Triple-I Blog | Dear California:As You Prep for Wildfire, Don’t Neglect Quake Risk


It’s necessary for people living in earthquake-prone areas to do not forget that standard homeowners and renters insurance don’t cover most earthquake damage.

For that reason, Janet Ruiz, Triple-I’s California-based director of strategic communication, advises people within the state to think about buying a policy that, at a minimum, covers the structure, constructing code upgrades, and emergency repairs.

“You can even get coverage for added living expenses and private property, and a few firms even cover damaged swimming pools or masonry veneer,” Ruiz writes in a recent Op-Ed in The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Because the South Napa and Ridgecrest earthquakes – in 2014 and 2019, respectively – recede from memory and wildfire readiness and resilience seem the more immediate need, Ruiz reminds Californians that even relatively mild tremors can inflict costly damage. She due to this fact encourages residents to cut back their risk through education, mitigation, and insurance.

There are numerous earthquake insurance providers in California. Many take part in the California Earthquake Authority (CEA), but some non-CEA insurers also provide options to assist protect Californians from financial loss.

“CEA offers premium discounts to policyholders who’ve retrofitted, or strengthened, their older homes to assist them higher withstand shaking,” Ruiz writes.

In a separate Op-Ed, CEA CEO Glenn Pomeroy advises on retro-fitting older homes to be more quake resistant and resilient. Older homes – especially those built before 1980 – are more at risk of earthquake damage because they predate modern seismic constructing codes. In keeping with U.S. Census data, greater than 53 percent of the housing units in San Diego County fall into that category of being built before 1980 and might be in need of retrofitting.

Seismic retrofitting might be straightforward and sometimes not as expensive as homeowners might think. Depending on the kind of retrofit needed, the work can normally be done in a few days, with costs starting from $3,000 to $7,000.

“In comparison with the potential cost of repairing an earthquake-damaged home,” Pomeroy writes, “spending a smaller amount of cash to assist prevent damage may also help avoid a much larger repair bill after an earthquake. Whatever the price, it’s a comparatively small price to pay to guard the worth of your private home and, more importantly, make it safer in your family.”

Particularly necessary as the necessity for pandemic social distancing continues, Pomeroy points out, “Homeowners can remain inside their dwelling as staff do the job without entering the residence.”


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