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Do You Have Earthquake Insurance? CEO Of Quake Authority Says You Should, But Odds Are You Don't

The collapse of a section of the Santa Monica Freeway in Los Angeles was part of the damage caused by the 1994 Northridge earthquake

The Central and South Coasts are earthquake country, but the vast majority of people don’t have quake insurance for their homes.  Only about 10% of people in the state have quake insurance, so a non-profit agency is working to to try get more people covered.

Glenn Pomeroy is CEO of the California Earthquake Authority. During a Ventura County visit, Pomeroy said many people don’t realize they aren’t insured, and assume it’s covered by traditional homeowners insurance.

After the devastating Northridge earthquake hit Southern California, leaving thousands homeless, the state stepped in to create the non-profit organization to make insurance available to homeowners.

He says the coverage has evolved over the years, dropping drastically in price. In 2016 new options have been made to allow homeowners to better customize it to meet their needs. You can insure your home’s contents, and adjust deductibles to help control costs.

Pomeroy spends much of his time speaking to groups about the need for insurance. That’s what brought him to Thousand Oaks, where he spoke to hundreds of people at a meeting of the Community Associations Institute Channel Islands Chapter.

The Earthquake Authority’s CEO says aside from people often thinking they are already covered through homeowner’s insurance, the fact it’s been so long since we’ve had a major quake means many people don’t think about the risk.

He says the reality is researchers say a major quake is coming, even though we don’t know exactly where, or when. And, while there is a tendency to think of the big threat coming from California’s famous San Andreas Fault, other faults in our region pose concerns closer to home.

The Santa Barbara Channel, as well as the Central and South Coasts have a number of earthquake faults. In 1925, a magnitude 6.8 quake centered in the Santa Barbara Channel killed 13 people, and destroyed much of downtown Santa Barbara.

Pomeroy says seismologists emphasize the question is not if, but what we’ll be hit by a major quake, and while you should be quake ready from a safety standpoint, it’s just as vital to be financially prepared. You can get more information through the California Earthquake Authority’s website:

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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