of Californians who now purchase earthquake insurance is decreasing, according to the California Department of Insurance.

Even though residents here in Southeastern NC shouldn’t worry much about earthquakes, a lesson can and should be learned from this event. Like earthquakes, hurricanes are unexpected and damaging. More important, like an earthquake, insurance to protect residents from the damage these natural disasters can bring are not included in a typical homeowner’s policy. Flood and windstorm coverage must be purchased in addition to homeowner’s – the main reason why Californians decided to forgo getting protected and are now left with a heavy financial burden.

Unlike percentages for earthquake insurance, about 13 percent of homeowners had a flood insurance policy last year – a percentage that’s stayed steady since 2009. This difference can be attributed to a requirement of owning a policy for homeowners who live in designated flood zones as a condition of their mortgage.

Ultimately, additional insurance can be costly, but there is no doubt that many Californians are wishing they made the decision to protect themselves from the much harsher financial conditions they must now face.
Posted 2:26 PM  View Comments

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