SoCal Homeowners Debate Value Of Earthquake Insurance After 5.1 Temblor
SHERMAN OAKS (CBSLA.com) — Friday’s 5.1 shaker caused quite a bit damage and has many contemplating the pros and cons of earthquake insurance.
David Gale, who owns a home in the Hollywood Hills, has renewed his insurance after going two decades without it.
“I had it in ’94. I discontinued it because of the premiums that went up,” he told CBS2′s Bobby Kaple.
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“We’ve lived a blessed life without many shakers and the fact that the equity in this house has increased over 20 years, it’s not the bank’s problem, it’s my problem if the house is damaged,” he said.
Insurance companies offer earthquake insurance but policies are covered by the California Earthquake Authority, a state-run non-profit group.
Deductibles can range from 10 to 20 percent. Homeowners insurance won’t cover claims from quake damage.
Insurance Information Network of California spokesperson Tully Lehman says, however, that often homeowners don’t opt in because premiums are pricey and don’t make long-term financial sense.
“If, for example, your home is covered for $200,000 and you have a 15 percent deductible, you’re looking at $30,000 that will you have to come up with to repair your house,” Lehman said.
Homeowner A.J. Motil is one of the 90 percent of Californians who say the numbers just don’t make sense for them to buy a plan.
“I don’t have it probably for the reason of the cost of it. You have to be at a severe loss to really accumulate any kind of potential from it. So to me, it’s not worth it,” he said.
Earthquake insurance is also an issue for people who rent.
A lot of people have renters insurance, but that doesn’t cover earthquake damage.
Kaple reports just over 5 percent of people with renters insurance actually have earthquake coverage.